New Delhi: Brad Hodge proved his worth as one of the most sought after T20 cricketers in the world as he single-handedly guided Rajasthan Royals to a four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a thrilling low scoring 'Eliminator' of the Pepsi Indian Premier League on Wednesday.


Chasing a target of 133, Hodge hit Darren Sammy for two consecutive sixes to finish the match with four balls to spare and ensure his team's qualification to the next edition of Champions League T20. Royals will now meet Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier in Kolkata on Friday.
The 38-year-old 'T20 freelancer' clobbered his way to a 29-ball 54 not out as Royals pulled off one of their most significant victories after the 'spot-fixing' scandal broke out with the arrest of three of their cricketers including S Sreesanth.
Hodge came in at 57 for five but never looked under any kind of pressure as he hit five clean sixes apart from the couple of boundaries.
Skipper Rahul Dravid (12, 3x4) started with three boundaries but closed the face of the bat to an Ishant Sharma delivery which found the leading edge for the point fielder to take the catch.
After performing with the bat and on the field, it was time to roll over his arm and Sammy did not disappoint either.
First, he cleaned up Dishant Yagnik (0) with a fuller delivery and then bowled a cutter which breached Stuart Binny's defence (2). In between the two dismissals, Amit Mishra foxed Ajinkya Rahane (18) to commit early and got a caught and bowled in his favour.

From a comfortable 50 for one, Royals slumped to 57 for five, having lost four wickets with the addition of seven runs in the space of 21 deliveries.
Hodge was cautious to begin with, but in the 14th over bowled by Karan, he took 18 runs which included a straight six and a slog-sweep over deep square leg followed by a pulled boundary.
Dale Steyn, coming back for his second spell, bowled three deliveries outside the off-stump before getting one to come back sharply as he found Sanju Samson's (10) pads.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals bowlers produced a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Sunrisers to 132 for seven.
All the Royals bowlers did a splendid job as Sunrisers batsmen could never really force the pace during the entire span of 20 overs save West Indies skipper Sammy (29, 3x6) striking a few lusty blows during the fag end of the innings.
Shikhar Dhawan (33, 39 balls, 3x4) was the other significant contributor although his innings was an uncharacteristic one by his standards as the slowness of the track didn't help his cause either.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Cameron White (capt), Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan,Hanuma Vihari, Biplab Samantray, Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Sanju Samson, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Siddharth Trivedi and Vikramjeet Malik.


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