Brilliant all-round effort by Axar Patel helped Delhi Capitals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad, for whom Washington Sunder was equally good with both bat and ball, in Match 34 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Monday.
Axar Patel came in to bat with Delhi Capitals struggling at 62/5 and struck a crucial run-a-ball 34 and with help from seasoned Manish Pandey (34 off 28) propelled Delhi Capitals to a below-par 144/9 in 20 overs after skipper David Warner had won the toss and elected to bat first.
Axar starred with the ball too as he claimed 2-21 in his four overs and along with fellow-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (1-22), Anrich Nortje (2-33) and Ishant Sharma (1-18) applied the screws on the Sunrisers Hyderabad batters in their chase of what looked like a below-par score. He claimed the crucial wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Aiden Markram as they dried up the runs in the middle overs.
Mayank Agarwal top-scored with 49 off 39 and kept SRH in the hunt while wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen (31 off 19) and Washington Sundar (24 not out off 15) scripted a late-order revival with some lusty blows as SRH went into the final over needing 13 runs. Mukesh Kumar bowled a brilliant last over to allow only five runs as SRH ended up with 137/8 in 20 overs and fell short by seven runs.
Washington Sundar had earlier claimed three wickets in an over in 3-28 as Delhi Capitals were restricted to a score that looked at least 20 runs short. But in the end, it proved enough thanks to their bowlers.
It was a superb bowling effort by the Delhi Capitals bowlers as Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje and Ishant Sharma applied the squeeze as they throttled the Sunrisers Hyderabad innings in a low-scoring encounter.
Thanks to some late-order hitting by Klaasen and Sundar Sunrisers went into the last three overs needing 38 runs. Klassen and Sundar claimed 15 runs in the 18th over bowled by Mukesh Kumar.
Nortje allowed SRH only 10 runs in the 19th over despite Sundar hitting a fine boundary. They needed 13 runs from the last six deliveries but Mukesh Kumar bowled a superb final over to win the match for Delhi. He allowed only five runs as SRH ended with 137/6 in 20 overs and fell short by a narrow margin.
This was the second successive win for Delhi Capitals as they continue their revival thanks to a brilliant effort by their bowlers. SRH succumbed to their third defeat in a row.
Delhi Capitals bowlers came up with a disciplined effort and kept the SRH batters under pressure, dried up the boundaries and claimed crucial wickets in the middle part of the innings as the asking rate kept climbing.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals failed to capitalise on the Power-play, losing the Australian pair of Phil Salt (0) and Mitchell Marsh within the first five overs as they slumped to 30/2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck the first blow for Sunrisers Hyderabad when he had Phil Salt poking at and edging behind a wide-one to wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen.
Delhi Capitals' problems were compounded further when Washington Sundar struck a triple blow in the eighth over. He claimed DC skipper David Warner, who chose to bat first on winning the toss, attempted a slog sweep to Harry Brook at deep backward square leg and delivery later. Warner had hammered Sundar for a four and six off successive balls in the fourth over, the six a slog-sweep that landed five rows into the stands.
Sarfaraz Khan, who was brought into the playing XI in place of opener Prithvi Shaw, played a similar slog sweep and found Bhuvneshwar Kumar making no mistake at the deep backward square leg.
From 58/4 in the eighth over, Delhi Capitals were reduced to 62/5 off the last ball of the over when Aman Hakim Khan, who slogged the previous delivery for four, played an ugly heave again but this time was caught skied a catch to Abhishek Sharma at the edge of the ring at cover.
Manish Pandey and Azar Patel revived their innings a bit as they added 69 runs for the sixth wicket, taking them past the 100-run mark. Pandey scored 34 off 27, hitting two boundaries while Axar struck a run-a-ball 34. But just when they were looking in a position to make a dash for it in the last five overs, Delhi Capitals lost three quick wickets -- losing Pandey, Patel and Anrich Nortje within 10 deliveries to slump from 131/5 to 139/8.
Axar Patel was castled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a superb yorker while both Pandey and Nortje were run out, going for a dicey second run as the SRH fielders did not make any mistakes. Washington Sundar recovered well from a fumble to send in a fine throw to the keeper to catch Pandey short. Nortje had a major confusion with Ripal Patel over a second run and was caught well short by Umran Malik with a good throw to the keeper.
Delhi Capitals were not done yet, as they lost Ripal Patel's run out in the final over when wicketkeeper Klassen brought down the stumps with an underarm throw and Delhi Capitals could only manage a below-par 144/9.But in the end that proved enough for a 7-run win.
Delhi Capitals 144/9 in 20 overs (Axar Patel 34, Manish Pandey 34; Washington Sundar 3-28, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-11) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 137/6 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 49, Henrich Klassen 31, Washington Sundar 24 not out; Axar Patel 2-21, Anrich Nortje 2-33) by 7 runs.