IPL 2014 Results: Finch, Warner Spoil Pietersen's Return as Sunrisers Hyderabad Edge Delhi Daredevils
By Deepak Vikraman | April 25, 2014 11:56 PM EST
Kevin Pietersen, at last, made his first appearance in IPL 2014, but the England tyro could not quite inspire his Delhi Daredevils side to a victory as the Sunrisers Hyderabad, with their explosive top three finally breaking out of their cocoons, picked up their first win of the season at the third time of asking.
The Sunrisers decided to make KP wait to wield his willow by deciding to bat first with Shikhar Dhawan (33), Aaron Finch (88) and David Warner (58) taking the Hyderabad franchise to 184 for one in their 20 overs.
Pietersen was rusty on his return, not exactly going berserk like we all know he can, as the Daredevils were unable to capitalise on a brilliant 99-run opening partnership from Quinton De Kock (48) and Murali Vijay (52).
JP Duminy threatened to steal a win for the Daredevils at the death again, finding that boundary in some style in his brief seven-ball 20-run stay, but the Sunrisers held their nerve to pull off a four-run win with DD finishing on 180 for four.
A sound opening partnership was imperative to chase down the big score, but the Delhi Daredevils went a lot better with a smashing first-wicket alliance.
Both Vijay and De Kock, playing his first match of IPL 2014, took a liking to the Sunrisers bowling right from the off, with the Hyderabad side, known for their superior bowling strength unable to find answers.
De Kock was especially impressive, scoring some cracking boundaries, while Vijay played a knock reminiscent of the ones played so often for CSK a few years back.
The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn could not give Dhawan that much-needed early wicket as DD raced to 98 in 11 overs.
When chasing a score of 184, though, the required run rate never lets up, and De Kock's (48, 30b, 6x4, 1x6) innings ended two short of a half-century, with the South African finding Finch at deep midwicket off Karn Sharma looking to keep the scoring going.
The one-run over with a wicket from Sharma (one for 23) brought the Sunrisers back into the game, but that hope was completely reliant on just how Pietersen would play in his first innings of this season's IPL.
The pressure on the DD captain to play a KP-like knock increased in the very next over with Vijay (50, 40b, 7x4, 1x6) irresponsibly throwing his wicket away, looking for a big six over long-on, a ball after hitting a boundary off Darren Sammy, only to find Steyn in the deep.
The two wickets slowed the momentum down with the equation reading 71 from the final six overs, with another good over for the Sunrisers, from Amit Mishra, cranking the required rate up just that little bit more with 66 from the final 30 balls needed.
Pietersen, who took five deliveries to get off the mark, and Karthik had the experience to haul down the target and a trademark six from the former over long-on brought it down to a still formidable 56 from the last four overs.
Two wickets in two balls from Steyn, of Karthik (15, 14b, 1x4) and Pietersen (16, 17b. 1x4, 1x6), both of whom failed to clear the boundary swung the pendulum firmly in Hyderabad's favour, with the onus completely falling on JP Duminy to pull some final-hitting magic out to save the Daredevils.
Eighteen runs off the 18th over from Mishra, courtesy two maximums from Manoj Tiwary and Duminy, kept the game alive, with the equation reading 31 from the final two overs. Steyn then conceded 11 runs, leaving DD needing 20 runs from the last six deliveries bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Duminy took it to the final delivery with a six off the penultimate ball but Bhuvneshwar kept his cool to give the Sunrisers a maiden win in IPL 7.
Earlier, the much-vaunted Sunrisers Hyderabad top three finally hit their stride, and as a result SRH naturally posted a big score. Dhawan got the ball rolling to the boundary with a quickfire 33, allowing Finch to settle at the other end, with the Australian later, along with his compatriot Warner, going slam-bang to take the score well over 180.
Dhawan (33, 22b, 5x4, 1x6) has looked off-colour for quite a while now, but the timing, and especially finding the gaps, was well in show as the left-hander got his team off to a flier, with the Sunrisers running to 55 for no loss after the Powerplay overs.
The left-hander, who was dropped on 26 by Manoj Tiwary, perished in the seventh over, mistimg a long-hop from Shahbaz Nadeem (4-0-24-1) with Pietersen, sore hands and everything, grabbing his first catch of IPL 2014.
Warner came in and was given a life in just his second delivery, with Karthik unable to latch onto a big deflection from the left-hander - it would have been a stunning catch had Karthik managed to get enough of his gloves around to keep the ball in his gloves.
There was no real looking back for the Sunrisers from there, as Finch took over the aggressor's role with Warner taking some time to find his feet and timing, as the duo put on an unbeaten 128 in 82 balls. SRH scored 103 runs in the final ten overs, with 66 of those runs coming in just the final 30 deliveries as Finch fell 12 short of a hundred with Warner completing his own half-century.
The Sunrisers needed every bit of that 185 with the Delhi Daredevils running them close, but falling marginally short.
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