Sanju Samson scored 55 runs as the Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 61 runs on Tuesday in their opening game of the Indian Premier League.

Samson, the skipper, helped Rajasthan amass 210-6 (20 overs) after they were put into bat. In reply, Hyderabad struggled to 149-7 (20 overs).

Rajasthan got off to a good start with Jos Buttler (35) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (20) putting on 58 for the opening stand. Buttler hit three fours and three sixes, and Jaiswal hit two fours and a six.

With Rajasthan down to 75-2 in the ninth over, Samson took charge. He smacked three fours and five sixes off the 27 balls he faced to get the campaign underway. His half-century came off 25 deliveries.

Samson put on 73-run partnership with Devdutt Padikkal, who scored 41 off 29 deliveries. The latter hit four fours and two sixes. Umran Malik picked up 2-39 and broke their partnership.

Shimron Hetmyer then smacked 32 off 13 balls, including two fours and three sixes, to push the score past 200 and beyond Hyderabad’s reach.

Hyderabad’s chase began horribly with the scoreboard reading 9-3 in 4.5 overs.

Prasidh Krishna took 2-16 in four overs, dismissing Kane Williamson (2) and hard-hitting Rahul Tripathi for a three-ball duck.

Trent Boult (2-23) trapped Nicholas Pooran lbw for a nine-ball duck.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal picked up 3-22, taking young batsmen Abhishek Sharma (9) and Abdul Samad (4).

Five of the top six batters didn’t reach double figures. At 37-5 in 10.2 overs, the game was as good as over for Hyderabad.

Aiden Markram, batting at number five, scored a consolation half-century on his debut for the Sunrisers’ franchise. He finished with 57 not out off 41 deliveries, including five fours and two sixes.

Washington Sundar scored 40 off 14 balls, including two sixes plus five fours, and put on 55 runs off only 19 balls with Markram for the seventh wicket.

“They are a difficult team to stop,” said Williamson, Hyderabad’s skipper. “For us, we need to look at it logically and there are a number of things to improve on. T20 cricket throws some curveballs at you and it can be fickle.”

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