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Head, Natarajan shine in run-fest as Sunrisers beat DC by 67 runs

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New Delhi, April 20: Travis Head’s aggressive fifty and bowlers’ determination helped Sunrisers Hyderabad score a fine 67-run victory over Delhi Capitals in their IPL match here on Saturday.
Chasing a massive 267 run for win, Delhi were in the hunt initially through Jake Fraser-McGurk (65, 18b, 5×4, 7×6) and Abhishek Porel (42, 22b, 7×4, 1×6).
But once both of them were dismissed, Delhi’s chase too fizzled out as SRH bowlers struck regularly to push the asking rate near the realm of impossibility.
Pacer T Natarajan bagged four wickets while leg-spinner Mayank Markande picked up two wickets for SRH.
Earlier, Head shone yet again as SRH notched up an imposing 266 for seven. They scored 125 runs without loss in power play, a record in the IPL.
Head smashed a 32-ball 89 (11×4, 6×6) while Abhishek Sharma clobbered 46 off 12 balls.
Shahbaz Ahmed then scored an unbeaten 59 (29 balls) to give SRH another massive total to defend.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav took four wickets for DC.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals were hit by a tornado named Travis Head and cyclone called Abhishek Sharma as Sunrisers Hyderabad piled up yet another imposing total — 266 for 7 — but would certainly rue missing out on going past 300 in an IPL match here on Saturday.
An IPL record Powerplay score of 125 in six overs set the tone as Head, followed up his hundred in the last match against RCB, with a scintillating 89 off 32 balls.
He had Abhishek matching his tempo with 46 off just 12 balls with both the openers helping themselves to a half a dozen sixes.
Khaleel Ahmed, the left-arm seamer, whose career has been dogged by inconsistency, helped Sunrisers in getting a ‘Head start’ as the short balls were summarily dispatched over deep mid-wicket for sixes with 19 coming off the first over.
On a track, where it required them to pitch it on a fuller length, all Delhi pacers bowled short as Head and Abhishek would just stand deep in their crease and make merry.
On a shirtfront of a track, Rishabh Pant’s decision to bowl first could be debated for the longest time to come. More so his decision to give the second over to Lalit Yadav, whose off-breaks in Delhi cricket circuit is jokingly referred as “right-arm nothing” was even more contentious.
Head and Abhishek both sent each and every bowler on a leather-hunt. The normally brave Kuldeep Yadav (4/55 in 4 overs), started by giving the ball air but Abhishek carted him into the Kotla stands repeatedly, forcing him to adopt a flatter trajectory.
It paid dividends as he dismissed Abhishek, Aiden Markram and Head in successive overs while Axar Patel (1/29 in 4 overs) stood tall amid ruins with the best economy rate.
His dismissal of Heinrich Klaasen (15) also ensured that 30,000 viewers at the Kotla didn’t get to witness the first-ever 300 plus total of IPL.
Kuldeep had the highest number of dot balls (8) among Delhi bowlers but he also conceded the maximum numbers of ‘maximums’ –7, a rare kind of contrasting double by a bowler in the same match. (PTI)

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