JP Duminy‘s all-round brilliance set the foundation of Delhi Daredevils’ second win of the season but it still took remarkable presence of mind from Mayank Agarwal to close the doors on Sunrisers Hyderabad. The home team needed seven runs off the last two balls when Karn Sharma’s slice was headed over the rope behind point, but Agarwal leapt and parried the ball back into play to deny Sunrisers four runs. That save more or less sealed the result.
That Sunrisers had managed to come so close was largely due to some late blows from Karn and Ashish Reddy, but they had already been put in an awkward position by Duminy. He had scored a 41-ball 54, one of the two key efforts that lifted Daredevils to their eventual 167, and his four key wickets were key in stalling Sunrisers.
Duminy removed both David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan in the seventh over, just after the two had taken 30 off the previous two overs. Those strikes changed the momentum. Duminy pulled it towards Daredevils even further in the 17th over when he removed both Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara. It was only the fifth time a player had managed a fifty and a four-wicket haul in the same game.
Batting was not easy on a tricky pitch. After their loss to Rajasthan Royals in their previous match, Sunrisers had asked the curator for a surface with more pace, but it wasn’t to be. The new pitch behaved exactly the way the other one did, with ball sticking and the bounce unpredictable. Throughout the game, seamers often used their slower ones, there were plenty of edges, while Dhawan took a couple of blows around the rib cage.
Perhaps because of this unknown, Warner had said he wanted to bowl after Daredevils had opted to bat. As Agarwal edged to slip a rising delivery from Praveen Kumar, that decision seemed justified but Shreyas Iyer, after initial discomfort, showed that if a batsman was prepared to stick on, there were runs to be had.
Iyer punched Dale Steyn, who was playing his first game of the season, for a boundary through cover in the bowler’s second over but was also lucky a couple of times as the edges evaded the fielders. Twenty-eight runs came in the first five overs but as Duminy held one end, Iyer went on the offensive, taking 12 runs off the sixth over, bowled by Praveen.
Iyer reserved special treatment for Karn’s legspin, hitting the bowler for three sixes in the eight balls he faced off him, the last of which brought up his maiden IPL half-century, in 32 balls. That intensity manifested in the scores, as 52 runs came in the second five-over block.
Iyer was dismissed soon after as he was fooled by a slower delivery, but Duminy, who had been patiently watching from the other end took the mantle of scoring, hitting two fours and a six off Bopara, then hoisting Steyn over long-on to reach his half-century off 39 balls.
Such brilliance doesn’t ensure a win at times. Ask Yuvraj Singh, who has done that all-round double twice before, but his side lost the match in both instances. Today, however, Duminy had two critical supporting acts – Iyer with the bat and Agarwal, in that last over, down at the boundary.