While everyone's been clamouring for Trent Boult and Dale Steyn to play together for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the SRH management decided to go the opposite way – drop both of the bowling superstars, beef up the alarmingly-short-of-runs middle order, and see where it takes them.
Where it took them was to a huge first innings score of 201/4 in their 20 overs, with that middle order, led by the he-can-bat-again Eoin Morgan, finally coming to the party. SRH's bowling prowess, even without Messrs Steyn and Boult has never been in doubt, and even if Steve Smith threatened to spoil the SRH party with a special innings, RR eventually finished on 194 for seven in their 20 overs, finishing short by seven runs.
In sight of sealing that spot in the playoffs, RR would have been desperate to pick up the two points against SRH today, and to do that they needed Ajinkya Rahane to anchor their innings like he has done so often this season.
That did not happen, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent his India teammate packing via an outside edge, with skipper Shane Watson also unable to provide the desired impetus, falling to Ishant Sharma, playing his first match since SRH's opening match in IPL 2015, when he got tonked all over the place by Brendon McCullum and CSK.
With the two openers gone, it was up to Smith, with SRH asking for trouble by dropping the peerless Australian on a couple of occasions. While Smith was making the most of those gifts, wickets kept falling at the other end, with Karun Nair and Deepak Hooda sent back without adding too much to the score.
The match had to be won by Smith and James Faulkner from there, but with the run rate mounting with every passing over, even the great man Smith (68, 40b, 9x4, 2x6) could not quite bring out his magic, with his wicket, bowled by Ravi Bopara, in the 15th over, pretty much ending the match; or so one would have thought.
Faulkner (30, 19b, 2x4, 2x6) and Sanju Samson (21, 10b, 3x6) did their best to take the game deep, but it was Chris Morris who brought the match back into life, smashing three sixes in a row off Praveen Kumar in the penultimate over.
Those sixes meant, from 40 off 12, the target had been cut down to 18 off six. Three more sixes from Morris (34 n.o., 11b, 2x4, 3x6) and RR would have the game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept his nerve to clinch a much-needed win for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Earlier, SRH finally got their middle order flowing the runs-way, with Morgan leading from the front with a brilliant 63 (28b, 4x4, 5x6). David Warner (24, 18b, 5x4) and Shikhar Dhawan (54, 35b, 6x4, 2x6) got SRH off to their customary fast start, with the latter and Moises Henriques carrying on the momentum after the SRH skipper fell in the fifth over to his counterpart and fellow Aussie Watson.
Once Henriques (20, 21b, 3x4) fell, Morgan came to the crease, and the Irishman allied for a quickfire 38 runs with Dhawan, before the left-hander took over in stunning style, smashing boundary after boundary, as Ravi Bopara watched from the other end.
That blitz from Morgan, allowed SRH to breach the 200-run mark, which RR found too big to scale.