Williamson and Dhawan overwhelm Daredevils
Sunrisers Hyderabad 191 for 4 (Williamson 89, Dhawan 70, Morris 4-24) beat Delhi Daredevils 176 for 5 (Iyer 50*, Samson 42, Siraj 2-39) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kane Williamson, playing his first match of the season, made an imperious 89 off 51 balls and propelled Sunrisers Hyderabad to their fourth win in four home matches.
Williamson was named New Zealand's T20 international player of the year last month and yet he could not break into Sunrisers' XI until their sixth game. This was probably because his record in the IPL doesn't match up to his usual standards. Before today, Williamson had only one six in eight IPL innings. On Wednesday, he hit five times as many on a used pitch to lead Sunrisers to 191 for 4.
Delhi Daredevils put up a good fight, led by Shreyas Iyer 's riveting 50 off 31 balls with five fours and two sixes. But even he could do little against an equation that eventually read 24 off the last over. Siddharth Kaul was asked to finish the match off but he was smacked for six second ball. The seamer recovered by bowling two dots and getting rid of Angelo Mathews to secure a 15-run win.
Dealing with a two-paced pitch
On a track where some balls stopped on the batsmen while others skidded on, run-scoring was not easy. David Warner was dismissed for his first single-digit score in 19 T20 innings as a bouncer from Chris Morris came on slower than he expected. Jayant Yadav's accurate non-turning offbreaks gave Sunrisers no breathing space at the other end. They managed only 39 for 1 in the first six overs.
Williamson, coming in place of Mohammad Nabi, became handy for Sunrisers. After getting set, he smashed back-to-back sixes off Mathews and began changing the pace of the game. Suddenly, Sunrisers had hustled 52 in five overs between the seventh and the 11th.
Williamson raised his second IPL fifty off 33 balls and surged into top gear. He took legspinner Amit Mishra for 21 runs off nine balls. He exploited any gap the Daredevils left unprotected. In the ninth over, seeing Zaheer Khan posting his boundary riders on the off side and leaving fine leg up, he walked across his stumps and scooped the ball away.
Shikhar Dhawan, having hit the first ball of the match for four, was happy in Williamson's slipstream. Together they put on Sunrisers' 10th century partnership and the first not involving Warner. Only after the stand was broken did he try something fancy. A full delivery from Mathews in the 18th over was almost helicoptered over the midwicket boundary. Just as he looked set to bat through the innings, Morris dismissed him for 70 off 50 balls. It was Dhawan's third-highest score for Sunrisers in the IPL.
Samson, Nair set Delhi up
Mohammed Siraj, playing his first IPL match, got lucky when Sam Billings chipped a leg-stump half-volley straight to short midwicket. Sanju Samson and Karun Nair, however, showed him no such mercy. Samson picked up a length ball and flicked it with the angle over the long-on boundary, while Nair drove a wide half-volley through the covers. He then reached his first 30-plus score in 15 innings across all formats, since the triple-century in Chennai, when he launched Moises Henriques over long-off for a six. By then, Daredevils were 80 for 1 in nine overs.
Sunrisers then prised out two wickets from nowhere. Vijay Shankar, the substitute fielder, speared a flat throw from long-on to run Nair out for 33. Rishabh Pant then wasted his promotion to No. 4, hoicking a Yuvraj Singh full ball from outside off to long-on. Only 18 runs came off the next three overs as the asking rate ballooned past 12. Samson attempted to prick the balloon, but only skewed a slower ball from Siraj to cover.
Iyer's late rearguard
Daredevils' hope rested in Iyer now and he fanned them with two sixes off legspinner Rashid Khan who ended with 0 for 33 in four overs. Mathews, sent ahead of the in-form Morris, however, laboured to 31 off 23 balls. Ultimately, Morris, who has a strike-rate of 238.7 this season, did not face a single ball.
Sunrisers, though, might have been worried when Kaul conceded 13 off the 18th over and later when Iyer carved a reverse-swinging yorker from Bhuvneshwar for a four. But Kaul bounced back in the final over to hand Daredevils their third defeat.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo