Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) produced a well-rounded effort against Delhi Capitals (DC) to register their third win on the trot in IPL 2019 at Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday. Electing to bowl first, SRH produced a mighty effort with the ball to restrict Delhi to 129/8 after 20 overs. Chasing 130, Hyderabad were home with five wickets in hand and 9 balls to spare.
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Under the leadership of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, SRH’s bowlers exploited the conditions well, making life difficult for the Delhi batsmen. Mohammed Nabi was particularly impressive with the new ball, picking up a couple of wickets. DC skipper Shreyas Iyer was the lone ranger with the bat (46 off 33 balls) as he failed to gather support from the other end which led to the Capitals falling 10 to 15 runs short of the par score.
On the same pitch, Jonny Bairstow came out all guns blazing and scored a brisk 47 from 22 balls. 62 runs came in the first six overs and the game was almost done and dusted in the Powerplay overs. However, a few wickets in the middle overs gave the Capitals a glimmer of hope. But SRH’s middle order, which was untested so far, did not flinch at the task and with a six in the 18th over, Nabi guided his team to victory in emphatic fashion.
Toss: Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the toss and elected to field first. While the visitors remained unchanged Delhi brought back Ishant Sharma, Rahul Tewatia, and Axar Patel. The trio of Hanuma Vihari, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan were rested.
First innings: Prithvi Shaw began the innings with a first-ball boundary of Bhuvneshwar Kumar much to the delight of the home crowd. But from there on, it all went downhill for Delhi. Kumar came back in his second over to knock over the youngster for a run a ball 11. Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer got together to briefly keep things under control as spin was introduced early in the form of Mohammed Nabi. To negate the threat of Nabi, Dhawan employed the sweep shot but fell while attempting one sweep too many.
Nabi got the ball to grip on yet another sluggish Kotla track which helped him weave a web, particularly around the left-handers. Some old fashioned technique would be have been more productive than slogging. However, Delhi’s dashers went for the glory shot and perished. Except for Iyer, none of the batsmen played themselves in. Nabi also got rid off the dangerous Rishabh Pant who once again failed to build an innings.
The pressure finally got to Iyer as he fell in a moment of madness to Rashid Khan with three overs still remaining in the innings. Chris Morris’ (17 off 15) cameo along with Axar Patel’s (23 off 13) lusty blows towards the end of the innings gave Delhi the momentum they needed to build upon.
SRH continued to perform like a well-oiled machine keeping things tight right from the start. All their bowlers got their names on the wicket column and not once did they allow the opposition to get away. Their miserly nature can be seen from the fact that Delhi reached 50 in 8.3 ovs while the 100 came only in the 17th over.
Second innings: Chasing 130 could have been tricky but openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow walloped 62 in the first six overs. Using deft touches mixed with dollops of aggressiveness Bairstow scored 47 in 25 balls while Warner watched from the other end. Interestingly, Bairstow smashed 9 fours and 2 sixes in his brief stay while Warner did not hit a single boundary at that period.
Once the Englishman was dismissed, Warner decided to free his arms but fell to Kagiso Rabada for 10. This provided an interesting period of play as the inexperienced middle-order SRH was finally put through a litmus test. A few wickets did go down but the experienced pair of Yusuf Pathan and Nabi played it safe.
Bairstow’s blitzkrieg had brought the required rate down to just 5.2 and the only way DC could have won is by taking wickets and taking them in a bunch. As Delhi failed to deliver, SRH romped home in 18.3 overs
Gamechanger: Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi’s proved to be the gamechanger in this encounter. With the ball, he picked up 2/21 in four overs and later came back to score a crucial 17 off 9 balls which kept SRH’s winning run intact.
Shreyas Iyer- "The last two games have been the same (disappointing). It was a tough wicket to bat on and since they bowled first, they had an idea about how to go about it. We didn’t play that well as a batting side. Another learning – we should come back positive and strong."
Bhuvneshwar Kumar- "It is always easy as the captain when the team does well and I always believe that the captain is as good as the team. We always wanted to bowl given how small the ground is, we knew that it would be easier in the second innings. "
Scorecard: Delhi Capitals- 129/8 (20 overs) | Sunrisers Hyderabad- 130/5 (19.4 ovs)