Wriddhiman Saha stamped his class with a 45-ball 87 before Rashid Khan dished out a clinical bowling performance as Sunrisers Hyderabad kept themselves alive in the race for the Indian Premier League playoffs with an 88-run win over Delhi Capital in Dubai on Tuesday.
Asked to bat first, splendid knocks by Saha (87), skipper David Warner (66) and Manish Pandey (44) powered Sunrisers to 219/2. Star spinner Rashid then led a fine bowling display to end with the impressive figures of 4-0-7-3, the best bowling figures by any bowler this season.
The Afghan bowled an astonishing 17 dot balls in his quota of four overs, helping his side bowl out the Capitals for 131 in 19 overs.
Sunrisers (10 points) have now moved up to sixth from seventh position with this win, while the Capitals, who slumped to their third consecutive loss, were pushed down to the third spot with 14 points.
Chasing a stiff target, it was a rather ordinary performance by the the Capitals batsmen. Shikhar Dhawan (0) and Marcus Stoinis (5), who was elevated to number 3, perished in the first two overs.
Ajinkya Rahane (26) and Shimron Heytmyer (16) quickly started the recovery work, stitching a 40 run stand, the highest for their team. The duo targeted Jason Holder, collecting 22 runs in the sixth over as Delhi reached 54 for two at the end of the Powerplay overs.
However, Rashid dealt Delhi with twin blows, getting rid of both Rahane and Hetmyer in the seventh over. Skipper Shreyas Iyer (7) was next to depart as wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals.
Seven of Delhi’s batsmen failed to reach double digits with Rishabh Pant (36) being the top scorer.
While Rashid was the pick of the bowlers for Sunrisers, Sandeep Sharma (2/27) and T Natarajan (2/26) picked two wickets apiece. Vijay Shankar(1/11), Shahbaz Nadeem (1/8), Holder (1/46) took a wicket each.
Earlier, both openers Warner, who looked in good nick, and Saha, playing his second game of the season, went after the Delhi bowlers from the word go.
Fully capitalising on the field restrictions, the duo smashed boundaries (11 fours and two sixes) every over to collect 77-runs in the first six overs, the best Poweplay figures of the season.
In the sixth over, Warner smashed the tournament’s leading wicket-taker Kagiso Rabada (0/54) for four boundaries and a six, helping the Sunrisers reach 100 runs in just 8.4 overs. Till Warner was taking on the bowlers, Saha played second fiddle to perfection.
The Australian celebrated his 34th birthday with a half-century off just 25 balls, hitting two sixes and eight fours at the Dubai International Stadium.
To Delhi’s relief Ravichandran Ashwin (1/35) broke the 107-run opening stand in the 10th over as he dismissed danger man Warner, who was caught at extra cover by Axar Patel.
With Warner gone, Saha hammered the Capitals bowlers all around the park. The wicketkeeper batsman reached his fifty in style with a boundary. He plundered 12 fours and two sixes before pacer Anrich Nortje (1/37) dismissed him in the 15th over.
Pandey and Kane Williamsion (11 not out) continued the assault on a listless Delhi bowling unit.
(With inputs from PTI)
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