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Saturday, October 24, 2020

DC vs SRH: Sun rises eventually for Hyderabad at the expense of Delhi Capitals

Rashid Khan's triple strike made all the difference for Sunrisers Hyderabad as his team registered its first win of the IPL 2020 campaign against Delhi Capitals.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Updated: September 30, 2020 3:57:56 pm
DC vs SRH: Sun rises eventually for Hyderabad at the expense of Delhi CapitalsRashid Khan starred for Sunrisers Hyderabad with a 3/14. (Source: IPL)

Rashid Khan mesmerised with his spin while David Warner’s captaincy was superb. A slow Abu Dhabi pitch notwithstanding, Sunrisers Hyderabad were defending just about a par total. They had little margin for error, especially after two losses in their first two games. The Rashid-Warner combo helped Sunrisers secure their first win in this IPL. Their victory margin, 15 runs, though, doesn’t tell the whole story.

Sunrisers’ efforts were even more laudable for the fact that they bowled second and had to counter the dew. From the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar to young Abhishek Sharma, everybody stood up to be counted. But Rashid was the x-factor, while his captain was the mastermind.

Rashid weaves magic

Rashid came into the attack in the eighth over. Capitals had a slow start all right, but with Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer at the crease and big hitters to follow, a steep asking rate was still not a factor. Sunrisers needed wickets. The leg-spinner accounted for Iyer with a tossed-up delivery that he held back a little. The Capitals skipper went for a lofted drive over cover but was beaten in the air. Also, the bat turned in his hand. Sunrisers had the wicket they were looking for.

Dhawan was relying on the sweep shot to counter the spinners. Rashid removed him with a wrong ’un in his third over, as the batsman was declared out on referral. After three overs, Rashid’s figures read: 3-0-10-2.

The leggie returned to bowl his final over at the death. Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis were batting and the equation – 49 runs off 24 balls – was still pretty gettable. Pant went for a premeditated sweep, but Rashid had bowled the delivery a tad slower. The left-hander was caught at deep-square by Priyam Garg.

Rashid had just one wicket in the first two matches. On Tuesday, he returned with 3/14 in four overs. Still early days in this IPL, but Sunrisers needed to get their campaign underway.

And his brilliance was not restricted to just picking game-turning wickets. Rashid was the reason why Warner could continue with left-arm spinner Sharma against Capitals’ left-handed batsmen. With wickets falling at one end, Capitals batsmen didn’t have the leeway to target the youngster.

Warner’s masterclass

Warner is the heart of this Sunrisers team. He is yet to get a big score in this tournament but his 33-ball 45 ensured that his team had a good start after being sent in. When Sunrisers fielded, Warner’s plan choked the opponents. The way he held back Rashid’s final over was excellent. He had a clear plan for his bowlers – try to take sixes out of the equation, bowl full and force the batsmen to hit towards the long boundary.

Warner directed his bowlers to target the block hole. Left-arm seamer T Natarajan was the best among the Sunrisers bowlers with regards to executing yorkers. Kumar gave the early breakthrough by dismissing Prithvi Shaw in the first over and then returned to take the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer. Sunrisers bowlers were bowling to a clear plan, laid out by their skipper. The team’s batting, too, was professional.

Jonny Bairstow scored a half-century. Kane Williamson played a lovely hand, coming in from the cold and a quadriceps injury. Sunrisers had laboured to 38 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay. Only two fours and a six had been hit in the first six overs, both by Warner.

The skipper got out after getting a start and the Sunrisers batting wasn’t finding the required tempo. Bairstow, too, wasn’t timing the ball well. He fell prey to a mistimed pull off Kagiso Rabada. But Sunrisers didn’t panic.

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Even Abdul Samad, who made his IPL debut, swung fearlessly at the death. He connected one pretty well for a six but missed a few as well. But the young man from Jammu & Kashmir didn’t look under pressure. Once again, credit to Warner for allowing a debutant to be fearless.

As for Capitals, they are an evolving team. They came into this game after back-to-back wins. But on Tuesday, Sunrisers outplayed them in all three departments. Iyer elected to field because of the dew factor in the second half. He probably misread the pitch. The decision to give Axar Patel only two overs didn’t augur well either. Iyer’s captaincy is still a work in progress. Warner’s captaincy masterclass must have given him plenty to learn.

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