After two forgettable performances in the IPL 2020, Sunrisers Hyderabad's mystery spinner Rashid Khan has shown yet again that he has it in him to turn matches around on his own as he picked three big wickets against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi to ensure a comfortable 15-run win for his side's maiden victory in 13th edition of the tournament.
The 22-year-old Afghan spinner, removed Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer (17 runs off 21 balls), Shikhar Dhawan (34 off 31) and Rishabh Pant (26 off 21), all at crucial stages of the game, to ensure DC doesn't reach the 163-run target set by SRH batsmen after sent in to bat first.
Chasing 163, DC found trouble early with SRH pacer Bhuvneswar Kumar cheaply removing DC’s last-match star Prithvi Shaw (2 off 5) in the opening over. Run hardly came for DC after the early setback and unlike Iyer’s prediction, who came to bat at no.3, dew wasn’t really looking to be the factor.
This looked evident when Iyer (21 off 17) fell on the very first ball of Rashid Khan’s over after his attempt to hit the ball over cover could only found Abdul Samad, leaving DC stuttering at 42/2 at the beginning of 8th over. Rashid struck again when he got a set opener Shikhar Dhawan (34 off 31) stumped 20 runs later.
No. 4 Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer got the team back into the game after the duo smashed four sixes in a 22-ball 42 run partnership before Hetmyer’s (21 off 12) cameo was ended by Bhuvneswar at the beginning of 15th over with 104 runs on board.
Two good overs, with no boundaries and two big wickets of hard hitters Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis, by Rashid Khan (14/3) and T Natarajan (25/1) respectively, left DC with a tough ask of chasing 37 in last two overs.
Pant (26 off 21) followed him next as he threw away his wicket in an attempt to clear Rashid over the fine leg in the 17th over while no boundaries came off the over. This was piled on by a brilliant over by Natarajan, marred with perfect yorkers, to picked the big wicket of Marcus Stoinis at the end of it.
Earlier in the first innings, Sunrisers were off to a strong start as David Warner and Jonny Bairstow built a steady partnership on a pitch that appeared to be slower than the previous game played here. The two overseas stars saw out the initial overs and avoided risk in the powerplay as the 50 came up at the end of 7th over.
Warner then had a shift in gear as he started punishing DC bowlers, who were not able get through the Aussie left-hander. But the SRH skipper (45 off 33) couldn’t convert the good start as his attempt to reverse sweep Amit Mishra saw him caught behind by Rishabh Pant off faint of edges. With 80 runs on board at the end of 10th over, Warner gave his side a strong base to build on.
Kane Williamson took the centre stage from here as New Zealand skipper was in a class of his own from the moment he arrived at the crease. After seeing out initial deliveries, the 30-year-old smashed four boundaries in 16th-17 overs to take SRH close to 150 while Bairstow completed his second 50 of the season.
Bairstow (53 off 48) fell soon after as Rabada cramped him for a room in an attempted slog-sweep to see him caught at deep mid-off region with the scoreboard locked at 144/3.
With Williamson in the strike, SRH hoped of posing big total but DC’s death bowling showed their classes again as SRH’s innings was halted at 162/4. Williamson (41 off 26) was the last wicket to fall to Rabada, who was pick among bowlers with 21/2 spell.