Sunrisers Hyderabad’s inept mid-order show foiled their splendid bowling effort as they collapsed in front of another in the Indian Premier League (IPL), losing Sunday’s game to Delhi Capitals via Super Over.
The tight spells of Hyderabad spinners Rashid Khan and Jagadeesha Suchith had limited the Capitals to 159 for four despite a quick 81-point position between forerunners Prithvi Shaw (53) and Shikhar Dhawan (28).
However, Hyderabad’s over-reliance on their top-notch drummers meant that once skipper David Warner (6) and Jonny Bairstow (38) were made redundant, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had to anchor the ship in perdition.
DC is currently ranked second with 8 points in five games while SRH is seventh with just one win.
With Capitals filled with proven performers, it was not possible for Williamson (66 not eliminated) to get the job done without the support of the other end. His combat blow was not enough to bring the camp home.
However, hits from Suchith (15 of 6) helped SRH even the scores and take him to the Super Over.
SRH only managed one limit, setting an easy nine-point goal for the Capitals who managed the required points despite Rashid Khan’s brilliance.
At the start of the chase after Warner’s exhaustion, it was the other opener Bairstow, who kept the run rate under control with his punching power while Williamson was his usual self-assured self.
Bairstow was sacked immediately after hitting a gigantic six from pacer Avesh Khan in seventh place.
Young Virat Singh was slow to find his feet against the top Capitals spin trio of R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra, which meant the responsibility for finding quick runs fell on drummer Kiwi.
Virat (4 of 14) consumed too many balls and was eventually sacked by Khan. This brought Kedar Jadhav (9) into the fold but he too did not last long. He was baffled by Mishra. It was the middle order that weakened again, with SRH’s chances of qualifying for the play-offs evaporating with each passing game.
SRH needed 50 points over the last five overs with Williamson holding the sleeves together.
Earlier, skipper Rishabh Pant (37) and Steve Smith (34-year-old not released) lifted a 58-point stand for the fourth wicket to secure a fight total for DC after choosing to strike.
Shaw started off with a four-way hat trick against point guard Khaleel Ahmed. They were breathtaking features, straight out of a textbook.
There was pure elegance to his cover controls, both on the ground and on the pitch as Shaw supported his timing with precision and power.
His six-time point guard Siddarth Kaul over a long distance and the ramp shot on the third man short of the same pitcher testify to his supreme touch.
Dhawan was happy to play second fiddle as the Capitals netted 51 lossless in Powerplay overs.
Left-arm spinner Suchith, playing his first game for SRH, did a decent job, giving up just 21 points in his quota of four. He constantly troubled Dhawan.
Suchith played in tandem with Khan, SRH’s top spinner over the years, as both bowlers held back the flow of the race.
Rashid also provided his team with a first breakthrough when he found Dhawan strains, ending DC’s 81-point opening position.
Shaw’s splendid shot ended in a leak after a confusion with skipper Pant.
Pant and former Australian captain Steve Smith were now two new batsmen in the crease. They kept the dashboard moving.
Smith was abandoned on the 14th by Kaul off Vijay Shankar. Khaleel had also missed an opportunity offered by Pant a few balls ago against Rashid.
The duo managed to get some limits, but SRH bowlers largely controlled the proceedings.