Battling countless rain interruptions as well as their opponents, Hyderabad Sunrisers (44/2) were able to do just enough to defeat Delhi Daredevils (143/7) in Saturday IPL action, winning by eight wickets via the D/L method, as shared by Cricbuzz:
The eight-wicket win takes Sunrisers straight into the top four and could have tremendous implications with an eye on the upcoming play-offs. Being in control for much of the afternoon, the difficult conditions had Hyderabad fearing they might have to share the points with an under-performing Daredevils squad.
But an incredible 13 runs on just three balls, including the final six, saw Naman Ojha boost his team into play-off position with a very important win.
Delhi needed a win to have any hope of qualifying for the play-offs coming into this match, and the team made several changes to the starting XI, including the introduction of leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
|Delhi Daredevils (143/7)|
|Quinton de Kock||c Lokesh Rahul b Dale Steyn||7||12||58.33||0||0|
|Kevin Pietersen||c Shikhar Dhawan b Amit Mishra||35||19||184.21||4||2|
|Mayank Agarwal||c David Warner b Amit Mishra||25||18||138.88||4||0|
|Dinesh Karthik||c Dale Steyn b Moises Henriques||39||30||130.00||1||2|
|Laxmi Ratan Shukla||c David Warner b Moises Henriques||21||22||95.45||1||1|
|JP Duminy||b Bhuvneshwar Kumar||4||5||80.00||0||0|
|Kedar Jadhav||c Irfan Pathan b Dale Steyn||5||11||45.45||0||0|
|Rahul Shukla||NOT OUT||2||3||66.66||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 1, lb 4)||5|
|TOTAL||(7 wickets; 20 overs)||143|
Batting first, Daredevils got solid production early in the innings, with Kevin Pietersen scoring 35 of 19, Mayank Agarwal adding 25 of 18 and Dinesh Karthik smashing 39 in 30.
Delhi looked to be on their way to pulling an upset, but a quick dismissal of Jean-Paul Duminy after just four runs off five balls left the team with a target of just 143. Dale Steyn's two wickets in 40 overs, giving up just 20 runs, played a big part in the final score.
He was aided by Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 23 runs in four overs, while the latter also took the wicket of Steyn. Not a single Hyderabad player bowled an economy in the double digits, a testament to the group's solid performance.
Chasing 143 for seven, the rain truly started playing its part as the multiple stoppages kept shortening the task set for Hyderabad. 143/7 turned into 117/15 and 97/12 before finally settling on 43 off five via Duckworth-Lewis.
Building any sort of rhythm is hard with so many stoppages, but after limited production from the team's openers, David Warner (12 off nine balls) and Ojha found their groove. They took advantage of a group of bowlers struggling with their placement and giving up far too many easy runs.
Laxmi Shukla gave up two sixes against Ojha, who only faced three balls, effectively gifting the match to Hyderabad. In .2 overs, Shukla gave up seven runs for an economy of 21.
|Sunrisers Hyderabad (44/2)|
|Aaron Finch||b Rahul Shukla||4||7||57.14||0||0|
|Shikhar Dhawan||c JP Duminy b Siddarth Kaul||4||8||50.00||1||0|
|David Warner||NOT OUT||12||9||133.33||1||0|
|Naman Ojha||NOT OUT||13||3||433.33||0||2|
|EXTRAS||(nb 1, w 4, b 4, lb 2)||11|
|TOTAL||(2 wickets; 4.2 overs)||44|
|Laxmi Ratan Shukla||0.2||7||0||21.00||0|
Most of his partners didn't fare any better, with Siddarth Kaul putting forth the best showing, giving up five and taking Shikhar Dhawan's wicket.
Following the team's fourth consecutive home loss, Freddie Wilde gave us a colourful description of this current Delhi team:
Delhi made the peculiar choice of fielding Duminy, their top batsman, quite late in the line-up, and his dismissal seemed to be a product of the South African trying to do too much with the target not going according to plan.
The experienced star's good season has been largely wasted on a mediocre Daredevils squad, but Duminy refused to admit the experience of being with the team was anything short of wonderful, speaking to Wisdenindia.com's Shashank Kishore:
Playing for Delhi Daredevils has been a wonderful experience. What makes the tournament a wonderful experience is the fact that you mix with different individuals, different cultures, so you learn a lot. Things may have not gone well for us in the tournament so far, but I’m hopeful we can rectify our mistakes and string a few wins.
Sunrisers will move into the top four with this win, holding the inside track for the final play-off spot. Warner and company didn't have to slug it out on Saturday, so the team will perhaps be a little more rested when they take on the Mumbai Indians in their next match.
The defending champions started the tournament in a disastrous way, going winless during the first few weeks played in the UAE. Since returning to India, however, Mumbai have gone on a furious run, looking like the hottest team in the IPL as we near the play-offs.
Hyderabad's bowling will have to be on point to stop Mumbai's deep group of batsmen, and if the Indians can score a few runs early in their innings, the Sunrisers' stay in the top four could be short lived.
Delhi now occupy the last spot on the table, and it looks very likely the team will miss the playoffs. Royal Challengers Bangalore are next on the schedule, in what will be the team's biggest must-win match of the 2014 IPL so far.
All statistics used are courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo.com, unless stated otherwise.
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