Hapless Daredevils take on resurgent Sunrisers
Delhi Daredevils will look to avoid their fourth straight defeat and keep themselves in the hunt for a play-off spot when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday.
Delhi's return to India has seen them lose all three of their matches here. They have won just two of their eight games with both victories coming in the UAE leg.
While Delhi's batting has been inconsistent and patchy, their bowling has proved to be woeful and a real let down.
In all three matches at the Ferozeshah Kotla, their home ground, Delhi have managed to score upwards of 150 runs having batted first.
But some lacklustre bowling coupled with poor fielding has seen them lose their first home game to Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets and then eight-wicket thrashing by Chennai Super Kings as well as Kolkata Knight Riders.
There's very little captain Kevin Pietersen can actually do about the situation. With the likes of Mohammad Shami, Wayne Parnell, Siddharth Kaul or Shahbaz Nadeem in the team, the Daredevils lack world class wicket-takers.
The batting is nothing to write home about either. Barring Pietersen, J.P. Duminy and Ross Taylor, the Daredevils have no other big names that would put fear in the opposition ranks.
Pietersen has been a shadow of his former self, scoring 62 runs off five innings while Taylor has been warming the bench after playing just three matches in the UAE leg.
That has left an enormous workload on Duminy, who has been up to the task. The South African batsman along with Kedhar Jadhav has been the only good thing to come out of Delhi this year.
He could have done a lot more but for Delhi's inexplicable decision to put him down the order. It seems the Daredevils' backroom staff are hell bent on shooting themselves on the foot.
Meanwhile, the Sunrisers seem to have finally picked up some momentum. Two of their three wins this year have come in the past three matches.
Thursday's morale-boosting 32-run win over Rajasthan helped them climb to the fifth spot in the standings, level on points with Knight Riders, who have played an extra match.
However, the Hyderabad team have problems of their own. Their batting has been perhaps more inconsistent than the Daredevils.
Captain Shikhar Dhawan has repeatedly stressed on the point that the middle-order needs to do a lot more. Their follies were once again on show Thursday.
After a quick start by the openers that saw Hyderabad reach the 50-run mark in the sixth over, the middle-order once again crumbled and the team were reduced to 106 for seven in the 17th over.
The collapse, though, was overshadowed by a brilliant bowling performance that saw the Royals being skittled out for just 102 in 19.5 overs.
Purple cap holder with 14 wickets, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was once again the star of the show, picking up four wickets while fellow pacer Dale Steyn chipped in with two.
Delhi will need to win all of their matches from hereon in, if they are to have any chance of making it to the qualifiers while a win for the Sunrisers will take them above Kolkata Knight Riders in to fourth place.
(Posted on 09-05-2014)