Chasing a target of 220 was never easy but Delhi Capitals lacked intent and eventually faltered in the chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Tuesday.
Sunrisers beat Delhi by 88 runs to stay alive in the tournament.
David Warner led from the front by scoring a 34-ball 66 (8×4, 2×6) and then, took two catches to help dismiss the in-form Shikhar Dhawan —for a golden duck off Sandeep Sharma’s third ball — and Marcus Stoinis (5, 6b, 1×4) off Shahbaz Nadeem inside the powerplay.
He even took the right DRS call towards the back end of the game that saw the end of Rishabh Pant (36, 35b, 3×4, 1×6). Ajinkya Rahane (26, 19b, 3×4, 1×6) tried to build a partnership with Shimron Hetmyer (16, 13b, 3×4) but that was cut short by leg-spinner Rashid Khan. The right-hander failed to read the googly and was trapped in front of his stumps. The West Indian exposed his stumps while trying to attempt a cross-batted shot and allowed the spinner to clean him up.
Shreyas Iyer (7, 12b) batted at No. 6 and couldn’t do much after losing half the side under 60.
Rashid recorded his best figures of the season (3/7) to strangle Delhi. He bowled 17 dot balls to finish with an economy of 1.80.
The Warner, Saha show
Warner and Wriddhiman Saha (87, 45b, 12×4, 2×6), who replaced Jonny Bairstow, built on the already-handsome net run rate of +0.029 to finish at +0.396 — one of the factors that can help the side qualify.
Saha — playing his second game of the season and that too, after a month’s gap — swept the spinners and pulled the quick bowlers with gusto to lift Sunrisers to 219 for the loss of two wickets.
With 77 in the first six overs without losing a wicket, Sunrisers recorded their best powerplay performance of the season with Warner taking on fast bowler Kagiso Rabada to score 22 in an over. The southpaw smashed four fours and a six to completely change the momentum. The signature slash cut, swiping over the cow corner and the flat-batted strikes left the Delhi fielders clueless.
Warner and Saha added 107 runs off 58 balls before Ravichandran Ashwin sent down a loopy off-break to entice the left-hander; the mistimed lofted shot found Axar Patel at extra cover.
Saha looked set for his second IPL hundred, first in six years, but he mistimed a length ball from Anrich Nortje to find Iyer at mid-off. However, he provided the platform for Sunrisers bowlers to explode.
Ashwin (1/35) and Nortje (1/37) were the only bowlers among wickets.
Last year, Sunrisers Hyderabad had qualified for the playoffs with 12 points and this time around, Delhi Capitals is still fighting to go through despite 14 points in its kitty.
With this huge win, Sunrisers have moved to the sixth spot. They are tied with Rajasthan Royals on the points table (10 points each) but their current net run rate is better than Royals (-0.505), Kings XI Punjab (-0.049) and Kolkata Knight Riders (-0.479) who are also vying for the fourth spot.