Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Delhi Capitals 155 for 7 (Iyer 45, Khaleel 3-30) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 116 (Warner 51, Bairstow 41, Rabada 4-22, Paul 3-17) by 39 runs
Kane Williamson returned from injury and Sunrisers Hyderabad rang in four changes, but their brittle middle order cost them their third successive match in IPL 2019. This after incisive bursts from quicks Khaleel Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had limited Delhi Capitals to 155 for 7.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow built a strong platform in the chase, putting on 72 off 59 balls for the first wicket. However, from 72 for 0 and then 101 for 2, Sunrisers crashed and burned to 116 all out with seven balls unused in their innings.
This was Capitals' third successive win on the road, and it moved them up to second on the points table, behind only Chennai Super Kings, who have a four-point lead at the top. Kagiso Rabada and Keemo Paul played starring roles for Capitals, claiming seven wickets and six catches between them, including a sharp caught-and-bowled chance.
Welcome back, Khaleel and Munro
From out of nowhere, Khaleel bolted into India's limited-overs squads last year, but fell out of the World Cup plans after repeatedly erring in his lines and lengths in New Zealand earlier this year. He then let it rip for Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, emerging as the highest wicket-taker for his state with 12 scalps at an economy rate of 6.47, despite playing only four games.
Injury meant he wasn't immediately available in the XI for six games, but he recovered for this game, coming into the XI alongside Williamson. This Hyderabad track offered some early zip to the quicks, and Khaleel ably exploited it with his splice-jarring lengths.
In his first over, he cramped Prithvi Shaw for room and had him edging a cut to the keeper. In his next over, he properly dug one into the middle of the pitch and drew a top-edged hook from Shikhar Dhawan.
Capitals were 20 for 2 in the fourth over, but Colin Munro teed off to give the innings a leg-up. Colin Ingram had returned to South Africa on paternity leave, but the other Colin checked in with rasping cover-drives and leg-side pick-up shots. Just when Munro was threatening to launch into top gear, left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma unfurled a back-spinning legcutter to dismiss him.
Delhi Capitals lose their way
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant put on 56 for the fourth wicket, but they couldn't get enough big hits away. Vijay Shankar, Abhishek, and Deepak Hooda filled in for the fifth-bowling option, giving away only 35 runs among them. Rashid Khan strangled them further with his fizzing legbreaks and wrong'uns.
Iyer then went searching for runs against Bhuvneshwar, but he got one to burst off the deck and had Capitals' captain tickling behind for 45 off 40 balls. In the next over, Khaleel took down Pant for 23 off 19 balls to expose Daredevils' brittle lower-middle order. Capitals managed just 34 runs for the loss of four wickets in their last five overs. Sunrisers would fare worse in the chase.
Sunrisers get swamped
With the ball sliding onto the bat in the early exchanges, Warner and Bairstow shaved 40 runs off the target of 156 in the Powerplay. Enter Keemo Paul. The pitch stared to tire and he bowled a variety of slower balls, including ones in the 90kph range to force Sunrisers to manufacture the pace for themselves. When Bairstow and Williamson attempted to do that, they were both caught by Rabada.
Local batsman Ricky Bhui, who was promoted to No.4 ahead of the in-form Vijay Shankar, laboured to 7 off 12 balls before Paul got him too, this time with a seam-up ball.
Suddenly, Sunrisers were left needing 52 off 24 balls and were up against Rabada. The South Africa fast bowler took down Warner and Vijay off successive balls to hasten Sunrisers' collapse. While Warner was undone by a 114kph slower one, Vijay was blasted out by a ball that was 34kph faster. Chris Morris followed it up with three wickets in the next over to put the game beyond Sunrisers' reach.
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