Bowlers give DC a second successive win
Delhi Capitals’ bowlers, led by their spin duo of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, were pivotal in their successful defence of 144, that gave them a much-needed win and drew them level on points with their opponents SRH, who made a meal of the chase.
A turgid start to the chase
Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to a rather watchful start, with Harry Brook struggling to get the boundaries initially. Mayank Agarwal was the quicker one in comparison but SRH managed only 36 in the Powerplay while Brook fell, missing a scoop against Nortje. The pattern continued with Rahul Tripathi and Mayank being choked by the spinners. The run-rate kept shooting up, but SRH only managed to stitch together a partnership that was worth 38 in as many balls. This, eventually, proved to be the pivotal point in the game.
A spin choke
Axar Patel (2/21 in 4) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/22 in 4) were the ones to turn the game around, especially in the middle overs that left the pacers with more to play with later in the innings. Axar picked up the crucial wickets of Mayank (holing out to long on 49) and Aiden Markram (chopping on) while Kuldeep and Ishant Sharma struck in between to trigger a stunning collapse as SRH went from 69/1 to 85/5.
Mukesh closes it out
SRH mounted a challenged with 56 needed off the final five overs as Heinrich Klassen and Washington Sundar found timely boundaries late in the innings. But as Klassen holed out to the deep, Washington was left with a target of 13 in the final over. But Mukesh Kumar managed to nail his yorkers and angles to perfection in that over, closing out a small redemption for him having conceded 15 in his previous over.
How was David Warner’s ‘homecoming’?
Loud, boisterous cheers apart, it eventually turned out to be quite sweet thanks to his bowlers.
For nothing went right with the bat. Having made the decision to bat, he saw his new partner (Phil Salt in for the dropped Prithvi Shaw) depart for a duck in the first over, and saw the rest of the batters huff and puff through the innings.
Why was it difficult?
Because SRH made it difficult for them right through. And DC helped that cause. Just As Mitchell Marsh, fresh off a 19-run over from Marco Jansen, was beginning to tee office was trapped LBW on review by T Natarajan. That put the brakes on the DC train.
Washington derails DC
DC could have still made their way to a bigger total had it not been for the hara-kiri committed in one over, the 8th of the innings bowled by Washington Sundar. First Warner went for a big slog sweep, and holed out to fine leg before Sarfaraz mirrored the dismissal a ball later. The new batter Aman Khan proceeded to loft without looking in successive deliveries, only to be caught off the second. At 62/5, DC looked down and out.
A rescue act
The innings could have spiraled out of control at that point but their experience helped them out of it. Manish Pandey and Axar Patel put on a 69-run stand that not only rescued DC from the dumps, but also pushed them towards a competitive total. The duo did not take any undue risks but were efficient in stitching the runs together, before DC stuttered again.
SRH were clinical on the field inflicting as many as three run outs, including that of Manish Pandey. In between this was the brilliance of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who finished with 2/11 in his four overs, including the wicket of Axar. With both set batters unavailable for the finish, DC meandered to a middling total of 144.
Brief Scores: DC 144/9 (Manish Pandey 34, Axar Patel 34; Washington Sundar 3-28) beat SRH 137/6 (Mayank Agarwal 49; Axar Patel 2/21) by 7 runs
More of the same. Both teams will clash again in the return fixture at Delhi on April 29.