It seemed that ‘the law of averages’ was sitting in the Sunrisers Hyderabad dug-out. David Warner’s side managed to win their first match of the IPL 2020 by a margin of 15 runs after losing the first two matches in a row.
Similarly, Delhi Capitals’ unbeaten run also came to a halt in this match. Delhi fought decently but never seemed inspired during the run chase of 163 runs.
The 11th game of the IPL also gave the indication for the first time about what is in store in the coming weeks when pitches are likely to get slower. This certainly wasn’t a pitch where merely hitting more sixes (DC hit one more than SRH’s four) was going to influence the match significantly as it wasn’t raining sixes unlike Sharjah. “We lost the toss tonight and won the game, so feels good,” said Warner after the win.
His name is Khan, Rashid Khan
Apart from the law of averages, the work of a genius was also in full display when Rashid Khan came to the party in a tournament which has given him the super star status across the cricket globe.
Rashid not only conceded just 14 runs in his quota of four overs but also got the big wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer in the beginning of his bowling spell and the dangerous looking Rishabh Pant towards the end.
“I don't put pressure on myself that I have to create an impact. I just keep myself calm and composed and focus on what I can do. I just go out there and do the basics right and enjoy the game,” said Rashid after grabbing the Man of the Match award.
The intent seemed to be missing during the chase by DC despite the fact that the score was not a big one by IPL standards. “We were pretty much happy with 162, it was a par score on this wicket. We had no idea how this wicket would behave as this is our first game here. They outplayed us in all three departments and credit to them for that. It was surprising and in the second innings, it (pitch) was two-paced. When I went in, the ball wasn't coming onto the bat,” explained Capitals captain Iyer after losing the match in his post-match presentation chat.
Iyer should have known better when he saw that the usually very aggressive opening pair of Warner and Bairstow was so cautious during the powerplay which yielded just 38 runs. Hyderabad made a significant change by bringing in New Zealander Kane Williamson whose late flourish (41 runs off 26 ball that too without hitting a six) was perhaps a better contribution than Warner (45 off 33) and Bairstow (53 off 48) who scored more runs than him.
The dot ball magic
Both Rashid and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled 13 dot balls each which suffocated the stroke play of Delhi's batsmen. If you leave aside Kagiso Rabada’s bowling in the match, the rest of the five Delhi bowlers managed to bowl just 22 dots together which perhaps was the subtle difference between the two teams.
If Bhuvi gave away just 25 runs (two wickets) in his four overs, young left arm pacer T Natarajan was equally economical with his 4 overs, 25 runs and 1 wicket spell but also exhibited superb command over pin-pointed yorkers.(Vimal Kumar is a senior sports journalist who has covered multiple cricket world cups and Rio Olympics in the last two decades. Vimal is also the author of Sachin: Cricketer Of The Century and The Cricket Fanatic’s Essential Guide.)