Two mismatched teams entered this contest - the Delhi Capitals (DC), who were sitting pretty at the top of the points table with no losses, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who had no wins to their name.
DC would have looked to ensure that the gap between the two only increased, in order to cement their dominance over IPL 2020. As it turned out, SRH had other plans.
The SRH batting order was finally reshuffled to get 2019 ICC World Cup Player of the Tournament Kane Williamson in. The change paid immediate dividends as the former SRH skipper struck the ball fluently in his innings of 41 off 26. An unconvincing Wriddhiman Saha too made way for talked-up batting talent Abdul Samad, who showed no nerves on his IPL debut.
What worked most crucially for SRH was not just these changes, but the familiar names returning to their best form. Rashid Khan was superb in the middle overs and got rid of Rishabh Pant, who could have taken the game away from SRH, in his final over. He finished with three wickets for a paltry 14 runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was back at his economical best, as he took two important wickets and went for around run-a-ball. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow too looked in form, with the SRH captain striking at 136.36 and scoring 45 to set the team up well.
While DC bowled well, save for Anrich Nortje who was taken for a few runs, it was in the batting department where they potentially miscalculated. Not only did they find it difficult to score, they lost wickets regularly to ensure that momentum hardly rested with them. Rashid and Bhuvneshwar's fine performances made sure that SRH's lack of bowling options due to their changes did not cost them.
Here's a look at three players from the DC vs SRH IPL 2020 game who disappointed.
#3 Prithvi Shaw (DC)
The analogies to the Little Master keep coming for young Prithvi Shaw, the DC opener who shone in his debut game for the franchise in 2018 and has been a fixture in their top order since. However, Shaw endured his second failure of the season, immediately after his innings of 64 versus the Chennai Super Kings.
Facing up to a rejuvenated Bhuvneshwar who was finding swing, Shaw looked to punch an outswinger. The ball found the edge, and was pouched comfortably by SRH keeper Bairstow, and Shaw had to walk for just 2 from 5. A little more patience against a renowned swing bowler may have made the chase significantly easier for DC.
#2 Manish Pandey (SRH)
When the SRH opening partnership was broken, it gave Manish Pandey the chance of batting with freedom, since the openers had set a fine platform. Instead, Pandey took his time, playing the DC spinners with caution and rotating the strike, allowing Bairstow to deal in boundaries when the opportunity came.
In the process, Pandey put pressure on Bairstow, but was unable to score many runs himself. The choice of shot leading up to his dismissal was unwise, an attempt at clearing the square boundary off the slow bowling of Amit Mishra. Pandey walked back having scored just 3 off 5 balls, leaving the scoring to the new man Kane Williamson, who did not disappoint.
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#1 Shreyas Iyer (DC)
Apart from the bowling of the SRH stalwarts, the main issue that held the DC chase back was that nobody from their celebrated Indian top-four managed to score big. Chief among the culprits was skipper Shreyas Iyer himself, who came in at the fall of Shaw's wicket but could not capitalise on the powerplay.
While his two boundaries did exude confidence - a leg-glance off Khaleel Ahmed, and a lofted, straight shot off T Natarajan - it was his dismissal that reeked of impatience. Instead of seeing out SRH's seasoned tormenter-in-chief, Iyer tried to score off Rashid's bowling, and paid the price as he was caught easily by the debutant Abdul Samad.
Iyer's dismissal slowed the game down, as the incoming Rishabh Pant struggled against Rashid. By the time the big hits came for DC towards the end of their innings, it was too late.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 01:28 IST