SRH were put into bat by Shreyas Iyer, a decision he surely would have regretted at the end of the first innings. Warner came to open alongside Saha this time, as Bairstow was dropped. After a quiet over from Nortje, the carnage started and how. It was Saha who proved to be the surprise package, as he was throwing his bat at everything, and reaped rewards for it. His partner in crime, Warner took the attack to DC’s trump card Rabada by slamming 22 in his second over, also helping himself to a 25 ball half century.
Already reached 77-0 in just six overs, the fireworks still continued. Axar was tighter than the rest, but was still going at 8 per over. Ashwin bowled a loopy delivery outside off to entice Warner, who could go as long as extra cover. Saha continued the good work as he just kept on attacking, and precisely found the gaps with his sweeps. He soon got to his fifty, but did not stop there. Manish Pandey took a bit of time to get going, and saw Saha holing out to Iyer at mid off, for a match winning knock of 87. At 175-2 with five overs to go, SRH would have targeted 230 plus, but relatively better control by DC bowlers in the form of Stoinis meant they could get to 219, with Pandey getting a quickfire 44. Rabada registered figures of 4-0-54-0 as it was a day to forget for “the best bowling lineup” this year.
Chasing a mammoth 220, Delhi got off the worst possible start as they lost the in-form Dhawan first ball. Stoinis came in at number three in order to attack, but found Warner at mid off when taking on Nadeem. Rahane and Hetmyer then combined to give Delhi a glimmer of hope as the pair smashed 20 runs from Holder’s second over with Delhi reaching 54-2 at the end of the fielding restrictions. Rahane just seemed to have found his touch as he played a classy pull over deep midwicket. However, it was that man Rashid who came and sucked the little life left in the chase. He bowled Hetmyer with his first ball and trapped Rahane with a googly to leave Delhi reeling at 55-4.
Shreyas and Pant were watchful against Rashid, which meant that the required rate neared 15 with ten overs to go. Iyer’s knock of 7 runs from 12 balls was ended by a slower delivery from Shankar. Rashid ended his quota of four overs with figures of 4-0-7-3 with the wicket of Axar Patel off his penultimate ball.
With 124 required from five overs, the match was as good as over for the Delhi Capitals, but Rishabh Pant got some runs under his belt. His strike rate was again questionable as he took 35 balls for his 36, in a run chase of 220. When he got out to Sandeep in the 17th over, he was replaced by Tushar Deshpande, who ended with a higher strike rate than him. He smashed two fours and a six in his knock of 20*(9) before Nortje skied one to Priyam Garg, as Delhi lost the match by 88 runs.
-- Jatin Shad