The Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen got out of jail after their bowlers bailed them out in their last match of IPL 2016; to do the same thing for a second consecutive match was asking for too much. Once David Warner fell, the SRH batsmen fell away rather quickly, managing a below par score, which allowed the Delhi Daredevils to snap a two-match losing streak and get right back on course for a place in the playoffs.
Coming off a match in which the bowlers defended a score of 137, the men with the white cherry were left with too much to do after the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen managed to post just 146/8 in front of their home crowd, after being put into bat.
Quinton de Kock led the DD reply, scoring a classy 44 (31, 5x4, 3x6), before Sanju Samson (34 n.o., 26b, 0x4, 2x6) and Rishabh Pant (39 n.o., 26b, 2x4, 3x6) gave India fans a glimpse of the future, striking an assured, wonderful-to-watch, unconquered 72-run partnership to guide their team to a comfortable seven-wicket win, with all of 11 balls to spare.
The match started well enough for SRH, with Warner and Dhawan, after a bit of a cautious start, putting on 67 runs for the first wicket. On a slowish wicket, the Delhi Daredevils, with a string of changes to their lineup again, albeit one forced with skipper Zaheer Khan missing through injury, would have known Warner (46, 30b, 6x4, 1x6) was the key, they-will-crumble-from-there wicket. That wicket came in the fifth ball of the ninth over, with Jayant Yadav getting one to slide on with the angle to knock down Warner's stumps.
Dhawan (34, 37b, 3x4), at the other end, while playing a couple of good-looking shots, was struggling, and with Kane Williamson (27, 24b, 3x4) also not quite able to get into his groove, there was always a sense the innings was about to lose momentum. Lost momentum it did, once Dhawan fell in the 13th over to Amit Mishra, mistiming a quicker delivery from the legspinner.
Just like that SRH went from 98/1 in 12.5 overs to 143/3 in 19.5 overs, with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda all disappointing with the willow.
Do not lose early wickets and let De Kock do what he does would have been the Daredevils mantra, and for the first half of the chase that plan worked quite well. De Kock pummelled a fair few boundaries and a couple of sixes as well and the Delhi Daredevils stayed well above the required run rate, even if they lost a couple of wickets â€“ of Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair.
The Sunrisers, though, sensed a way back in when Moises Henriques got a lucky caught behind decision to go his way, to dismiss a disappointed De Kock (44, 31b, 5x4, 2x6), but with just 69 runs from 61 balls needed at that point, Samson and Pant put on a lovely partnership, a drop by Henriques when Samson was on 18 notwithstanding.
Pant was the aggressor in the partnership, with the left-hander taking a particular liking to the previously unhittable Mustafizur Rahman (4-0-39-0), who had one of those games he will want to forget soon.
The win took DD to third in the table, and while SRH stay top, with their remaining three matches all away from home, they will want to seal up that playoff place as quickly as possible.