The 52nd game in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League saw Delhi Daredevils battle it out against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Raipur. Karun Nair turned out to be the man of the moment as he played cleverly and used the gaps in outfield to perfection to strike an unbeaten 83 runs off 59 balls and hit eight fours and three sixes in his innings. The innings was critical for Delhi Daredevils as Nair helped his side cross the line in a last ball thriller to keep their hopes alive of making it through to the playoffs in the Indian Premier League this season.
The equation for Delhi Daredevil is simple one as they must win their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Rajpur.The last five overs of the match was nail biting stuff as the game see sawed in the favor of the both teams. It came to the penultimate over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar that saw Karun Nair to strike consecutive boundaries to win the game for his side as they required six runs off the last two balls. Karun Nair also had a fair share of luck as he was put down by David Warner on 51 and escape a close chance for caught-behind appeal in the ninth over. The missed chances by Sunrisers Hyderabad turned out to be significant moments in the game as it means Sunrisers still may have to win their game against Kolkata Knight Rider to seal their fate for the playoffs.
After de Kock departed early for the Delhi Daredevils, Rishabh Pant and Karun Nair put on a 73 wicket partnership to establish a solid base and keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely.Rishabh Pant played an enterprising innings of 32 runs and was on the aggressive against the bowlers while Nair played normally taking singles and striking boundaries to keep the equation at realistic level.
Delhi Daredevils won the toss as Zaheer Khan elected to field first. The Sunrisers started with caution against pacer Zaheer Khan but decided to up the ante once spinner Jayant Yadav came on the attack. Nathan Coulter-Nile also was taken for a lot of runs. Sunrisers scored 42 runs in the first five overs but Delhi Daredevils got back in game after dismissing Deepak Honda and Shikhar Dhawan through superb fielding efforts. David Warner scored 73 runs and 56 balls to help this side reach a total of 158 runs as the rest of middle order failed to provide adequate support to their star batsman.
The win gives Delhi Daredevils a realistic chance to qualify for the playoffs in the ninth edition while Sunrisers need to put up a better display in the next games will be crucial for them if they want to win the coveted prize for the second time in the competition.