The Rajasthan Royals claimed a narrow three-run win over the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL on Sunday.
The big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer hit an unbeaten 59 off 36 balls and lifted Rajasthan from 67-4 to 165-6 in the second match of the day in Mumbai.
Fast bowler Trent Boult and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then rattled the opposition batting to restrict Lucknow, one of the two new franchises in the expanded 10-team IPL, to 162-8.
Marcus Stoinis hit an unbeaten 38 off 17 balls to give the Royals a scare but IPL debutant Kuldeep Sen defended 15 off the final over.
The left-handed Hetmyer set up victory with a key 68-run fifth-wicket stand with Ravichandran Ashwin after Rajasthan were invited to bat first.
Hetmyer made the most of a dropped catch by Krunal Pandya on 14 as later changed gears and hit two sixes and a four against West Indies teammate and Lucknow fast bowler Jason Holder.
Ashwin stunned the opposition with an IPL first of ‘retired out’ on 28 off 23 balls as he departed after 18.2 overs of the Royals innings to allow Riyan Parag join Hetmyer.
Hetmyer smashed four more sixes in the final two overs and Parag also got a hit over the fence in his four-ball stay.
Lucknow were rattled by a lethal opening burst by New Zealand left-arm quick Boult who bowled skipper KL Rahul for nought on the first ball of the reply and after bowling a wide trapped Krishnappa Gowtham lbw for nought.
Holder fell to Prasidh Krishna with Lucknow on 14-3 and later 74-5.
Quinton de Kock made 39 before falling to Chahal who also took down Krunal Pandya, for 22, two balls later.
Stoinis attempted to turn the game on its head and hit four sixes but the asking rate and Sen’s nerves in the 20th over just proved too big a barrier for Lucknow.
© Agence France-Presse