Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia’s limited overs opening duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch both scored half-centuries to help the Sunrisers Hyderabad sneak past the Delhi Daredevils by four runs in Dubai.
Hyderabad captain Shikhar Dhawan would have been delighted with his decision to bat first as he and Finch amassed a 56-run partnership before he was caught by Delhi captain Kevin Pietersen at fine leg off the bowling of Shahbaz Nadeem for 33.
From that point on it was all Warner and Finch as they put together an unbeaten 128-run partnership, during which both of them brought up their half-centuries, to lead Hyderabad to 184/1 at the end of their 20 overs.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Finch finished on 88 off 53 balls, which included eight boundaries and four sixes, while Warner remained undefeated on 58 off 45 deliveries, which included three boundaries and three sixes.
Nadeem was the only bowler to take a wicket.
Chasing 185 to win, the Daredevils got off to a brilliant start as their opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay mustered a 99-run partnership before de Kock was caught by Finch off the bowling of Karn Sharma.
De Kock’s solid knock of 48 came off 30 balls and included six boundaries and a six.
Vijay went on to score 52 off 40 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Dale Steyn at long-on off the bowling of Darren Sammy.
Dinesh Karthik only made 15 runs before he was caught by Lokesh Rahul at deep midwicket off the bowling of Steyn.
Steyn struck again the very next ball when Pietersen was caught by Sammy to be dismissed for 16 in his first game of the 2014 IPL season.
Delhi kept on fighting until they eventually needed 12 runs off the last two balls to tie the game.
South Africa all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy launched the second-last ball for a huge six, but could not get the same result on the last ball.
Steyn was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Sharma and Sammy chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Pietersen was disappointed to have come so close, and said: “Great game of cricket. Very close. Not that far off [from getting a win]. Quinny and Vijay started well but credit to Finchy, he played fantastically and Warner also chipped in. He doesn’t like being lethargic in the first six overs. My hand is good as gold, i proved it in the dismissal. Shouldn’t have hit it that far. Fantastic to be back. Just have to get over the line in a couple of the nailbiters and we will be back.”
Dhawan was pleased to have won the match, and said: “Finally we are off the mark. Great feeling to win and we needed it to boost our confidence. We knew we had the people and we just needed to click. Started off with a great partnership and Aaron and Warner took us through. Moody is very fit and gives his beautiful lectures and we have mentors to motivate the players. Any day, me [on the winner of the contest of moustaches with Ravindra Jadeja].”
Finch was named Man of the Match, and said: “Nice, slow start to the tournament. Remained positive and in this kind of format when we get on a winning streak it can last. The wicket, we knew, would be hard for the new batters and we made a conscious effort to bat long. It’s T20, you cant win them all, but as long as we can win them when it counts we’re happy.”