Keemo Paul finished with figures of 3 for 17 in 4 overs © AFP
Kagiso Rabada and Keemo Paul produced impressive displays of fast bowling to thump Sunrisers Hyderabad by 39 runs on Sunday (April 14). Delhi posted 155/7 after being put in to bat thanks to fighting efforts from Shreyas Iyer and Colin Munro. But what seemed an under-par total then was turned into a match-winning one as Rabada, Paul and Chris Morris orchestrated a dramatic 8 for 15 collapse of the hosts. The victory propelled Delhi to second spot in the standings.
Why did SRH make as many as four changes?
They were necessitated by their twin defeats and a middle-order that has once again failed to inspired confidence. Kane Williamson was confident enough to test his regained fitness in a match situation and as an unfortunate consequence, the in-form Mohammad Nabi was left out. The hosts also brought in Ricky Bhui, Abhishek Sharma and Khaleel Ahmed while leaving out Yusuf Pathan, Siddarth Kaul and the their big-money signing Manish Pandey.
Delhi, too, made a like-for-like swap by bringing in Amit Mishra for Rahul Tewatia while Colin Ingram, who went home for the birth of his child, was replaced by Colin Munro.
Who was the pick of the new entrants for SRH?
Despite his recently acquired status of an international cricketer, the assortment of fast bowlers available at SRH's disposal meant he was confined to the bench in the season so far. Before today. He came in with a point to prove and returned highly impressive figures of 3 for 30, serving a timely reminder of his abilities. The left-armer struck with the fifth ball of his season when he got one to angle across Prithvi Shaw. The extra bounce from the Hyderabad surface also forced Shaw into an awkward poke and Jonny Bairstow took care of the rest.
In his next over, Khaleel used another weapon - a sharp bouncer - to prise out Shikhar Dhawan. Not one to duck out of short deliveries, Dhawan attempted a hook shot but only succeeded in top-edging it to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at fine-leg. Although Colin Munro got hold of Khaleel for a six and a four each in the pacer's second and third overs, Khaleel returned at the death with another big wicket of Rishabh Pant to keep the hosts to a total of 155 when they might have been targetting a score at least 20-25 runs in excess following the early efforts of Munro (40 off 24) and Shreyas Iyer (45 off 40).
A chase of 156 should have been straightforward, right?
You would assume that a top-3 of Jonny Bairstow, David Warner and Kane Williamson would gobble this up. Except, they were pushed behind the eight-ball from the outset by a combination of a wearing pitch and excellent bowling plans. Kagiso Rabada resumed his battle with David Warner and had the Australian tied down with that angle across the left-hander at pace. Jonny Bairstow made a customary fast start but with Warner reined in, SRH's chase didn't have the usual bombast. Despite the patchy start, the pair added 72 for the first wicket in 10 overs.
How did they lose it from there?
The West Indian set it all up with his assortment of slower deliveries, the back of the hand slower balls getting particularly hard to pick. These change-ups worked well even on a true surface like the Wankhede earlier in the season. In Hyderabad, they were nigh unplayable. The procession began with Bairstow hitting a full, slower delivery straight down long-off's throat to be dismissed for a 31-ball 41. Williamson was next to fall for the slower one, with Rabada completing another sharp catch. Ricky Bhui, promoted up to No.4, attempted a wild hack where Axar Patel held on to another sharp catch to help Paul finish with figures of 4-0-17-3.
But wasn't Warner still around?
Yes, batting on 49 not-out when his nemesis Rabada came back to bowl the 17th over. SRH needed 53 from the final four and dearly hoped for Warner to win this head-to-head clash. He completed his half-century off the first ball and then off the second he was gone... poof! Having bowled over 145 clicks throughout his first spell to Warner, Rabada took the pace off this delivery and had the former SRH captain toe-ending a shot to mid-off. In the dug-out Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting roared and high-fived each other. That's what that wicket meant.
Rabada dismissed Vijay Shankar off the first ball with a sharp bouncer and then came back to dismiss Bhuvneshwar and Khaleel to finish with figures of 4 for 22 after Morris had swept through the remainder of the lower-order in one over. From 101/2 in the 16th over, SRH lost 8 for 15 in one of the most dramatic collapses.
Surely, that is some kind of record?
- Yes, it is the worst eight-wicket collapse in the history of IPL.
- Also, it was only the second instance of all ten wickets in an innings taken by pacers - Rabada (4), Paul (3) & Morris (3)
Where do the teams go from here?
Delhi Capitals, up to second in the table, now have a three-day break before they host Mumbai Indians at home. Sunrisers Hyderabad, who've now lost three on the bounce, welcome table-toppers CSK in their next home fixture on April 17. They went 0-4 against the defending champions last season and can ill afford another loss at this stage of the season.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 155/7 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 45, Colin Munro 40; Khaleel Ahmed 3-30) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 116 in 18.5 overs (David Warner 51; Kagiso Rabada 4-22, Keemo Paul 3-17) by 39 runs