Sunrisers reclaims top spot with all-round show

Set a target of 164, Sunrisers began the chase cautiously but managed to conserve wickets and reach the target in the penultimate ball of the 20th over.

Rashid Khan celebrates the fall of a wicket with his Sunrisers Hyderabad team-mates in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  AP

The experience of Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson overshadowed a scintillating display of raw talent from rookie Prithvi Shaw as Sunrisers Hyderabad kept its dream run rolling in the Indian Premier League after beating Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets on Saturday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

 

Calling it right at the spin of the coin, Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Daredevils opted to bat first and raced to 95 in the first 10 overs but managed to accumulate only 163 in its 20 overs. Sunrisers bowlers were at their best and gave away only 68 runs in the last 10 overs, making life a lot easier for their batsmen.

Sunrisers began cautiously but managed to conserve wickets and reach the target in the penultimate ball of the 20th over.

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The victory meant Sunrisers Hyderabad reclaimed the top position in the table while Delhi Daredevils was staring at an early exit from the eight-team league. 

The 29,500-odd weekend crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium were treated to a rollicking contest as both the teams were engaged in an intense slug-fest. 

Prithvi Shaw scored a rollicking 65 in just 36 balls for Delhi Daredevils.   -  K.V.S. Giri

  It was Shaw who was the show stopper for the first 45 minutes as he treated the SRH bowlers with disdain. The young Mumbai lad belted 65 runs off just 36 balls before Rashid Khan got a tame end to his innings. He added 86 runs in 51 balls with Shreyas as Delhi got off to a flyer.

Shreyas then tried to keep Delhi in the hunt with a quickfire 44 (36 balls, 3x4, 2x6) but in the end, it couldn't capitalise on the platform set by Shaw.

If not for Vijay Shankar (23, 13 balls, 1 six, 1 four) and Daniel Christian, who stitched an unbeaten 29 runs partnership in three overs, Delhi couldn't have crossed 150.

Chasing 164, Hales was in destructive mode as he butchered Avesh Khan for 26 runs, including three sixes, in the last over of the powerplay, propelling Sunrisers to 61 for no loss. It was, however, Dhawan who started the clobbering by pulling Avesh for a six, off a freehit in the first legitimate ball of the over, and Hales took over from there.

The required run rate never threatened the host in the first 10 overs, as it proceeded its pursuit of 164 with a healthy mix of caution and aggression.

It took a peach of a delivery from Amit Mishra to dismiss Hales. The batsman tried to defend but the ball spun across his body, missed the bat and clipped the off stump as the Daredevils broke into a frenzy.

Dhawan didn't last long as he tried to slog sweep Mishra only to find the stumps rearranged.

  The departure of the openers started the slide for SRH. Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey found the going tough as the wicket became more difficult to bat on. The spinners were extracting turn off the surface and the boundaries dried instantly.

Pandey then brought the crowd back on their feet when he scored two consecutive boundaries in the 15th over off Daniel Christian. The twin boundaries came after a drought of 37 balls.

 

Pandey departed with Sunrisers needing 32 in three overs but Yusuf Pathan and Williamson saw the host home in a frenzy as it boiled down to 14 runs off six balls in the end. Pathan smacked Christian for a six and four off consecutive balls to seal the deal for the host. 

Earlier, the ploy from Shreyas and the Delhi management was clear. SRH had lost the two matches in the season so far while chasing, and that too, big targets and it prompted DD to go for the extra batsman in Naman Ojha, instead of Shahbaz Nadeem. While the intent was spot on, it was the execution that went haywire. Also, SRH's highest run chase over the last two seasons was a modest 149.

 

It was Shaw who took the lead in style in the second over of the innings by carting Sandeep Sharma for a six over the bowler's head. Although Shaw's fellow opener Glenn Maxwell was run out early in the innings, Shaw's resolve set the tone for the Daredevils.

It was a treat to watch the 18-year-old in action. While he punched, drove and bludgeoned with brute force, he found the gaps with surgical precision.

Just like how, sometimes, the climax of a blockbuster turn out to be insipid, Shaw's end came in a tame manner. The batsman was looking to send Rashid into the orbit over the cow corner region but the ball spun a tad more away than he expected and he edged to Siddarth Kaul at short third man.

The wicket was the opening Sunrisers was looking at. While Shaw and Iyer thumped 11 shots to and over the fence in the first nine overs as Delhi raced at almost 10 runs an over, it could only manage two sixes and three fours in the next 11 overs. The famed Sunrisers bowling attack managed to hog the limelight, yet again.