Delhi DaredevilsIt was a case of too near and yet too far for Delhi Daredevils, when they hosted Sunrisers Hyderabad at their adopted home in Raipur’s Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium on Saturday night. Batting first after winning the toss, Sunrisers lost their otherwise prolific openers early and as DD bowlers applied pressure, they lost 4 wickets by the 15th over for just 99 on the score board. But SRH found an unlikely savior in Moises Henriques, who overcame a slow struggled start that brought him just 10 runs off the 16 balls, he faced. Then Henriques rose to the occasion and stirred out of his hobble. In the last 5 overs of the SRH innings, he was the dominant partner beginning with a huge six off Amit Mishra, hard running between wickets with Ravi Bopara for converting singles into twos, and three more sixes in the last two overs. At the end of 20 overs, Henriques remained unbeaten on 74 scored off 46 balls with one four and 5 sixes. Bopara’s 17 off 11 was no less valuable as the unfinished stand took SRH to 163/4 in the end. Coming back for the 164-run victory chase, Delhi Daredevils faltered in the beginning, though Quinton de Kock justified his inclusion with a breezy half century. With Yuvraj coming a cropper yet again and Duminy falling to the guile of Karn Sharma, DD were lagging behind with just 66 in the 11th over. Needing almost 100 runs in the last 9 overs proved too much despite brave late show from Kedar Jadhav and Saurabh Tiwary. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar yielding just six runs in 19th over, DD required 16 from the 20th. Ishant Sharma yielded 9 more and DD fell short by 6 runs in the end.

SRH captain David Warner won the toss and chose the batting option. After realizing 19 runs by the 4th over, Shikhar Dhawan fell to a miscued leg-side flick off Zaheer Khan and lobbed an easy catch to midwicket. Two balls later, Warner also perished in trying a flick off Nathan Coulter-Nile. He too holed out to midwicket, where Saurabh Tiwary jumped his full height to hold an overhead catch. Two men on the crease at that moment were Moises Henriques and last match’s hero Eoin Morgan. But none of them could get going against the restrictive bowling by new man Jayant Yadav, Zaheer Khan, Coulter-Nile and Amit Mishra. Morgan finally departed in the 11th over after scoring a labored 22 off 25 balls. Karn Sharma was promoted in the order and he joined Henriques, who was still struggling with his form. When Sharma got out in the 15th over, SRH had only reached 99/4 and chances of a challenging total diminished. Out of the blue, Henriques came awake and he began swinging his bat. Added to that, he and Bopara ran hard between the wickets. A flurry of runs peppered by sixes helped SRH post a healthy 163/4 at the end of their 20 overs.

When Delhi came out for the 164-run chase, they lost Shreyas Iyer in the third over but JP Duminy and his South African Teammate Quinton de Kock carried the score to 60 in the 9th over before de Kock succumbed to the guile of Karn Sharma and was smartly stumped by Naman Ojha. Next man Yuvraj Singh lasted just 7 balls for his 2 runs before holing out to Karn Sharma at long-on. Following on the heels of Yuvraj was skipper Duminy, who couldn’t read a Karn Sharma delivery to be bowled out. It was the 11th over of DD innings and they were quite a distance away from the target with a high asking rate. To Delhi’s credit, Kedar Jadhav and Saurabh Tiwary attempted a herculean task of taking DD to victory and almost succeeded. Jadhav remained not out on 63 off 34 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes with Saurabh Tiwary nicely complementing his more prolific partner with a 25-ball 26. The 19th over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the crunch and DD could take only 6 out of it as Kumar astutely mixed low full tosses with yorkers and Jadhav and Tiwary were tied down. That made the 20th over easy for SRH as DD required 16. Despite Ishant Sharma conceding 9 runs, DD fell short by 6 runs and Daredevils became the second team after KXIP to lose the play-off race.