New Delhi: Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson put on a record unbeaten 176-run partnership as Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Delhi Daredevils and became the first team to seal a playoff berth in IPL 2018.
Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 128 for Delhi as they posted 187 on what looked to be a slow and sluggish pitch.
However, Williamson and Dhawan took the game by the scruff of the neck after opener Alex Hales early departure. The two seemed to be batting on a totally different surface as they dominated right from the word go, not giving the bowlers even a single opportunity.
Delhi didn’t help themselves either as they bowled in the wrong areas and looked to save runs rather than pick wickets. Shreyas Iyer used 7 bowling options but all the bowlers conceded at above 8 runs per over as Sunrisers chased down the total in 18.5 overs.
The dew also played its part as the ball came onto the bat and made the job a whole lot easier for the batsmen.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant helped Delhi reach what looked to be an above par total. Pant hit 15 fours and seven sixes, more than making up for his involvement in run-outs of captain Shreyas Iyer (3 off 7) and Harshal Patel (24 off 17).
Delhi didn’t get off to the best of starts as Shakib Al Hasan struck off consecutive balls in the fourth over to remove in-form opener Prithvi Shaw (9) and Jason Roy (11), leaving Delhi struggling at 21 for two.
Pant released the pressure with a hat-trick of boundaries against Siddharth Kaul in the sixth over before doing the same to lead spinner Rashin Khan in the 12th over.
Delhi had crawled to 52 for three in 10 overs but Pant’s power hitting quickly changed the course of the game. He reached the 50-run mark with his trademark hit, a six over mid-wicket off Shakib. He got to the 100 in a similar fashion, muscling a full toss from Kaul over mid-wicket.
The way Pant took on the likes of Shakib, Kaul and Bhuvenshwar Kumar was commendable. The left-hander was also at his innovative best as he used the scoop shot over third man not once but thrice.
Two of those scoops were in the final over bowled by Bhuvneshwar who proved to be the most expensive bowler for Sunrisers, leaking 51 runs in four overs.
The 20th over saw Pant dispatching Bhuvneshwar for two boundaries and three consecutive sixes, including a one handed hit that sailed over long-on.
Thanks largely to Pant, Delhi amassed 135 runs in the last 10 overs which helped them reach the total.
Shikhar Dhawan was chosen as the Player of the Match.
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