Having lost six of their seven matches in the first phase of the Indian T20 League, Team Hyderabad needed something special from the UAE leg of the tournament. They needed to win all of their remaining seven matches, but have failed to deliver in the very first step.
Up against a formidable Delhi team, who were sitting at second place in the points table before this match, Hyderabad suffered an 8-wicket defeat. Their batting department failed completely, while their bowlers also looked pretty ordinary.
With seven defeats to their name now, Hyderabad is almost out of the race for the playoffs spot, unless something outlandishly miraculous happens. At the opposite end of the spectrum are Delhi, who now have won seven of their nine matches and are just one win away from officially confirming their place in the playoffs.
Nortje’s express pace creates problems; Warner fails to deliver again
David Warner has not had a good season with the bat for the men in orange. He might have played a few big knocks, but almost all of those knocks came at an unsatisfactory strike rate, which was ultimately of no help to his team. Now that he is not the captain of the team anymore and the pressure is off his shoulders, many expected to see the old David Warner back in action.
That, however, was not the case today, as he lost his wicket in only the third ball of the match. A fiery delivery of 147kmph from South African pacer Anrich Nortje caught the leading edge of David Warner and Axar Patel made no mistake in taking a simple catch.
Hyderabad batters fail to capitalize on the starts
Barring Warner, all of Hyderabad’s top four got starts, but neither could actually use it to build a long inning. Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey and skipper Kane Williamson, all scored more than 15 runs, but could not hit the 20-run mark.
Saha was outdone by another super-quick delivery, this time by Kagiso Rabada. Similarly, Manish Pandey also threw his wicket away when he was batting on 17, with Rabada being the wicket-taker this time too.
Skipper Kane Williamson was luckier than the previous two. In the ninth over of the match, Delhi had a great chance to get rid of the Kiwi batter, as Ravichandran Ashwin’s carrom ball was edged by Williamson. However, Delhi captain Rishabh Pant failed to grab what was a routine catch.
In the very next over, Delhi missed yet another opportunity to dismiss Williamson. The Hyderabad captain went for a drive but did not get the desired connection, giving Prithvi Shaw a chance to take a simple catch. Like Pant, however, Shaw also let go of the chance. Thankfully for Delhi, these missed chances did not come back to haunt them, as Williamson was dismissed in the next ball.
Samad-Rashid gives Hyderabad something to defend, but it is still too low
Soon after the top four departed, Kedar Jadhav was also caught leg before wicket by Anrich Nortje. With their backs to the wall, Hyderabad needed someone to put up a good show with the bat, and Abdul Samad and Rashid Khan did just that.
The Indian youngster scored 28 runs from 21 balls, hitting 2 fours and 1 six in the process, while the Afghan spinner scored 22 runs from 19 balls. These two knocks helped Hyderabad put up a score of 134.
Dhawan proves that he is not a closed chapter; Iyer announces return in style
Delhi lost their opener Prithvi Shaw in the third over, but that was about all that could cheer Hyderabad up in the run chase. Veteran batter Shikhar Dhawan, who has not found a place in the Indian national team for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which is to be held right after this tournament, proved why the selectors might have got their decision wrong.
He played a very important knock of 42 runs from 37 balls, which included 6 fours and 1 maximum. By the time he was dismissed, Delhi were already comfortably cruising towards the victory line. Dhawan’s partner in the run chase, Shreyas Iyer also played a good hand.
The two batters have similar stories. Like Dhawan, Iyer has also failed to make the cut for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, but that is mainly due to the fact that he is returning to cricket after a long while, as he was nursing a shoulder injury.
Besides not finding a place in the national team, Iyer received another blow ahead of this tournament. Though he was the original captain of the Delhi team, their management announced that interim Rishabh Pant will continue captaincy in the second phase.
With his amazing knock today, Iyer has announced his return to the big stage in style The Delhi batter scored 47 runs from 41 balls, hitting two fours and the same number of sixes in the process. He stayed till the very end and ensured a win by hitting a six.
Pant ensures a comfortable end to the run chase
When Rashid Khan got the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan, the scoreboard read 72/2 at the end of 10.5 overs. Delhi needed 63 runs with more than nine overs to spare. While it looked pretty easy, after yesterday’s drama, one would not have written off a possible comeback by Hyderabad.
But Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant ensured that yesterday’s drama was not repeated in this match, as he batted in the fifth gear right from the beginning. Pant scored 35 runs from 21 balls, which not only gave Delhi the invaluable two points, but also took them to the first place of the points table, ahead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai.
Looking back at the match, Delhi can pick up plenty of positives. The overseas pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje picked up five wickets in total, while Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, the two batters who had something to prove today, amassed 89 runs. For Hyderabad, however, things are looking pretty gloomy.