- DC has reclaimed top spot in the points table
- SRH remains at the bottom of the table and is now nearly out of the playoff race.
- Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer made it easy to chase the target for Delhi Capitals to claim victory
On Wednesday, Delhi Capitals beat wooden spooners Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets thanks to a superb fast bowling performance from their South African duo Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada. The Delhi Capitals (DC) delivered a great performance in their opening encounter of the second phase of this year’s Indian Premier League, eking out an easy win in 17.5 overs while chasing a modest 135-run target.
It was only possible because of fast furious Nortje bowled at 150 clicks to end with 2 for 12 and was strongly backed in a great bowling effort by Rabada (3/37) and Axar Patel (2/21). With 14 points from nine games, last year’s runners-up are well and truly in contention for a play-off position, while SRH, with two points, is out of the tournament.
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw (11 off 8) scored 20 runs in 17 balls before the latter was caught by Kane Williamson off Khaleel Ahmed’s bowling as he tried a spectacular drive over mid-wicket.
Dhawan remained unfazed as he batted aggressively and slog swept Rashid Khan over deep midwicket for a maximum in the Afghan spinner’s opening over.
While the rest of the SRH batters struggled, Dhawan made batting on the surface look easy by pulling a Jason Holder delivery to the square leg boundary. Dhawan then took swing bowler Sandeep Sharma to task, hitting the medium pacer for back-to-back boundaries in the 10th over to move DC to 69 for one.
However, Dhawan paid the price for being overly aggressive when he was holed out by Abdul Samad off Rashid’s bowling as the left-hander attempted a slog sweep over deep square leg in hope of a six.
Dhawan’s 37 runs came from 37 balls, including six boundaries and one over-the-fence smash.
Shreyas Iyer (47 not out off 41 balls), who had been playing second fiddle to Dhawan, suddenly seized the initiative and increased the ante, smashing Sandeep Sharma for two successive fours in the 14th over. Iyer played comfortably and, along with skipper Rishabh Pant (35 off 21), led DC home with 13 balls to spare.
While Khaleel Ahmed was able to extract some speed and bounce from the track, none of the other SRH bowlers were able to trouble the DC batsmen, as Iyer and Pant played with consummate ease.
During his innings, Iyer smashed two fours and two sixes, while Pant blasted three boundaries and two soaring over-the-fence shots. Earlier, SRH put up a poor batting performance, managing only 134 for nine.
Nortje and Rabada were brilliant with the ball, extracting extra bounce and speed from the relatively low and sluggish wicket to annihilate the SRH top-order. After choosing to bat, the script did not go as planned as SRH lost David Warner (0) in the third ball of the innings with no runs on the board.
After that, Wriddhiman Saha (18) and skipper Kane Williamson (18) added 29 runs before the former mistimed a pull to Shikhar Dawan at midwicket off Kagiso Rabada. Williamson and Manish Pandey next attempted to establish the innings, stitching 31 runs for the third wicket, but SRH were quickly undone when their skipper dropped a simple chance at long-off off the bowling of Axar Patel. Pandey (18) did the same, and Kedar Jadhav (3) didn’t help matters either. Jason Holder (10) was also a huge flop for SRH.
With the damage done, Abdul Samad (28 off 21, 2x4s, 1×6) sought to shore up the run-rate with Rashid Khan (22 off 19 balls), but he, too, exited in pursuit of fast runs, top-edging a mistimed pull to Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant off Rabada’s bowling.
Before being run out, Rashid’s knock was studded with two fours and one six. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still not out after 5 balls. Rabada was the star DC bowler, taking three wickets for 37 runs, while Nortje (2/12) and Patel (2/32) each got two.