Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad players seen during their IPL match at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. Courtsey: IPL website
Mohamad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Riding on a fascinating bowling performances of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada, Delhi Capitals all but ended the play-off hopes of Sunrisers Hyderabad with an eight-wicket victory in their IPL match on Wednesday.
After restricting Hyderabad to 134/9, Delhi went over the finish line for the loss of only two wickets with 13 balls remaining.
Delhi were in cruise control despite losing Prithivi Shaw, who did not look like a pale shadow of himself as he struggled during his brief stint at the crease, during the chase.
Khalil Ahmed gave Hyderabad an early breakthrough by removing Shaw but they failed to keep the pressure on as Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer shared a 52-run stand for the second wicket to steady the ship.
Both the batsmen played sensibly and took calculated risks to keep the run rate under control.
Rashid broke the partnership to bring a temporary respite in the camp of Hyderabad.
Dhawan hit six fours and one six in his 37-ball 39.
After his departure, Rishab Pant and Iyer kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and couples, hitting occasional boundaries as Delhi slowly but steadily cruised towards the finish line.
Once they got near the target, both changed the gears and started cutting loose. Pant scored an unbeaten 21-ball 35 while Iyer remained not out on 47 off 41 balls as Delhi reached the target without any more hiccups.
Pant smashed three boundaries and two sixes while Iyer struck two fours and as many hits over the top.
Earlier, the pace duo of Delhi - Nortje and Rabada - showed the chunk in the Hyderabad’s fragile batting line-up, which revolves around Warner and Williamson effectively.
Rabada returned with a figure of 3-37 while Nortje claimed two wickets, conceding only 12 runs.
They were well assisted by Axar Patel, who also picked up two wickets for 21.
Nortje gave Delhi a dream start as he pushed Hyderabad on the back foot from the word go by getting rid of the dangerman David Warner for a nought.
Nortje had the Australian caught by Patel off the third ball of the match as Hyderabad lost their first and the most important wicket with zero runs on the board.
Wriddhiman Saha and the Williamson knuckled down to the repair the damage. They added 29 runs for the second wicket in a bid to bring the innings back on the track.
But, when the things were looking to be coming under control, Rabada struck, sending Saha back to the pavilion by getting him caught by Dhawan.
Saha tried to a pull delivery from outside the off-stump line and ended up slicing it over the midwicket where an agile Dhawan made no mistake.
Williamson along with Manish Pandey took the score to 60 before the former holed out to Hetmyer off Patel.
Williamson came down the track to hit Patel over the top, but failed to get to the pitch of the ball, hitting it high up in the air and Hetmyer completed a clean catch at the long off.
After the departure of Williamson, Pandey also could not last long and he became the second victim of Rabada. The South African quick caught him off his own bowling, reducing Hyderabad to 61-4.
Hyderabad kept on losing the wickets on regular intervals and failed to get the partnership going. Their batsmen had no reply to Delhi’s bowlers.
Nortje trapped Kedar Jadhav in front of wicket to give Hyderabad another jolt, leaving them in tatters.
They looked set to be out for under the score hundred at one stage.
Abdula Samad and Rashid Khan came to the rescue of Hyderabad after all the top batsmen were back in the pavilion with one third of the overs still to go.
Samad and Rashid played resolute knocks to anchor the faltering innings. They added a valuable 25 runs for the seventh wicket.
Both of them played watchful innings, making sure that Hyderabad did not lose more wickets at that stage. Rashid hit two boundaries and one six in his 21-ball 22 while Samad scored 28 off 21 deliveries, dotted with two hits to the fence and one over it.
Rabada removed Samad for his third scalp of the match while Rashid was found short of crease while scrambling for a run as Hyderabad posted 137/9 in their 20 overs.
In a major blow to Chennai Super Kings, veteran batsman Suresh Raina will not be available for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) slated to be played in the UAE from Sept.19.
The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set for a blockbuster opening with defending champions Mumbai Indians resuming their long-standing fabled rivalry with seasoned favourites Chennai Super Kings on Saturday evening at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to put their stuttering Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign back on track in their crucial match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Tuesday after an utterly lacklustre first half of the league
Namibia reached the Twenty20 World Cup second round for the first time on Friday when they defeated Ireland by eight wickets.World number 19 Namibia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, chased down their modest target of 126 with skipper Gerhard Erasmus making an unbeaten 53.
Fans from both the nations have shown immense interest in watching Sunday's game in Dubai as tickets for the key contest were sold out hours after they went on sale early this month.
Ireland and Namibia face off in a knockout clash of the T20 World Cup with a Super 12 berth at stake in Sharjah on Friday. The match will mark the exit for the loser while winners will punch a ticket for the Super 12, which gets under way on Oct.23.