Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first victory of IPL 2020 by getting the better of Delhi Capitals by 15 runs in the 11th match of the tournament at Abu Dhabi. Unlike the previous two matches, this game wasn’t a high scoring one, and there was enough in the pitch for the bowlers to make an impact. Being so, SRH’s total of 162 for 4 batting first was a highly competitive one. In fact, in the end, it proved to be a match-winning one. In the wake of DC’s loss, Cricket Today takes a look at three things that the favourites for the game got wrong.
1.Allowing Warner and Bairstow to settle in
Although David Warner and Jonny Bairstow had scored runs individually prior to this match, as a pair they hadn’t clicked. The Warner-Bairstow opening combo was one of the primary reasons behind SRH’s success last season. No wonder then that SRH lost both the earlier matches in which the opening stand was broken cheaply. As such, the Warner-Bairstow combine were under pressure to perform as a unit.
The SRH duo, as well as Delhi Capitals, were well aware of this factor. And so, there was all the more reason for Delhi bowlers to put the SRH opening batsmen under the pump. The conditions were actually in the bowling side’s favour as the pitch was on the slower side. Warner and Bairstow smartly assessed the situation and ran like hares between the wickets. Delhi needed to stop them from settling in. But, both the bowlers and the fielders failed to restrict the SRH opening duo, giving the batting side a significant edge.
2.Inefficient death bowling
While Kagiso Rabada was unplayable as usual in the slog overs, he found little support from the others. Anrich Nortje was particularly disappointing on the day, conceding 40 runs in his four overs even as his pace was again right up there. With SRH losing Warner and Manish Pandey in quick succession, DC had a chance to make a strong comeback. However, things turned out to be the other way round.
While Kane Williamson came in and played a superb innings to prove what SRH had been missing in the first two games, Nortje made the task easier for the Kiwi captain by allowing him to free his arms. Williamson hammered the DC fast bowler for a couple of fours in the 16th over to put the pressure back on the bowling side. Nortje did not learn from his mistakes and conceded crucial boundaries to Abdul Samad as well in the penultimate over. Shreyas Iyer’s miscalculation made matters worse for his side. While Axar Patel conceded only 14 runs in two overs, he did not bowl again. Instead, Iyer handed over the ball to Marcus Stoinis, who was also taken for runs at the death to add to Delhi’s misery.
3.Bad shot selection by Delhi batsmen
While the SRH bowlers, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular, deserve all the plaudits for the manner in which they defended what was at best a challenging total, the Delhi batsmen should share a part of the blame for the defeat. There were a number of ordinary shots played throughout the course of the innings, which meant that Delhi could never really get into any sort of rhythm to chase down the target set by SRH.
It all began when Prithvi Shaw looked to punch a well-directed outswinger from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but only managed to edge one behind the stumps. Shikhar Dhawan threw his wicket away yet again after getting a start, going for the slog sweep against Rashid Khan. Skipper Shreyas Iyer played the worst of all shots, lofting the ball with an open face to give Rashid an easy wicket. Rishabh Pant completed Delhi’s misery by sweeping the leggie to deep square leg. DC just weren’t in their elements on the day and paid the price for the same.