New Delhi, Apr 5:
A combined bowling performance, followed by a blistering knock from Jonny Bairstow helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets on a sluggish track at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday. With three points under their bag, Hyderabad now sits at top of the table on the basis of superior NRR.
Asked to bat, Delhi batsmen struggled big time against Hyderabad’s quality bowling on a pitch that wasn’t easy to bat on. Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel tried their best but all Delhi could manage in their 20 overs were 129 runs, at the expense of eight wickets.
In reply, Bairstow smacked 48 in just 28 deliveries, studded with nine fours and a six, to give Hyderabad a solid platform. The visiting team then lost wickets in clusters but lack of runs meant Delhi could never challenge Hyderabad, who finished on 131 for 5 in 18.3 overs.
Earlier, Prithvi Shaw (11) started the proceedings with a boundary through the cover region but it didn’t take much time for Bhuvneshwar Kumar to get his line and length right.
The right-arm seamer, who has struggled in the last couple of games, knocked over Shaw with a traditional off-cutter, picking up his first wicket of the season. Shaw didn’t read the delivery and played an ugly heave across the line, only to see the off-stump cartwheeling.
Both Bhuvneshwar and Mohammad Nabi kept Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer quite for the first four overs, giving them nothing to capitalise on. Iyer broke the shackles by lofting Siddarth Kaul for a maximum over long on before Dhawan managed to sweep Nabi for his first boundary. The willy offspinner, however, forced Dhawan to play a similar shot and had him caught at short fine leg. The left-handed opener looked far from his best and could only manage 12 runs against his former team.
Having been reduced to 36 for 2 at the end of six overs, Delhi needed some stability, something you don’t associate Rishabh Pant with. The left-handed dasher waited for a couple of deliveries before throwing his bat off Nabi’s bowling, only to offer a simple catch to the long-off fielder. While Iyer was operating smartly from one end, Delhi kept losing wickets from the other end.
There was hardly any contribution from Rahul Tewatia (5) and Colin Ingram (5) as Delhi lost their five wickets with just 75 runs on the board. Iyer found the fence a couple of times but the moment he tried to up the ante, the Delhi skipper was knocked over by Rashid Khan’s googly. Iyer hit three fours and a six in his 41-ball 43 but couldn’t take Delhi close to that 150-run mark.
Chris Morris was always going to find it tough on this track and that’s exactly what happened. The South African all-rounder clobbered one over deep square leg before falling to Bhuvneshwar for 17. The home side needed a couple of big blows to get to a respectable total and that’s when Axar stepped in.
The left-hander first slammed Bhuvneshwar for a four over extra cover in the last ball of the penultimate over before smoking Siddarth Kaul for two sixes in the final over. Axar managed 23 in 13 balls and made sure Delhi had something to bowl to.
Iyer started with Sandeep Lamichhane and Axar and the two spinners kept David Warner and Bairstow in check for the first two overs. Having got his eye in, Bairstow opened his shoulders in the next over and hammered Lamichhane for a 6 and 4 to get things going.
The wicketkeeper-batsman from England looked like he was batting on a different surface and didn’t spare any Delhi bowler during his stay in the middle. Bairstow managed four boundaries off Morris’ single over and then greeted Kagiso Rabada with three more. The 29-year-old didn’t allow any bowler to settle in and played his shots all around the park.
The visiting side were going over 10 runs per over till the sixth over before Tewatia pinned Bairstow right in front of the stumps, denying him a well-deserved half-century. This is the first time Warner and Bairstow haven’t managed a 100-run stand in this season. Once Bairstow departed, Warner tried to open up but up ended up hitting one straight to the mid-off fielder, perishing for 18-ball 10.
Hyderabad were in complete control of the match and all Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey had to do was kept the scoreboard moving with strike rotation. The two did well for a while before Pandey was caught at deep square leg for 10 in Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Vijay too failed to complete the job, falling to Axar for 16.
Things slightly started to heat up when Lamichhane dismissed Deepak Hooda (10) in the last ball of his spell. However, coming in at No. 7, Nabi slammed 4, 4 and 6 in the space of six deliveries to get the job done alongside Yusuf Pathan.