Sunrisers make it three in a row

Sunrisers make it three in a row

SCALPING THE BIG FISH: Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan (centre) celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI

Sunrisers Hyderabad showed why they are considered among the favourites in the Indian Premier League with a thrilling five-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Thursday.

It was Sunrisers’ third win in four matches. Delhi, on the other hand, slumped to their third defeat in five matches, and reflected the shades of ‘Delhi Daredevils’.

It was yet another batting capitulation from Delhi, whose previous defeat against Kings XI Punjab saw them shockingly lose seven wickets for eight runs. They didn’t seem to recover from that. With Sunrisers’ choking runs on a slow pitch, Delhi, put in, lost wickets in clumps to settle for 129/8.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer top-scored with a 41-ball 43. Delhi attack, however, showed character to take it to the wire but Sunrisers succeeded in reaching home with nine balls to spare.

Jonny Bairstow set off from where he had left in their previous match. Dropped on five by Axar Patel off his own bowling, he launched the attack to ensure Sunrisers’ accumulate 60 runs for in the power play. The Englishman was sprinting towards another big score but was adjudged leg before off Rahul Tewatia’s yorker in the seventh over. A restrained David Warner departed, in space of four runs, as Sunrisers were reduced to 68/2 in eight overs.

It allowed Delhi an opening and they pushed their way back into the match. Manish Pandey lasted for merely 13 balls, Vijay Shankar mistimed Axar to extra cover and at the end of 16th over, Deepak Hooda hit Lamichhane to Rabada at deep mid-wicket. Sunrisers’ untested middle order was cracking when they needed 17 off the last three overs.

Yusuf Pathan and Md Nabi, however, held their nerves. Nabi ended the chase with a four and six off Kagiso Rabada.

Delhi could not inject any momentum into their batting. Against a quality Sunrisers’ attack, Delhi struggled to forge partnerships. Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided the breakthrough when he sent the stump of Prithvi Shaw cartwheeling.

Nabi packed off Shikhar Dhawan in the last ball of powerplay when the southpaw top-edged a sweep to fine leg. Nabi returned in the 10th over to pick the prized wicket of Rishabh Pant who was stopped at the long-off boundary by Hooda. By the 10th over, Delhi were staring at the barrel at 56/3.

Tewatia, replacing Hanuma Vihari, was back in the hut in the next over when he chipped to cover. Worst, Iyer, the only one to decode the surface and waging a lonely battle, erred in judging Rashid Khan. He kneeled down to sweep him, only to find his off-stump flattened. Delhi huffed and puffed their way to 100 in the 18 over, and though Axar finished off with two sixes in the last over, it was too less a total to defend.