A bowling display of sustained quality against a batting line-up that went spectacularly bust produced a six-wicket win for Sunrisers Hyderabad over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.
Each of the six bowlers that Kumar Sangakkara, the Hyderabad captain, threw the ball to conceded less than a run-a-ball, and had at least one wicket. Most created opportunities to grab several more.
It wasn't surprising then, that Delhi were shot out for just 80 in 19.1 overs, with Unmukt Chand's chancy 17 the highest score. It was the lowest total in the Pepsi IPL 2013, and the fourth lowest in IPL history. Delhi also lowered their previous mark of 83, which had come against Chennai Super Kings on April 17. (See Stats)
Hyderabad achieved the target in 13.5 overs, a few more than they would have expected perhaps, but still enough to go back into the top three with 14 points and also give their net run-rate a nudge northwards.
In four previous matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the closest a team batting first had come to winning was when Royal Challengers Bangalore lost in a Super Over finish on April 7. The lessons from those four defeats were ignored by Mahela Jayawardene, Delhi's captain, who chose to bat first.
Delhi's first two overs produced only one scoring shot – an edged four by Jayawardene off Dale Steyn. Ishant Sharma started with a maiden, and the tone of the match was set. Jayawardene might have considered himself unfortunate to be adjudged lbw off Ishant in the fourth over, hit outside the line and having taken a few steps down the pitch, but there was little doubt the batsmen were finding the going tough.
Virender Sehwag (8 off 17) took nine balls to get off the mark, and fell after a scratchy innings, becoming Darren Sammy’s first IPL victim. Unmukt Chand made more contact with air than with the ball, and David Warner, who had been Delhi’s best batsman in the season, walked out at No. 4.
The going for Delhi's batsmen wasn't made any easier when spin was introduced. Amit Mishra, who has been the standout spinner of IPL VI, found his groove immediately, while Karan Sharma continued to be impressive. (See Pics)
Mishra, who had already fooled Warner with a wrong 'un only to see Hanuma Vihari put down the skier, got his man with another googly to give Parthiv Patel an easy stumping after Warner had rushed out of the crease. That strike, which left Delhi 52 for 4 in 11.2 overs, was the most pivotal of the innings, and killed any hope of a resurgence.
The best Delhi's bowlers could do after that was not hand Hyderabad the victory on a platter, which is what Shikhar Dhawan threatened to pull off before being sent back for 22, adjudged lbw to a Johan Botha delivery that looked headed down the legside.
Although Hyderabad went on to lose Ashish Reddy, Parthiv and Sangakkara, the low total ensured that the chase was headed only one way. (Watch Analysis)