Delhi are choking, and not just because of air pollution. At pole position not very long back, with 7 wins from 9 games, the Delhi Capitals (DC) slipped to another heavy loss, this time versus a clinical Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) outfit. Three losses on the bounce, a rapidly falling Net Run Rate and two games to go against the top two sides - is it panic stations yet?
DC skipper Shreyas Iyer put SRH in to bat, and almost immediately was made to regret the decision. Birthday boy David Warner led from the front, while a belligerent Wriddhiman Saha stole the show on his return to the team, in an incredible 87 off 45. Some late striking from Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson took SRH to an imposing 219/2, comfortably the highest total scored at Dubai this season.
In a mammoth chase, DC were dented almost immediately as Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis fell in the first two overs. While Ajinkya Rahane scored a promising 26, his innings was cut short by Rashid Khan, who was superb in his spell of 3/7 in four overs.
Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer chipped in, but their contributions were neither substantial nor quick enough to give SRH a real challenge. Tushar Deshpande's striking at the end ensured the margin of defeat was under 100, but a comprehensive 88-run victory would do wonders for SRH's confidence.
SRH had contributions right through, whereas DC have a lot to think about. Here are the three biggest underperformers from the match.
#3 Shreyas Iyer (DC)
Increasingly coming under fire for his captaincy after DC's third loss on the trot, Shreyas Iyer probably made a wrong call at the toss. He was, however, a little helpless as the SRH opening partnership made even his best bowlers look like bowling machines, with Rabada conceding more than 30 in his first two overs alone.
In a strange shift in the batting order necessitated by the extremely early wicket, Iyer sent Stoinis, Hetmyer and Pant ahead of himself. The failure of the first two meant Shreyas came in with enormous pressure to set up a match-winning partnership with Pant. That he could manage just 7 off 12 sealed the deal for SRH, as DC seemed to be playing for NRR with several overs still to go in the chase.
#2 Kagiso Rabada (DC)
Rabada entered this game with two proud distinctions. On one hand, he stood well ahead of the pack in the Purple Cap race. On the other, he had completed 25 games in a row without going wicketless. It would be laughable to think that such a proud streak would end against a side on the brink of elimination from the tournament.
However, SRH stunned both DC and Rabada as they did the double over them. Rabada was hit out of the attack during the powerplay overs, taking further damage at Saha's hands when he was brought back in the death. A terrific final over could not quite grant him a wicket, nor do much about his eventual figures of 4-0-54-0. With bat in hand, there was little he could do against a perfect yorker.
Check yesterday's IPL match result here.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan (DC)
An upswing in form for IPL veteran Shikhar Dhawan had come at the right time for DC, as neither Rahane nor Shaw had been adequate opening partners. The indifferent form of Pant and Iyer in the second half only added pressure on the southpaw, particularly after his impressive back-to-back hundreds. Those expectations, however, were crushed when they met reality in this game.
Chasing a massive total, Dhawan probably intended to set the tone early on and put the bowler off his lengths. However, it was poorly executed - Dhawan tried to clear the infield on the leg-side against an outswinger that took a leading edge. A catch to Warner made his birthday sweeter, and immediately plunged DC into a quagmire that none of their batsmen would pull them out of.Published 28 Oct 2020, 11:06 IST