Delhi Daredevils paid the price for shoddy batting as they virtually crashed out of the IPL losing to Sunrisers by eight wickets via D/L method at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in an encounter interrupted by intermittent showers.
Sent into bat, Delhi frittered away a good start to post a modest 143 for seven in the game which witnessed as many as four rain interruptions, forcing the D/L method to come into effect. Sunrisers needed 43 off five overs and they knocked off the runs in 4.2 overs to log home full points.
Daredevils have now lost seven out of nine matches and are well on course of finishing as ‘Wooden Spooners’ in the seventh edition of the cash-rich league.
It was another pathetic display by Daredevils batsmen and JP Duminy (4)’s failure meant that they scored only 22 in the last five overs with both Dale Steyn (2/20) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/23) turning out to be unplayable in the end.
The match saw as many as four interruptions. The first 73 minutes rain break during Delhi’s innings hardly had any impact on the match but the next three interruptions brought the D/L method into picture.
The second rain interruption occurred just before the start of the second innings which set a revised target of 115 runs off 15 overs befor the Sunrisers.
The heavens again opened up for a brief period when Sunrisers were on 11 for no loss in 1.1 overs after which the Sunrisers were set a new revised target of 97 runs off 12 overs.
The ground staff of the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium had a busy day in office as another little drizzle came to spoil the party for an astonishing fourth time in the match.
The downpour did not last long but brought D/L method into equation again. The match was later reduced to five overs and under the revised target, Sunrisers required 43 runs for a victory.
As Sunrisers had already scored 17 runs off two overs for the loss of captain Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket, the Hyderabad outfit need 26 more runs off 18 balls when play resumed again.
Sunrisers lost Aaron Finch’s wicket but Naman Ojha (13 not out) and David Warner (12 not out) ensured the win for their side by overwhelming the target with four balls to spare with eight wickets in hand.
It was Ojha who finished off the chase in style with a six off Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
Earlier, sent into bat, Dinesh Karthik made 39 off 30 balls with the help of a four and two sixes, while skipper Kevin Pietersen made a quickfire 35 off 19 deliveries before giving away his wicket. He laced his knock with fours boundaries and two huge hits over the fence.
The struggling hosts lost wickets at regular intervals and could only manage 22 in the last five overs.
Also the baffling decision to send Laxmi Ratan Shukla (21 off 22 balls) ahead of JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav yet another time didn’t work at all. The Karthik-Shukla duo played 52 balls between them and contributed 60 runs which can be called slow in terms of T20 cricket.
Delhi lost Quinton de Kock (7) in the third over. During his 12-ball stay at the wicket the South African looked nervy and got out in a timid way when he struck a Dale Steyn (2/20) length ball straight to Lokesh Rahul at cover.
Pietersen’s decision to promote himself up the order in place of opener Murali Vijay, who was dropped for today’s match, turned out to be a good move as he looked in great touch during his quickfire knock.
Pietersen, who has found it tough to get going so far in this IPL, looked in good touch today. He opened up his arms by hitting consecutive boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The former England player then welcomed leg-spinner Karn Sharma with a six over and a four to make his intentions clear.
Soon after, he clobbered Moises Henriques for a six over long-on and followed it up with a four straight past the bowler as Delhi reached 52 runs in six overs.
But leg-spinner Amit Mishra (2/23), introduced into the attack in the seventh over, turned the momentum in favour Hyderabad by removing dangerman Pietersen, who happened to be his 100th wicket of IPL.
Pietersen gave Mishra the charge and tried to loft the bowler over the off side only to mis-time it and give a straight forward catch to opposition captain Shikhar Dhawan at cover.
An over later, Mishra scalped his second victim of the day by dismissing Mayank Agarwal (25), who was holed out to David Warner at deep mid-wicket.
Karthik and Laxmi Ratan Shukla then joined hands and shared 30 runs off 26 balls before rain interrupted play. Delhi were 103 for three in 13.1 overs when bad weather stopped the proceedings.
The match resumed after one hour 13 minutes but the break hardly had any impact on Delhi batsman as Karthik smashed Sharma for a six and a four in consecutive balls to keep up the ante.
But just after nothing up their 50-run stand for the fourth wicket both Karthik and Shukla departed in quick succession, both falling to Henriques (2/26).
Once again Delhi’s bizarre decision to send Shukla ahead of JP Duminy backfired as the in-form South African, who went out to bat in the 18th over, failed to make an impact and could only manage a run-a-ball.