IPL 2016 | Delhi's young guns gun down Hyderabad to stay alive

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IPL 2016 | Delhi's young guns gun down Hyderabad to stay alive

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Amlan Majumdar

05/20/2016

In a must-win game, Delhi Daredevils rode on a matured knock by Karun Nair to grab a 6-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Raipur on Friday in a thrilling finish. Earlier, another David Warner half-century carried SRH to a respectable total of 158 after DD won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 158/7 in 20 overs (David Warner 73(56), Moises Henriques 18(13); Carlos Brathwaite 4/27) lost to Delhi Daredevils 162/4 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 83(59), Rishabh Pant 32(26); Barinder Sran 2/34)

After a good start to their campaign, Delhi Daredevils have stumbled off late with just one win in their last five matches. That run of form meant they came into this match needing to win in order to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs. The task was made harder by the fact that they were up against a team who were in a good run of form, in their new home, which will host their first IPL match of the season.

Delhi made three changes to their team with Jayant Yadav, specially brought in for the left-handers in the SRH lineup, Pawan Negi and Carlos Brathwaite. Zaheer Khan revealed that Chris Morris had been sidelined due to a niggling injury.

Sunrisers Hyderabad made a couple of changes of their own as well. Barinder Sran replaced the injured Ashish Nehra, while Eoin Morgan returned to the side in place of Ben Cutting, who is sick.

Delhi won the all-important toss and opted to bowl first on a wicket which very few had any idea how it will behave.

1. Warner's one-man show continues

While Virat Kohli has grabbed most of the headlines this season in the IPL, in terms of consistency David Warner has not been too far behind. The Australian has almost single-handedly taken SRH to a position of strength in the points table, and with his team needing a win to secure their place in the top-two, Warner carried out a lone battle once again.

Sunrisers ended up with 158 runs and 73 of those were scored by their skipper—infact, the next highest score in the scorecard was the 18-run knock from Moises Henriques! The 29-year-old showed fantastic use of the depth of the crease. He jumped down the track to convert good length deliveries into half volleys and at times, dropped back to convert them into short balls. He pulled and cut his way to his seventh half-century this season, maintaining a strike rate over 130 all the time—despite his teammates crumbling around him.

2. Brathwaite shows his worth with the ball

Ever since his heroics in the final of the World T20, people have almost forgotten about the fact that Brathwaite can bowl as well. A couple of days ago someone on Twitter predicted that Brathwaite will slowly turn into Darren Sammy—someone who bowls sparingly and is mostly used as a big hitter lower down the order. However, the 27-year-old showed that he is too versatile a cricketer to become that one dimensional.

He produced a fantastic piece of fielding off his own bowling to run out Shikhar Dhawan, just when Hyderabad were beginning to move up the gears in the powerplay. That wicket stopped the run flow significantly as Warner was also forced to play a more sedated knock.

Just when it looked like Yuvraj Singh and Warner were settling in for a productive partnership, the West Indian dismantled the former's stumps. Eventually, Brathwaite also dismissed the SRH captain in the 16th over, to ensure that their opponent do not post a daunting total.

3. Responsibility on the young shoulders of Nair and Pant

Quinton de Kock has been Delhi's most consistent batsman this season and when the South African returned to the pavilion with only nine runs on the board, Delhi's prospects looked grim. In a must-win game, the responsibility of building the innings fell on the young shoulders of Karun Nair and Rishabh Pant. The duo's combined age is just five years more than that of their skipper Zaheer Khan's, yet they showed maturity beyond their years.

Nair and Pant formed a 73-run partnership, which formed the perfect platform for the batsmen lower down the order to accelerate towards the end. They took their time initially, but as they grew in confidence, they began to raise their strike rates. Pant was, eventually, run out for 32, but Nair carried on to reach his second half-century of the tournament.

4. Warner drops Nair

Yes, you read it right! David Warner dropped an easy catch to give Karun Nair a new lease of life when he was batting at 52. It was infectious as well. In the next over, Bhuvi dropped another sitter and this time it was Duminy who got the respite. Although the South African's dropped catch did not prove so costly, Nair's did. The 24-year-old went on to score 83 and guide his team home to a 6-wicket win in a nail-biting finish. Add to that, the fact that he couldn't save the winning boundary added salt to an already aggravated injury.

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