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Sunrisers Hyderabad Defeat Rajasthan Royals, Advance to Title Showdown with Kolkata Knight Riders

In an exhilarating IPL clash, Sunrisers Hyderabad triumphed over Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs, securing their spot in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders. The standout performer was spinner Shahbaz Ahmed, who claimed three crucial wickets.

Heinrich Klaasen’s impressive 50 off 34 balls propelled Sunrisers to a total of 175-9. Their bowlers then effectively contained Rajasthan to 139-7, leading Hyderabad to their third IPL final, set to take place in Chennai on Sunday.

Ahmed, introduced as an impact substitute during Hyderabad’s innings, contributed 18 runs and later delivered a game-changing bowling performance with figures of 3-23, stifling Rajasthan’s chase. The Kolkata Knight Riders, having decisively defeated Hyderabad in the initial playoff, are poised for a rematch in the final.

The 36,000-seat M.A. Chidambaram Stadium gradually filled, with local fans expressing their nostalgia for the Chennai Super Kings and their iconic captain, M.S. Dhoni, many of whom sported his number 7 jersey during the match.

In contrast to the sweltering 44-degree Celsius heat of Ahmedabad’s recent playoff games, Chennai offered a cooler respite at 32 degrees.

Rajasthan’s innings faltered despite a brisk 42 from Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was dismissed by Ahmed, followed by captain Sanju Samson’s early departure for 10. Ahmed’s impactful over claimed the in-form Riyan Parag for six. Although Dhruv Jurel made a valiant, unbeaten 56, Rajasthan couldn’t close the gap. Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma managed 12 runs and contributed with his part-time spin to take two wickets, including the pivotal dismissal of Shimron Hetmyer. Sunrisers’ innings saw early setbacks with Trent Boult’s strikes, dismissing Abhishek in the first over and taking two more wickets in the fifth. Fast bowler Avesh Khan’s successive wickets further pressured Hyderabad. However, Klaasen’s resilient 50 and a crucial 43-run partnership with Ahmed bolstered the total to a defendable score.

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