That Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting line-up is as top-heavy as the wealth distribution in a capitalistic society is no news to anyone. The familiar story wasn’t any different against Delhi Daredevils on Thursday.
The result was an impressive seven-wicket victory by Daredevils with 11 balls to spare.
Being sent in to bat on a lively track, Sunrisers got off to another flier courtesy captain David Warner. After a slight look-in, the Australian let loose, hitting consecutive boundaries off Mohammad Shami and Jayant Yadav.
Before he was castled for 46, Warner combined with Shikhar Dhawan to put on an opening stand of 67. The groundwork had been laid by the time Amit Mishra dismissed Dhawan, with the hosts at 98 off 13 overs. The rearguard, however, gave in as the hosts could only muster 48 runs off the remaining 42 balls to finish at 146.
Delhi’s performance was polar opposite. Led by Quinton de Kock’s 44, the team saw contributions from everyone, with Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson notching up confidence-boosting thirties. The youngsters were unbeaten and took on the home team’s pace attack in the final stages to seal the win..
Hyderabad’s admirable pace battery -- Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran – which has time and again bailed out the table-toppers couldn’t repeat their heroics against the composed Daredevils. Save for Nehra, the quartet couldn’t pick up a wicket or contain the runflow.
The underwhelming middle-order means Hyderabad rely almost solely on the openers. Three out of every five runs scored by the team have been by Warner (515) and Dhawan (377). Their next top-scorer is Kiwi Kane Williamson (117 runs), who for his part, trudged to 27 off 24 but failed to provide the required impetus to the innings towards the end.
Absence of a power-hitter has long been the Sunrisers’ bane, one they thought they had warded off after roping in Yuvraj Singh for R7 crore. The 34-year-old has however blown hot and cold since returning from an injury lay-off, the duel with Amit Mishra in the 14th over summing up his form.
After hitting the second ball for a Yuvi-special over long on, the southpaw couldn’t score off the next three and holed out to Rishabh Pant at fineleg off a rank bad delivery.
A golden duck for Moises Henriques meant additional pressure on Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha who couldn’t bring the goods – the former becoming the second Hyderabad batsman to get out hit-wicket this season after Yuvraj dislodged his bails against Mumbai Indians.
Mishra’s tight overs in the middle and effective death bowling from Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Morris ensured no late haemorrhages for Delhi, who are now third on the points table.