Catches win match is an age-old adage in cricket, and the same holds true irrespective of the format of the sport. In this context, had Delhi held on to their catches against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they might not have been left ruing yet another loss. While Sunrisers batted extremely well at the top for a change, things could have been drastically different had Delhi’s butter-fingered fielders taken the chances that came their way. As things turned out, the match went all the way down to the wire, but Sunrisers had enough in the bank to defend their score.
It is no secret that the Sunrisers heavily depend on their top three in the batting department. It was no surprise then that they faltered when their top order failed in the earlier games. On Friday, things fell into place, and Sunrisers ended up getting themselves up on the points table. Batting first, the start for Sunrisers was very crucial. This is where the partnership between skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch gave them the upper hand. As mentioned earlier, they had their share of luck, but made sure that it benefited the team.
What Sunrisers did very well during their batting effort was to maintain their scoring momentum throughout. Once the openers gave them a terrific start, they never looked back. If anything, Dhawan would be disappointed that he did not carry on get a bigger score after having the opposition bowlers at his mercy. But, Finch and David Warner more than made up for Dhawan’s loss. Both batted spectacularly in a partnership that put Delhi to the swords. While Warner had some luck with dropped catches, Finch’s knock was nearly flawless. He did not offer a chance, but at the same time, ensured that the big hits did not dry up. It was the kind of knock Australia were looking for from Finch during the World T20, but it never came.
Finch has played some splendid T20 knocks in his short career, but this would definitely rank among his better ones. Sunrisers needed him to fire after the earlier disappointments, and Finch rose to the challenge. While there were some incredible strokes in his innings, the off-balance one-handed six was something else, a clear exhibition of his power and talent. Left-hander Warner, on the other hand, may have been lucky during the breezy innings, but it is to his credit that he grabbed the opportunities and made it count by staying put till the end.
While Delhi would have been disheartened with their bowling and fielding effort, they did have their chances during the chase as well, and only have themselves to blame for squandering it away. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay batted wonderfully well at the top of the order, matching Finch and Warner stroke to stroke. But, while the Aussie duo finished off the job staying on till the end, the Delhi openers departed with still plenty to be done, and their untimely dismissals eventually proved costly for the team. It is always tough for a new batsman to maintain a high scoring rate, and while Manoj Tiwary and JP Duminy did exceptionally well, Delhi had left it little too late by then.
--By A Cricket Analyst