DC vs SRH, IPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad Beat Delhi Capitals By 67 Runs

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In a run-fest at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) put in a great performance with the bat to power themselves to a 67-run victory over the Delhi Capitals (DC). It was yet another performance by the SRH batters that will be remembered for ages, with a target of 267 proving too monumental for the hosts.

SRH started off their innings as if they wanted to better their recent records at the TATA IPL. They have already bettered the record score twice during the season – first scoring 277 against Mumbai Indians (MI) and then smashing 286 in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Today, for a while, it looked like SRH would breach the 300 mark. While they did not set a new benchmark overall, they managed to score 125 in the powerplay – a record in the IPL. Their eventual score of 266 is now the fourth highest score in the IPL history.

Travis Head continued from where he left against RCB and was in fifth gear from the first over. The second ball of the match was smashed over long-on for a six. Head then went on to pick up three fours – amassing 19 off the first over by Khaleel Ahmed. Lalit Yadav, the off-spinner, was introduced in the second over, and head welcomed him with two sixes over mid-wicket. That over went for 21.

Anrich Nortje was brought in for the third over and there was no mercy from Head. This time, he unleashed an array of shots that went all over the ground. A six off the last ball brought him a half-century off only 16 balls. Nortje went for 22!

At the other end, Abhishek Sharma had faced only two balls in the first three overs – smashing both for fours. He came to the party in the fourth over – smashing two sixes off Lalit. This pushed Rishabh Pant to bring his trump-card – Kuldeep Yadav – inside the powerplay. There was no respite, though, as his first over was taken apart for three sixes. SRH went past 100 inside five overs. The previous record for the highest powerplay score was by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2017 – when they hit 105. SRH breezed past it with 22 in the sixth over bowled by Mukesh Kumar, setting the new benchmark at 125. Head was on 84 off 26 – threatening the record for the fastest century in the TATA IPL. Abhishek was on 40 off 10 – challenging the record for the fastest fifty in the tournament.

The carnage forced Pant to call for an early time-out. Kuldeep continued after the break and was welcomed with a six down the ground by Abhishek. However, off the next ball, he hit it straight to cover and was dismissed for 46. Aiden Markram lasted only two balls as he played one to Axar Patel at cover and was caught. The twin wickets helped uplift DC’s morale.

The next few overs were relatively quiet although Klaasen also signalled his intentions with two sixes off Kuldeep. However, Head was dismissed in that over when he hit one to long-on. He walked back after scoring an entertaining 89 off 32 balls – featuring 11 sixes and six fours. SRH had sped away to 154 for three in nine overs. In the next over, Klaasen was bowled by Axar for 15.

The next few overs were all about consolidation for SRH as Nitish Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed put on a partnership that stabilised SRH. The 47-ball 67-run stand avoided a collapse and took SRH past 200. The value of this partnership may be eclipsed by all the explosive batting on display in the match. However, Shahbaz Ahmed must be given credit for his unbeaten 59 off 29 balls, with five sixes. Abdul Samad also played a couple of big shots towards the end. Shahbaz managed to accelerate at the end and helped SRH past 260.

When DC came on to chase 267 for victory, they approached it with positivity and attacking instinct. In the very first over, Impact Player Prithvi Shaw, smashed Washington Sundar for fours off the first four balls of the match. In an attempt to find a fifth, he holed out to cover, presenting SRH their first success. In the second over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got rid of David Warner for a solitary run.

However, Jake Fraser-McGurk lit up the stage with a scintillating knock that sparked hopes of a possible DC victory. Such was the carnage that Fraser-McGurk beat Head to score the fastest fifty of the day – off only 15 balls. It is the joint third-fastest in the tournament’s history.

The batting on display by the DC youngster was phenomenal. He seemed unfazed by the enormity of the task before him and played his game with panache. Washington was smashed for 30 runs in the third over, as Fraser-McGurk drove when it was full or flat-batted anything short. Abhishek Porel also played an attacking hand at the other end but it was Fraser-McGurk who really took the attack to the opposition. In the powerplay, DC moved to 88 for two.

Soon after the first strategic time-out, Fraser-McGurk got to his fifty my smashing one down the ground off leg-spinner Mayank Markande. He followed that up with another one down the ground for six and made it three with another big hit. Markande then got the big breakthrough for SRH when he tossed one up and McGurk was through his shot – and only got a top-edge which was pouched by Klaasen.

When Fraser-McGurk got out, Porel turned it on as he took apart Shahbaz in the next over and milked 22 runs. However, Markande was into the act again as he deceived Porel with one outside the off-stump. Porel was left stranded after he charged down the track. At 136 for four in nine overs, one could have said that it could have gone either way. SRH had taken the wickets but DC had kept pace with the required-rate. This is when the SRH bowlers imposed themselves and tightened their grip on the game.

The bowling came together to keep attacking batters like Pant and Tristan Stubbs in check. The boundaries dried up and the required rate went up instantly. Pant (44 off 35 balls) tried his level best but it wasn’t his day as he soldiered on to the end. In that phase, T Natarajan was the pick of the bowlers as he conceded only 19 runs in his four overs and took four wickets. Reddy chipped in as well with the wicket of Stubbs and Pant and only 17 runs in 2.1 overs.

Natarajan’s first three overs were economical and he came on to bowl his last as the match was completely in SRH’s grasp. He then marked that over with three wickets to register a memorable four-wicket haul in good batting conditions. DC were bowled out for 199 in the last over.

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