Hyderabad stay afloat after Rashid, Saha star in win

Dubai, Oct 28 (IANS/GloFans) Leg-spinner Rashid Khan returned his best ever Indian Premier League (IPL) figures of three wickets for seven runs and Wriddhiman Saha smashed 87 off just 45 balls to guide SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) to an emphatic 88-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) on Tuesday, and stay in race for the playoffs.
Credit is also due to birthday boy and captain David Warner 66 off 34 balls and Manish Pandey who scored an unbeaten 44 off 31 balls to take their team to 219 for two wickets in 20 overs, after they were put in by DC on winning the toss. Then, Warner pressed into service seven bowlers and all, except himself, bagged at least a wicket to help bundle DC out for 131 in 19 overs for their biggest defeat of the season.
The win has kept SRH afloat. They have now moved a spot ahead in the points table, to sixth, with 10 points while DC slipped a place, to third, but they are equal on points (14) with toppers Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, thanks to their superior net run-rate than DC.
Each team plays 14 league matches each and the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs.
Delhi’s decision to field backfired as even their most lethal guns – speedsters Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje — struggled to stop the flow of runs. The duo along with the other bowlers was brutally hammered by Warner (66) and Saha (87) as SRH posted a mammoth total.
Defending the total, the SRH bowlers bowled exceptionally well, especially Afghanistan’s Rashid, who impressed with stunning figures of 4-0-7-3.
Chasing the huge target, DC never looked in control, losing opener Shikhar Dhawan, who failed to open his account, and incoming batter Marcus Stoinis (5) with just 14 runs on board in two overs.
Ajinkya Rahane (26) and Shimron Hetmyer (16) steadied the ship, forging a brief 40-run partnership for the third wicket before Rashid castled the latter’s stumps in the seventh over. Four balls later, the leg-spinner trapped Rahane to put DC on back foot.
Shreyas Iyer (7) and Axar Patel (1), too, failed to rescue their side, becoming victims of Vijay Shankar (1/11) and Rashid as DC were left reeling at 83/6 in 12.5 overs.
While Rishabh Pant (36) tried his best to put things in control for DC, the others failed to support the stumper.
T Natarajan (2/26) too, joined the party, dismissing Kagiso Rabada (3) in the 16th over before Pant also departed, falling to Sandeep Sharma in the next over.
Jason Holder (1/46) dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (7) while Natarajan put the final nail in the coffin as he scalped Nortje (1) to hand DC their biggest defeat of the season.
DC’s Tushar Deshpande remained unbeaten on 20 off nine balls. However, the entire DC team ultimately collapsed at 131 in 19 overs.
Earlier, SRH openers Warner and Saha blistering knocks propelled their side to a massive 219/2 wickets in the allotted 20 overs. The openers were involved in a crucial 107-run partnership.
Apart from the SRH openers, Manish Pandey also chipped in with a valuable 44 not out. Warner, who is celebrating his 34th birthday on Tuesday, smacked eight fours and couple of sixes in course of his knock.
Pandey and Kane Williamson (11 not out) then added 49 runs in the last 33 balls as SRH posted a challenging total on board.

Brief scores: SunRisers Hyderabad: 219/2 wkts in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 87, David Warner 66; Ravichandran Ashwin 1/35) beat Delhi Capitals 131 all out in 19 overs (Rishabh Pant 36, Ajinkya Rahane 26; Rashid Khan 3/7) by 88 runs

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