After an impressive start to the campaign, it has all gone awry for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Sunday they endured yet another phenomenal capitulation from 101/3 to 116 all out against Delhi Capitals.
Kagiso Rabada (4/22) and Keemo Paul (3/17) were at their prolific best and dismantling the Sunrisers batting order and condemning them to another home defeat.
As has been the trend, Sunrisers’ opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow (41 off 31) went about their business as usual posting yet another half century and setting the platform in a chase of 166, which shouldn’t have been as tough as it was made to seem.
The introduction of Paul (3/17) Paul in the eighth over turned out to be a masterstroke as with the West Indian proving effective with his slower balls.
SRH had posted 66 from nine overs and needed to shift gears and that is when Bairstow held out to Rabada, failing to generate enough power with an attempt to clear the long off boundary. Paul grabbed another in his third over as skipper Kane Williamson (3 off 8) failed to create the impact he would have hoped for.
Warner was being kept quiet at one end with none of the other batsmen able to accelerate and his dismissal in the 17th over proved to be the final nail in SRH’s coffin as they fell 39 runs short at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
In the first half, Khaleel Ahmed ran in hard, hit the deck and was rewarded with three vital wickets as Hyderabad came out all guns blazing.
The former champions had been haven’t been quite as clinical as they would have liked with their bowling this season but at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Khaleel (3/30) found able allies in Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/33) and Rashid Khan (1/22) as Delhi could muster only 155 for seven.
Shikhar Dhawan’s return to Uppal ended by Khaleel in the fourth over as his attempted hook was lapped up by a juggling Bhuvneshwar at third man. Prior to that, Khaleel ensured Prithvi Shaw’s dismal run continued as he had the opener caught behind in his first over.
One Colin (Munro) replaced another (Ingram) and the impact was immediate. The Kiwi left-hander got off to a flying start hammering Sandeep Sharma for a couple of hits to the fence in the third over and then going after Khaleel the very next over.
By the time Munro was back in the hut, Delhi were 69 for three with 12 overs to go and the platform was set for skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to tee off.
The duo played some cautious cricket largely due to Rashid, who did extremely well to stifle the runs during the middle phase.
Delhi would have been sitting comfortable in the dugout knowing they had two set batsmen to launch with 30 balls remaining but as luck would have it, Bhuvneshwar struck in the 16th, accounting for Iyer (45 off 40). Iyer tried to be cheeky with a short ball outside off and could only feather it to Jonny Bairstow, handing Bhuvneshwar his 100th wicket in the IPL.
Khaleel had Pant caught at long on soon after for 23 off 19 with the scoreboard reading 127 for five and 22 balls to play. Thereafter the Delhi tail managed just 28 runs, which turned out to be plenty eventually.
Delhi’s win percentage dropped from 40 in the 16th over to a paltry 24 with two over to spare. In the 11th over, SRH still had a 52% winning chance but it dropped steadily.
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