Skipper David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha struck blazing half-centuries on Tuesday as Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Delhi Capitals by 88 runs to keep their Indian Premier League play-off hopes alive.
Warner smashed 66 on his 34th birthday and put on 107 runs for the opening wicket with Saha, who hit 87 off 45 deliveries, to guide Hyderabad to 219 for two in Dubai.
Rashid Khan returned season-best figures of 3-7 from his four overs of leg-spin as Hyderabad bowled out Delhi for 131 and moved to sixth spot with five wins from 12 games.
“Two world-class bowlers in (Anrich) Nortje and (Kagiso) Rabada. We decided to go after it (the bowling),” Warner said in the post-match presentation.
“As for Rashid, it is incredible that he’s taking so many wickets and not going for runs, especially given the dew and the moisture here. We’ve got games at Sharjah to go so hopefully we can put on a show there.”
Hyderabad though will have to win their remaining two games and then depend on net run-rate to make the qualifiers, while Delhi dropped out of the top two with their third straight loss.
Saha, a wicketkeeper-batsman who got his first game this IPL in place of England’s Jonny Bairstow, took on the bowling as he hit 12 fours and two sixes.
Warner soon joined the party and hit Rabada for 22 runs in one over as the left-handed batsman got to his fifty in 25 balls.
Ravichandran Ashwin finally dismissed Warner and Saha fell to speedster Nortje but Manish Pandey kept up the attack with his unbeaten 44 off 31 balls.
Delhi were never in the chase after losing in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan for nought from the second ball of the innings and Marcus Stoinis, for five, in the second over.
Khan struck twice in his first over and the eighth of the innings with the wickets of Shimron Hetmyer and Ajinkya Rahane.
“We have lost three games in a row, so we have to reset right now,” Delhi coach Ricky Ponting told reporters.
“We play Mumbai Indians next and then RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore), so we have very big and tough opponents coming up. And if we keep playing the way we are, we will find it hard to win those games.”
Mumbai lead the table, with Virat Kohli’s RCB sitting in second place ahead of Delhi.
The top two face each other in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.