Williamson, Pathan lead SRH back to top

Sunrisers Hyderabad have been without Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the last few IPL 2018 gams but the likes of Sandeep Sharma and Siddarth Kaul have pitched in well

Young Prithvi Shaw, Iyer and stumper Rishabh Pant have been Delhi's batting mainstay even as their foreign recruits like Colin Munro and Glenn Maxwell have failed to fire. The rest of the Daredevils batsmen struggled to force the issue; from 95-1 at the 10-over mark, DD could only add 68 runs in the back half. Needing 14 runs in the last over, Williamson (33 not out off 30 balls) and Pathan (27 not out; 2×4, 2×6) took SRH home with the later mauling Liam Plunkett.

Eyeing a challenging total for SRH have never chased more than 150 on home turf since 2015, the hosts got off to a steady start with openers Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan laying the early strong platform.

Pathan, who survived a dropped catch and later an LBW decision - which he overturned via DRS, lived up to the reputation of being a power hitter ensured SRH cross the line in the death overs.

However, their concern lies in the batting front, apart captain Kane Williamson, who has 354 runs from nine games at an average of 50.

He bowled an absolute beauty of a ball - perhaps the delivery of the tournament - to break the promising 76-run opening partnership between Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan. Both of them have looked off colour and the team would want their big guns to fire. The required run-rate kept creeping up but Williamson and Pandey batted their way out without throwing their wicket away. Under Kane Williamson they've become a formidable side and are six from eight and looking likely to secure one of the top two spots that gives them two bites of the cherry in terms of making the final.

Rashid Khan was the best bowler for Hyderabad with a bowling figure 2/23 in four overs. Rishabh Pant also went down fairly early, having scored 18 runs before being trapped by a Rashid Khan delivery. The two plundered 27 runs as the Englishman hit three sixes while the left-hander struck one six in that eventful over.

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In the spin department Iyer can turn to veteran Amit Mishra, and Shabaz Nadeem.

Ironically, in the same over, Avesh was pulled nonchalantly by Dhawan for a six.

The two leg-spinners in the match - Rashid Khan and Amit Mishra - had excellent outings.

Naman Ojha was dismissed cheaply and Shaw would fall eventually, but not before scoring a well-played 65 runs. His two-over spell in the middle read 2-0-12-1.

SRH has the lowest ER in the first six overs - 7.00 - while DD has the poorest which is pegged at 9.96 after their first nine games. Hyderabad's strength mostly relies on their bowlers, who didn't let Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence felt in last few matches as the medium-pacer is suffering a back injury.

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