Hyderabad beat Rajasthan to set up final with Kolkata

Klaasen scored 50 off 34 balls to help Hyderabad reach 175-9. Their bowlers then limited Rajasthan to 139-7, marking Hyderabad’s third IPL final, set for Sunday in Chennai.

Hyderabad beat Rajasthan to set up final with Kolkata

Spinner Shahbaz Ahmed played a key role in Hyderabad’s victory with three wickets. (Photo: Getty Images)

By:
Vivek Mishra

Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs on Friday, securing a spot in the IPL final against Kolkata Knight Riders. Spinner Shahbaz Ahmed played a key role with three wickets.

Heinrich Klaasen scored 50 off 34 balls to help Hyderabad reach 175-9. Their bowlers then limited Rajasthan to 139-7, marking Hyderabad’s third IPL final, set for Sunday in Chennai.

Ahmed, who came in as an impact substitute during Hyderabad’s batting, scored 18 runs and recorded figures of 3-23 with his left-arm spin, disrupting Rajasthan’s chase.

Kolkata, having beaten Hyderabad in the first play-off game, will face Pat Cummins’ side again in the final. Cummins, who cost Hyderabad 1.97 million GBP at the auction, is close to another title after leading Australia to the Test championship and the ODI World Cup in India last year.

“You’ve seen that in the way we played,” Cummins said, reflecting on the team’s turnaround from last year when they finished last in the 10-team table. “The finals was the goal and we’ve made it.”

Ahmed was named player of the match, and Cummins credited coach Daniel Vettori for the decision to use Ahmed as an impact substitute.

The 36,000-capacity MA Chidambaram Stadium took time to fill, with local fans missing the home team Chennai Super Kings. Chennai veteran MS Dhoni remains a local hero, with many fans wearing his number 7 jersey during the match.

The IPL experienced a heatwave in the last two play-off matches in Ahmedabad, with temperatures exceeding 44 degrees Celsius, but Chennai remained cooler at 32 degrees.

Rajasthan struggled in their chase despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s quick 42 before he fell to Ahmed. Skipper Sanju Samson was out for 10 soon after.

Ahmed took two wickets in one over, including the in-form Riyan Parag for six. Despite Dhruv Jurel’s unbeaten 56, inaugural champions Rajasthan fell short.

“We’ve had some brilliant games, we’ve had a great project as a franchise,” said Samson. “We’ve produced some great talent for the country. Parag, Jurel, exciting not only for RR but for India team too.”

Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma scored 12 but took two wickets with his part-time spin, including the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer, bowled for four.

Sunrisers, who had achieved record IPL totals of 277 and 287 this season, lacked firepower until Klaasen’s fourth fifty of the season boosted their score.

Rajasthan’s Trent Boult made early breakthroughs, dismissing Abhishek in the first over and taking two more wickets in the fifth, sending back Rahul Tripathi for 37 and Aiden Markram for one.

Fast bowler Avesh Khan took two wickets in two balls, leading Hyderabad to bring in Ahmed. Klaasen stood firm to reach his fifty from 33 balls and formed a key seventh-wicket stand of 43 with Ahmed, setting a total that proved enough.

(AFP)