Wriddhiman Saha, David Warner score fifties, while Rashid Khan takes three scalps
Wriddhiman Saha and David Warner handed Sunrisers Hyderabad the perfect return birthday gift, with the duo starring in the team's big win over the Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Tuesday night.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Saha, had a belated birthday celebration while skipper David Warner celebrated his on the night, with both coshing half-centuries as the 2016 champions compiled 219-2, the fourth highest total this season.
And then leg spinner Rashid Khan returned with his best bowling figures as the Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 88 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Saha, who turned 36 last Saturday, fired his way to a 45-ball 87 in which he smoked 12 boundaries and two sixes. It was his first half-century of the season and the seventh of his IPL career.
Warner, meanwhile, ushered in his 34th birthday in style by smashing his way to a 34-ball 66, his 47th IPL fifty, and third of the season. Manish Pandey remained unbeaten on 44 from 31 balls with four boundaries and a six.
Khan took three for seven in his four overs to snuff Delhi Capitals' chase in the bud as the latter were knocked over for 131 with six deliveries remaining.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad's fifth victory kept them alive in the competition. They still have to win their remaining two fixtures against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday and the Mumbai Indians on November 3 and also hope that other results go their way, for a play-off berth.
The Delhi Capitals' fifth defeat and third on the trot dropped them down to third.
"Winning the game was the most important," Rashid Khan said at the post-match presentation.
"The wicket was helping a lot. What I have been mainly focusing on is to bowl economically, whether I get wickets or not. Dot balls help me to get wickets and it also helps the other end to get wickets. I just go with a clear mind. That is my biggest strength. I want to bowl a good line and length, no matter the situation. You have to mix it up and play with the batsman's mind and see the weak zone and strong zone of the batsman as well. So, I keep those things in mind," the Afghan added.
The Delhi Capitals have arguably one of the best bowling attacks this season but Saha and Warner made them look average by sending them on a leather hunt.
The pair put their roller skates on and zipped away to 77 for no loss in the powerplay, the highest powerplay score this season. And Warner became the only player so far to strike a fifty in the powerplay in this edition when he reached 54. He went past the 42 scored by Delhi Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue.
The openers put on 107 before the Delhi Capitals finally got the breakthrough. Warner couldn't quite get a hold of an R Ashwin delivery and holed out to Axar Patel at extra cover.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad had reached 113 for one in 10 overs and Saha ensured they didn't slag off.
Saha and Manish Pandey then stitched together a 63-run partnership for the second wicket. Saha's knock came to an end when he was caught at mid-off by captain Shreyas Iyer off Anrich Nortje.
Pandey and Kane Williamson, who had come in for Priyam Garg, then carried on from the solid foundation laid by Saha and Warner. But they were kept in check with only 44 runs coming in the last five overs.
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who has the ownership of the Purple Cap with 23 scalps, went wicketless for the first time this season and a streak stretching back to 26 matches. The previous time Rabada returned empty-handed was in May 2017, incidentally against Sunrisers Hyderabad. On that occasion, Rabada had figures of none for 59, his most expensive figures in the competition.
The Delhi Capitals had the worst possible start to the chase, losing Shikhar Dhawan to the first delivery he faced from Sandeep Sharma. The southpaw got a leading edge and Warner gobbled him at mid-off.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis was sent up the order to give some impetus but the move didn't work after left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem got him, with Warner taking his second catch of the match.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane and Shimron Hetmyer then put on 44 runs for the third wicket before leg spinner Rashid Khan wiped both of them off in the next over after the powerplay.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 219-2 in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 87, David Warner 66, Manish Pandey 44 not out) beat Delhi Capitals: 131 in 19 overs (Rishabh Pant 36, Ajinkya Rahane 26, Tushar Deshpande 20 not out, Rashid Khan 3-7, T Natarajan 2-26, Sandeep Sharma 2-27) by 88 runs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Kane Williamson, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.