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Clinical win for Daredevils

HYDERABAD:Quinton de Kock’s early assault and the calculated aggression of Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant later on helped Delhi Daredevils script an emphatic, seven-wicket win with 11 balls to spare (its sixth in 10 games) over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday night.

Falling short: Sunrisers Hyderabad's Bhuvneshwar Kumar fails to make his ground. Photo: K.V.S. Giri

Given the reputation of the Sunrisers bowling attack to defend even modest totals, it was also a reminder that it was not unplayable if their line, length and angle are read correctly. Pant’s two effortless sixes off Mustafizur Rahman bore testimony to this.

Vital partnership
The win was built on a crucial second-wicket partnership of 55 off 37 balls between in-form opener de Kock and Karun Nair that put the Delhi innings back on the rails after it lost Mayank Agarwal to Ashish Nehra in the fourth over of the innings.

Just when de Kock, who swung both Nehra and Sran imperiously for two huge sixes, and Karun were threatening to take the game away, Moises Henriques struck a double blow in the 10th over.

Karun was yorked while the dangerous-looking de Kock got a doubtful, delayed caught-behind decision from umpire Marais Erasmus as Daredevils were reduced to 78 for three.

Earlier, the Delhi bowling attack, without the injured Zaheer Khan, put up an impressive performance to restrict Sunrisers to 146 for eight after inviting the host to bat first.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra did well in the middle-overs before the medium-pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Morris came back strongly in the second half of the innings, bowling with accuracy and, more importantly, to the field.

After a slow start, the audacious Warner, who hit two fours and a straight six in off-spinner Jayant Yadav’s third over, ensured that the home team made optimum use of the PowerPlay, scoring 51 without losing a wicket.

Shikhar Dhawan was content playing second fiddle, though he reached the boundary a couple of times during that phase.

When Delhi opted for Jayant to open the bowling against the two left-handers, it looked a good gamble as he conceded only eight runs in the first two overs.

Shifting gears
But, once Warner and Dhawan changed gears after treating Mohammed Shami with contempt, taking 15 off his first over, the two turned their attention to Jayant.

But, the offie, brought back in the ninth over, justified his captain Jean-Paul Duminy’s faith by having the Sunrisers captain bowled while trying to play a length ball to point.

Warner and Dhawan had put on 67 off 53 balls for the first wicket.

Once Dhawan, looking good for another big score, was dismissed by Mishra in the 13th over, the innings fell apart.

Crucial blow
Yuvraj Singh, who carted Mishra over long-on for a six, fell in the same over, mistiming a pull to be caught at short fine-leg in the 15th over.

In the next over, Shami struck a crucial blow, claiming an lbw verdict against Henriques (0), to reduce Sunrisers to 114 for four.

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