Quinton de Kock’s early assault and the calculated aggression of Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant later on helped Delhi Daredevils script an emphatic, seven-wicket win (it’s sixth in 10 games) over table-topper Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday night.
Samson and Rishabh put on an unbeaten 72-run stand for the fourth wicket off 50 balls to ensure that there was no way Sunrisers came back into the game.
Given the reputation of the Sunrisers bowling attack to defend even modest totals, it was also a reminder tonight that it was not unplayable if their line, length and angle are read correctly. Rishabh Pant’s two effortless sixes off Mustafizur Rahman were testimony of this plain truth.
The win was built on a crucial second-wicket partnership of 55 of 37 balls between in-form opener de Kock and Karun Nair. It put the Delhi innings back on rails after losing Mayank Agarwal in the fourth over of the innings via Ashish Nehra's bowling.
Just when de Kock, who swung Nehra and Barinder Sran imperiously for two huge sixes, and Karun were threatening to take the game away, Moises Henriques struck a double blow in the 10th over – Karun Nair was yorked and then got a doubtful, delayed verdict from umpire Marais Erasmus for a caught behind decision to send back the dangerous looking de Kock, who played a cameo, to reduce Delhi to 78 for three in the 10th over.
Delhi bowlers impress
Earlier, Delhi Daredevils' bowling attack, minus injured Zaheer Khan, put up an impressive performance to restrict the home team to 146 for eight after it was put in to bat.
Legspinner Amit Mishra bowled well in the middle overs to let pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Morris come back strongly in the second half of the innings. There was emphasis on accuracy and more importantly bowling to the field.
After a slow start, Warner’s audacious stroke-play, which included two fours and a straight six off offspinner Jayant Yadav, saw the home team make optimum use of the Power Play, scoring 51 for no loss even as Shikhar Dhawan was content to play second fiddle with a couple of boundaries during that phase.
When Delhi opted for Jayant to open the bowling against the two left handers, it looked a perfect gamble as he conceded only eight runs in the first two overs. But, once Warner and Dhawan changed gears after treating Mohammad Shami with contempt, scoring 15 runs in his first over, they turned the attention on Jayant.
But, Jayant brought back in the ninth over, justified his captain JP Duminy’s faith by having Warner bowled. Warner tried to play a length ball to point but not before the Sunrisers captain and Dhawan put on 67 runs off 53 balls for the first wicket.
Once Dhawan, looking good for another big score, was dismissed by legspinner Amit Mishra in the 13th over, the innings fell apart.
Yuvraj Singh, who carted Mishra over long-on for a six, fell in the same over – mistiming a pull stroke to be caught at short fine-leg in the 15th over. In the next over, Shami struck a crucial blow, claiming an lbw verdict against Moises Henriques (0) to reduce Sunrisers to 114 for four, from which point Sunrisers never recovered sufficiently.
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