Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad made a mess of yet another small target. This time Delhi Capitals defended their total of 155 to spoil the hosts’ party, who were playing in their 100th IPL match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Sunday. It was another West Indian who did the damage and this time it was the impressive Keemo Paul (3 for 17) who bowled Capitals to a 39-run victory.
If Mumbai Indians’ Alzarri Joseph’s pace had wrecked the SRH batting, then Paul’s canny bowling that brought havoc in the home team’s run chase. Despite making four changes, the middle-order batting woes continued for SRH. From 72 for one in 9.5 overs, they collapsed to 116 in 18.5 overs.
Playing in his first match of the season, left arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed bowled a lively spell to capture three wickets as SRH restricted DC for 155 for 7. But that was good enough for Capitals to record their fifth victory from eight matches while SRH slumped to their fourth defeat from seven.
Yet again Jonny Bairstow and David Warner gave a good start in SRH’s run chase. The England-Australian duo, who have three century partnership this season, brought up 40 runs in power-play before Bairstow was out for 41. The Englishman was deceived by Keemo Paul. But the opening pair laid the foundation with a 72-run stand.
However, the impressive Paul was mean and shackled the SRH batsmen, who lost their way Skipper Kane Williamson, playing in his second match because of injury, was to last for only eight deliveries before becoming Paul’s second victim.
Leg spinner Amit Mishra could have got Ricky Bhui for 5 but Colin Munro grassed a sitter at long-off. Mishra was himself guilty of dropping a return catch off Warner, who was on 44. DC had SRH in knots and the run-rate climbed with the home team requiring 56 in five overs. The out-of-sorts Bhui was out for 7. Capitals had clearly strangled SRH and when Warner was out for 51 off Rabada in the 17th over the writing was on the wall. Rabada and Morris ran through the rest of the SRH batting as Capitals avenged their Kotla defeat.
Earlier, the 21-year-old Ahmed made early inroads as he dismissed Prithvi Shaw in his first over and then removed Shikhar Dhawan in his next over. Shaw was done in by extra bounce and was caught behind while left-handed Dhawan hooked Ahmed straight into Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s hands at fine leg.
New Zealand left-hander Colin Munro, who came in for Colin Ingram, played a gutsy counter-attack for an entertaining 24-ball 40 as he slammed Ahmed for two sixes and two fours. But after hitting Abhishek Sharma for a six, he edged the left-arm spinner to Bairstow. Delhi were reduced to 69 for 3 in eight overs.
Even as wickets fell at regular intervals, DC’s runs flowed. Iyer showed good touch. He batted with a lot of authority and there were a few telling strokes. DC raced off to 102 for 3 in 12 overs. But SRH bowled tight in the middle overs, particularly Sandeep Sharma, to bounce back into the match. Iyer (40-ball 45; 5×4), who was involved in a 47-ball 56 run-stand with Pant, lost his patience and gloved Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Pant followed Iyer as his one-handed shot saw the ball landing in Deepak Hooda’s hands at long on to give Ahmed his third wicket. Delhi slipped.
Leg spinner Rashid Khan took his seventh wicket from seven matches by scalping Chris Morris’ wicket. Bhuvneshwar, who got much-needed rest, looked a much better bowler today. He captured two wickets in his four over spell.
SRH made four changes as they brought in Williamson, Ricky Bhui, Khaleel Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma in place of Mohd Nabi, Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey and Siddharth Kaul.