It was a case of two teams keeping their winning momentum going as Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad registered contrasting wins in their respective matches on Saturday.
While Delhi pulled off a stunning comeback win over Mumbai Indians by 10 runs at the Kotla, Hyderabad made it past a hapless Kings XI Punjab team.
The Rahul Dravid Effect Kicking In?
Delhi Daredevils produced a fine all-round show to beat defending champions Mumbai Indians and extend their winning run in the IPL this year.
Young Sanju Samson (60) struck a fine half-century while JP Duminy made a brisk unbeaten 49 to help Daredevils post 164 for five after being asked to bat.
Defending the total, Daredevils dished out a disciplined bowling and fielding display to restrict Mumbai Indians to 154 for seven and register their third win on the trot.
Veteran Amit Mishra proved why he is regarded as the best leg-spinner of the country at present by returning with figures of 4-0-24-2, which included the important wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Jos Buttler.
Krunal Pandya came to bat at No. 4 and the youngster used his long handle to great effect to make a quickfire 36 off just 17 balls before he was caught short off the crease at the non-strikers end by a direct hit from Daredevils skipper Zaheer Khan off his own bowling.
Krunal struck four boundaries and two huge sixes and together with Rohit, who played second fiddle for the most part, shared 41 runs for the third wicket.
The way Krunal was going at one stage it looked Mumbai would finish off the match in quick time but his run out and Mishra’s brilliant spell in the middle overs turned the things in Daredevils favour. Mishra then foxed Butler with another googly to trap the batsman plumb in front of the wicket.
With Mumbai Indians needing 47 off the last four overs for a win, Rohit and big-hitting Kieron Pollard fell short.
Needing 21 off the last over, Rohit brought down the equation with a six off the second ball of Morris but he fell victim to an unnecessary mix up with Hardik Pandya in the very next ball while going for a double.
Samson was named Man of the Match for his excellent 60, but the match was won by some excellent middle-overs bowling by Delhi, who were led from the front by Zaheer Khan.
Great feeling to get a call right. Prediction of Zaheer Khan as a top leader for #DelhiDaredevils and Mustafizur, The Fizz, as top bowler.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 23, 2016
Is the IPL already over for Kings XI Punjab?
Swashbuckling opener David Warner blasted another quickfire fifty as Sunrisers Hyderabad continued their rampaging run with a thumping five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.
Electing to bowl first, the SRH bowlers dished out a superlative bowling effort to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 143 for six in their stipulated 20 overs and then returned to overhaul the target, reaching 146-5 with 13 balls to spare.
Chasing 144 to win, Warner (59 off 31 balls) and Dhawan (45 off 44 balls) shared a match-winning 90-run opening partnership off just 59 balls to lay the foundation of the run-chase at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium.
Warner continued his purple patch as he blasted seven boundaries and three sixes, while Dhawan also produced a flourishing innings laced with four boundaries.
Sunrisers registered their third successive victory, while Kings XI Punjab succumbed to yet another loss, their fourth defeat in five matches in IPL-9.
Having said that, didn’t think #SRH could be a force this year!! But bowling and @davidwarner31 have lifted the team— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 23, 2016
Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rehman picked up two wickets, including a wicket in a maiden over, giving away just nine runs to restrict the visitors to 143-6. It was yet another superlative performance from The Fizz.
Put into bat, Shaun Marsh (40 off 34 balls) was the top-scorer for Punjab with three boundaries and two huge sixes, while all-rounder Axar Patel’s unbeaten 36 off 17 balls lower down the order laced with three sixes and a four helped them put a decent score on board.
Manan Vohra, who has been consistent for KXIP this season, contributed 25 runs that had a six and three fours.
As the side struggled following the exit of Captain David Miller and Glen Maxwell, young Nikhil Nayak (22) gave good company to Patel, sharing 50 runs, to help the side reach 143.
The Punjab side suffered an early setback with its opener Murali Vijay returning to the pavilion in the third over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Vijay paid the price for his poor shot as wicket keeper Naman Ojha took a simple catch.
Other opener Vohra was run out in the sixth over bowled by Mustafizur Rahman following some brilliant fielding by Shikhar Dhawan, whose direct throw found him short of crease.
Mustafizur Rahman -the 20th time a bowler has conceded less than 10 runs in a 4 over spell in #IPLBrett Lee/Amit Mishra – twice#SRHvKXIP— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) April 23, 2016
The KXIP suffered another major setback in the 10th over when Henriques dismissed struggling duo of skipper Miller (9) and Glen Maxwell (1) in the same over.
Marsh, who appeared set for a big innings, was then trapped in front of wicket by Rahman in the 14th over.
But the duo of Nayak and Patel played their useful role to take the innings forward.
Featured image source: BCCI