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Sunrisers Hyderabad (184/1) bt. Delhi Daredevils (180/4) by four runs
Sunrisers Hyderabad chalked up their first points of the 2014 IPL with a thrilling victory over the Delhi Daredevils in Dubai.
In a commanding afternoon for batsmen, Sunrisers won the toss and elected to bat against the Devils, who welcomed former England star Kevin Pietersen to the fold for the first time.
It didn’t take long for Pietersen to find himself at the heart of the action, taking the catch for the first wicket of the match as Shikhar Dhawan fell for 33 thanks to Shahbaz Nadeem’s delivery.
Dhawan had formed a strong opening partnership with Aaron Finch, bringing up 55 at the end of the powerplay without loss, and Finch went on to record a superb knock after his partner’s dismissal.
The Australian romped to an 88 from just 53 balls with his wicket still intact as the final over came around, with his fellow countryman David Warner also putting together and impressive innings.
Warner played his way to 58 runs without dismissal, featuring three sixes and three fours, as SRH set the bar at 184.
It was always going to be a difficult chase for Delhi but they put in a valiant effort when it was their turn to take to the crease, taking it to the final over.
The Daredevils’ openers Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay started well, bringing up the team’s 50 in the seventh over, but fell in quick succession as DD stumbled around the 100 mark.
Pietersen started his IPL career with a disappointing 16 as Dale Steyn’s delivery took his wicket. Steyn was a ball away from a hat-trick after taking out Dinesh Karthik and Pietersen in successive deliveries, but settled for a 2-for-33 haul at the end of the match.
DD needed 20 from the last over, but couldn’t quite cross the line as Sunrisers chalked up an impressive victory.
Chennai Super Kings will be Sunrisers’ next opponents, where Finch, Warner and Co. will have to once again be at their best if their to stand any chance of thwarting CSK’s IPL title-chasing freight train.
All statistics via IPLT20.com.
Chennai Super Kings (142/3) bt. Mumbai Indians (141/7) by seven wickets
Mumbai Indians’ miserable title defence continued in Dubai on Friday, as Chennai Super Kings moved level on points with Kings XI Punjab at the top of the IPL table with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over John Wright’s side.
Mumbai won the toss and chose to bat, but failed to take advantage of favourable conditions as the Super Kings’ bowlers continued their strong form.
Ben Hilfenhaus took the wicket of his international teammate Michael Hussey in the second over, and the tone was set from then onwards.
Mohit Sharma was the star of the show for CSK, taking four wickets for just 14 runs with 14 dot balls. The medium-fast bowler took three of his four wickets in the 18th over, dismissing Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh in double-quick time.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma once again showed why he’s one of the hottest properties in the IPL with a half-century, but that was as good as it got for the 2013 champions as they set a very reachable total of 141/7.
Chennai kicked off with the bat in thrilling style, with openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum firing their way to 51 in the powerplay as Mumbai’s bowlers struggled.
After Smith was dismissed for 29 in the seventh over, McCullum took it upon himself to guide the Super Kings to victory almost single-handedly.
The New Zealander scored 71 from 53 balls to see his team across the line with MS Dhoni his supporting act at the crease as the final runs clocked up.
The Super Kings look in imperious form this season, and bar a crippling loss to league leaders Punjab, they’ve played perfectly.
Mumbai, though, are now the only side without points on the board after Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a victory earlier on Friday, and they need to find inspiration from somewhere as their campaign looks like petering out into nothingness.
The Indians take on Delhi Daredevils on Sunday in the battle of the bottom two, where they’ll need to be far better with the ball if they’re to find a way to their first victory of the season.
All statistics via IPLT20.com.