Sunrisers Hyderabad overcame a late onslaught from Shreyas Iyer to win by 15 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. At their fortress, Sunrisers kept Delhi at bay despite the visitors looking set to snatch the game away at several moments.
A powerful 89 from the recalled Kane Williamson laid the platform for Hyderabad while Zaheer and co. let the scoring rate climb in spite of getting Warner early. The former Indian fast bowler ran short of ideas as Dhawan and Williamson launched the home side to 191.
While Sanju Samson and Karun Nair looked in ominous touch in the chase, a double-wicket over from Yuvraj Singh altered the course of the game. Despite Iyer blasting a few at the end, they lacked the firepower to overcome the guile of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul at the death.
Here we take a look at five things Delhi did wrong in the game at Hyderabad.
#1 Mishra brought into the attack late
It was a reused pitch as Warner mentioned at the toss but Zaheer erred by keeping Mishra away for the first nine overs of the Sunrisers innings. The leggie wasn't entrusted to bowl in the powerplay or even immediately after that as Delhi seemed content with the early wicket of Warner.
Kane Williamson had struggled a bit against the Indian spinners during the Test and ODI series in India and Mishra played a pivotal role in those ODIs. A wily bowler, the leg-spinner could have been tried before Williamson settled down at the crease.
Once he was set, the Kiwi wasted no time in launching a scything attack on the Delhi bowlers. The third over from Mishra was slapped for 19 by the New Zealand skipper with a four and two sixes coming in the over. One wonders if Williamson would have struggled if Mishra bowled to him early in his innings.
#2 Angelo Mathews' role with both bat and ball
There is no arguing the credentials of the Sri Lankan skipper with bat or ball. But in a team packed with top order batsmen and lots of all-rounders, Mathews seems like a misfit. His bowling lacked the pace or variation to trouble batsmen of the class of Williamson and Dhawan.
Delhi’s think-tank, however, persisted with Mathews and in fact gave him increased bowling duties despite the set Williamson taking a liking towards him. The No. 3 batsman launched him for a six in his first over, the last over of the powerplay.
Surprisingly, he was brought back in the death overs with the 16th over taken for 13. He still wasn't taken off and bowled a poor 18th over that went for a further 12. With figures of 3-0-41-0, Mathews' stay in the side might be short-lived. The Lankan seems a huge gamble with the ball these days with little pace up his sleeve. He also seems to have lost a bit of confidence with the bat.
#3 Karun Nair-Sanju Samson's brain fade
With the strategic time-out just done and a part-timer in Yuvraj Singh brought into the attack, Delhi had the opportunity to go big. Sanju Samson set the tempo with a powerful cut off the first ball that raced to the point fence.
But the next ball turned things around as Samson and Nair attempted a suicidal second run after the former pushed the ball to long-on. Vijay Shankar, the substitute fielder, sent in an accurate throw enabling Yuvi to break the stumps way before Nair had grounded his bat.
Nair was on 33 off 23 and Samson on 35 off 21 when the moment of madness gifted the advantage to the home side. The duo were playing extremely well and looked set to take Delhi home when they chased a greedy run.
#4 Shreyas Iyer batting out of position
The Delhi lad Shreyas Iyer has been making the right moves in the domestic circuit. A hard hitter of the cricket ball, Iyer is a natural opener and slotted alongside Quinton de Kock at the top of the order last season.
This time around though, Billings and Samson have opened the innings. While the former has made full use of his promotion thus far, Billings has looked flashy without carrying on to make scores of any real significance.
Iyer's fighting knock today proved that he is in fine touch, No. 5 seems to be way too low for him. In Karun Nair and Sanju Samson they already have two batsmen capable of rotating the strike. In this context, it seems bizarre that the Dravid-led side haven’t used Iyer as an opener.
#1 Keeping back Chris Morris
The South African all-rounder has been at his best with the willow of late. Boasting a strike rate of 177 in the IPL, Morris has quite often proven to be the difference between a good score and a formidable one.
However, when Sanju Samson fell in the 14th over, Angelo Mathews walked in ahead of Morris. The South African had been instrumental with the ball and surely possessed the confidence to murder the attack given his recent form.
Mathews not only took time to settle down but never quite got going thereafter, putting immense pressure on Shreyas Iyer at the other end. Morris, on the other hand, could have been used a slot above to power the side to the target.