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Sunrisers stay alive: Warner & Bros. give near-perfect performance to hand Delhi third consecutive defeat

Wriddhiman Saha, Jonny Bairstow's replacement at the top of the order, the guest of honour. Rashid Khan, whose 3/7 is the most economical spell of IPL 2020 so far, puts the cherry on top.

Updated 28th October 2020 | 11:09 IST

Sunrisers Hyderabad needed a robust performance to get the ghost of their batting choke against Kings XI Punjab to rest. They responded superbly to trounce Delhi Capitals by 88 runs. SRH lived to fight another day with 10 points from 12 games, while DC has now suffered three back-to-back losses. With 14 points from 12 matches, DC, however, are still well poised to succeed in Playoffs.

Saha has been playing the scheme. This was only his second game this IPL. His previous match was against Kolkata Knight Riders quite a month ago. but, Saha’s career has always been about playing the scheme. After their batting implosion against Kings XI Punjab that saw Sunrisers Hyderabad snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, some changes became imperative. Jonny Bairstow’s exclusion, though, threw up a surprise. Saha was called upon to open the innings with Warner.

His start was a tad agricultural. A streaky boundary and a few mistimed shots were a part of his bedding-in period. But once he got into the groove, Saha dazzled. He used the sweep shot against Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel to fantastic effect. Indian spinners have traditionally been uncomfortable against batsmen who play the sweep shot well. Saha may be a top player against spin and being someone who knows Indian spinners inside out, the ’keeper-batsman used the sweep to upset the rhythm of the Delhi Capitals spinners.

Be it the Indian team or his IPL franchise, Saha seems to be always walking a tightrope. during a win-or-bust game for SRH, he probably didn’t have the licence to fail. Saha reached his half-century in 27 deliveries and ended up scoring a 45-ball 87.

Warner played the initial gig and allowed his opening partner to bed in. Until this match, Warner’s batting during this IPL looked to be a touch cagey. The SRH captain targeted Rabada and a 22-run over, which took his team’s score to 77/0 at the top of the Powerplay, made a significant impact. Warner’s 34-ball 66 was the gold standard. His 107-run partnership (58 balls) with Saha laid the inspiration for an imposing total. Rabada, the present Purple Cap holder, returned with 0/54 from his four overs.

DC lost Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis within the first two overs of their chase and therefore the only time they looked to be putting up a fight was when Ajinkya Rahane and Shimron Hetmyer were twiddling with intent. Hetmyer took consecutive boundaries off Jason Holder. Rahane played an excellent front-foot pull for a six. But Rashid Khan came and castled Hetmyer off his first ball. Four balls later, a googly trapped Rahane leg-before. The leggie returned with figures of 3/7 from four overs to place the cherry on top after the batting blitz by Saha and Warner.

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