DD plays for pride against table-topper SRH

Delhi will be wary of the weather, having barely scraped past RR in its last home game a week ago after conceding 146 runs in 12 overs

DD has just three wins in 10 games, SRH is already all but confirmed as the first team into the playoffs.   -  K.V.S. Giri

It’s a mismatch made more unequal by the contrast in fortunes. Delhi Daredevils, at the bottom of the table and out of the race for all practical purposes, hosts table-topper Sunrisers Hyderabad in New Delhi on Thursday.

Delhi, with just three wins in 10 games, will play all its remaining matches at home, but that will be of little help. The venue has not been the kind of fortress that the home grounds of some of th e other franchises have turned out to be, with the Daredevils’ success rate hovering around 46 per cent over the year.

DD, playing for pride more than anything else, will also be wary of the weather. It barely scraped past Rajasthan Royals in its last home game a week ago, winning by four runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method as it conceded 146 runs in 12 overs. With thunderstorms hitting the national capital over the past two days and a light drizzle on Wednesday delaying the teams’ practice, conditions haven’t been at their best.

 

The good thing for Delhi is the consistent scoring by its youngsters—Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw. The trio has scored the bulk of the team’s runs this season, but this hasn’t been enough, and poor outings for the likes of Glenn Maxwell haven’t helped. And while Liam Plunkett and Trent Boult have been among the wickets, they have neither got support from the rest nor have they been consistent enough.

In contrast, SRH has found match-winners in its bowling unit, which is clearly the best in the competition. While its batting hasn’t set the field afire, the last time the two teams faced off, in Hyderabad, it was the batsmen who took the team past the post, and Hyderabad would be happy to finally see its batsmen get some runs.

 

“The pitches in Hyderabad where we have played or even in some other centres haven’t exactly been easy to bat on and our batsmen have done a good enough job to get us through some challenging games,” SRH coach Tom Moody said.

The pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla is expected to help scoring and Moody said he would welcome it. “We would welcome a chance to be able to play on some surfaces where we can play a few shots, hit a few sixes over cover or flick through square leg,” he said.

With a bowling attack that has managed to restrict opposition teams to as little as 87 in this competition, if his batsmen manage to come out strong on Thursday, SRH—all but confirmed as the first team into the playoffs—could well end any speculation about any of the permutations anyone could work out.