Jonny Bairstow continued his magnificent form with the bat as Sunrisers Hyderabad comfortably defeated the Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets to register their third consecutive win and go top of the the Indian Premier League at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.
The win also continued Mohammad Nabi’s incredible record in a SRH jersey- the franchise have never lost a game when the Afghan all-rounder has been in the XI.
Hyderabad opted for an unchanged starting lineup while Delhi, attempting to bounce back from their shock meltdown against Punjab, made three changes. In came Ishant Sharma, Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel and out went Hanuma Vihari, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan.
After being put into bat by the Sunrisers, Delhi Capitals lost Prithvi Shaw in the third over to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The youngster had hit two fine boundaries in the first over, but had his stumps shattered for a run-a-ball 11 while attempting to hoick one over mid wicket.
Nabi then got into the act- he first had Shikhar Dhawan caught at short fine leg on the final ball of the power play, and followed it up with the wicket of the dangerous Rishabh Pant, who was well caught by Deepak Hooda on the long off boundary.
Delhi opted to promote Rahul Tewatia ahead of Colin Ingram and he hit one boundary before being deceived by a Sandeep knuckle ball.
Ingram made only 5 before a stunning catch by Manish Pandey at point sent the South African back, as Delhi lost half their side with the score on 75.
Chris Morris smashed Rashid Khan for two fours in an attempt to give momentum to the home side, but SRH continued to chip away. Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer made 43, but was dismissed just before he could really cut loose. The 24 year old attempted to hit across the line and was bowled by Rashid.
DC would’ve perhaps fallen short of even 120, but for some late hitting by Axar Patel, who smashed two sixes in his 23 to take them to 129/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, and Mohammad Nabi all claimed two wickets each for Hyderabad.
Seeing the slow nature of the wicket, Delhi opted to start with spin, with Sandeep Lamicchane and Axar Patel given the new ball. The latter dropped Bairstow when he was just on 5, and the England wicket keeper made the Capitals pay as he powered SRH to 62/0 at the end of the power play.
Bairstow’s fiery start allowed the rest of the Hyderabad batsman to take things a tad slowly, and without scoreboard pressure, Delhi were never quite in contention
Bairstow was dismissed two short of a fifty by Rahul Tewatia, who was impressive in his spell. Unfortunately for Delhi, Lamicchane and Patel didn’t quite have the same impact with the ball that Nabi and Rashid did.
Warner had a rare failure with the bat, making only 10 from 18 balls before being caught at mid off by Morris off Kagiso Rabada.
The likes of Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar and Deepak Hooda all fell cheaply, but Hyderabad were well ahead of the required rate, and a quickfire 17 from Nabi took the visitors over the line with nine balls to spare.
Bairstow was declared the player of the match.
The 17th match of the Indian Premier League will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders at Bengaluru on Friday.