Sunrisers make heavy weather of small chase

Delhi Daredevils still without a win after -three-wicket loss to Hyderabad.

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Dale Steyn: All fire and brimstone.NEW DELHI: Much was made of Virender Sehwag’s return to competitive cricket. More so as his side Delhi Daredevils had begun their IPL campaign with three straight defeats. But Sehwag’s inclusion for the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad made no change in Delhi’s fortunes, as they plummeted to their fourth consecutive loss.

The former India opener made 12 before chasing one wide outside the off-stump. Sunrisers' leg-spinner Amit Mishra was named Man of the Match for an economical bowling performance and for holding his nerve in the final stages of the chase with an unbeaten 16.

The inevitable loss, however, was accompanied by much more drama this time. After another pathetic batting display Mahela Jayawardene’s side fought valiantly to defend a trifling 114. Delhi’s spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Johan Botha gave them a chance and a flurry of wickets towards the end saw Sunrisers needing six to win off the last over, to be bowled by Irfan Pathan.

Dale Steyn, who had turned in a magnificent performance with the ball earlier, struck 2 and 4 off the first two deliveries to ensure a three-wicket win for the Hyderabad side, who had almost messed up what sould have bee an easy chase.

Steyn gun

When Delhi batted, Steyn began with a wicket-maiden - David Warner losing it in the first over – and Ishant Sharma removed skipper Jayawardene and Sehwag off consecutive deliveries for an identical 12. Steyn, who bowled 12 dot balls in his quota, Ishant and Thisara Perera kept it tight and only through cameos by wicketkeeper-batsman Kehdar Jadhav and Irfan Pathan did the home team reach 14 runs past 100.

Within six balls Steyn imposed himself on the contest. He took out Warner and could have had Jayawardene next ball were it not for
Parthiv’s sloppiness behind the wicket. Steyn followed his wicket-maiden with another terrorizing over for two runs, his first spell reading 2-1-2-1. From such a rocky beginning Delhi’s innings was unable to gain any momentum.

The Sunrisers too started shakily. Opener Akshath Reddy was run-out by Nadeem and they were 7/1 after three overs.Kumar Sangakkara hit a breexzy 28 and Parthiv, who had earlier grassed Jayawardene off Stein, made 19, before he was caught-and-bowled by Nadeem. A succession of tight overs from the spinners made it tough for the batsmen.

Thrilling climax

Left-arm spinner Nadeem almost did a Steyn for his team. He picked up Parthiv in his first over, was economical, and may well have picked up new man Hanuma Vihari when his shot slipped through Siddharth Kaul’s hands and over the long-off boundary.

Nadeem also engineered the stumping of Cameron White, followed by which Vihari departed to a good catch by Botha at mid-off off Morkel. The asking rate by now nearing eight as Thisara Perera and Ashish Reddy were left to get the last 40-odd runs in the last five overs. Reddy (16) played his part with a few timely boundaries, and Mishra (16*) ensured that Daredevils stayed without a win this season.