Hyderabad Sunrisers down Chennai Super Kings in Uppal

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Sunrisers celebrate their victory.

Sunrisers Hyderabad put together a complete performance to upstage table-toppers Chennai Super Kings by 22 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal on Saturday night.

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Captain and opener David Warner led the run charge with a belligerent 61 off 28 balls as Hyderabad powered to 192-7. Their bowlers and fielders then stuck to their tasks well and derailed the Chennai chase by taking wickets at regular intervals.

Faf du Plessis (33 off 22 balls) was Chennai’s top scorer as they finished at 170-6. The win has put Hyderabad in contention for a playoff spot as they are placed fifth (eight points from eight games), behind Chennai (12 from nine), Rajasthan Royals (12 from 10), Royal Challengers Bangalore (nine from eight) and Kolkata Knight Riders (nine from nine).

Playing their first game at their headquarters, Hyderabad started strongly with Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (37 off 32 balls) raising 86 in 8.1 overs for the first wicket.

Warner opened his account with a cracking pull and went on to play some stunning shots cutting the ball hard, driving fluently down the ground and punishing short deliveries through mid-wicket. He picked off Chennai’s opening bowlers Mohit Sharma and Ashish Nehra, smashing them for 49 runs in 19 balls. 

The Australian raced to his half-century in 20 balls smacking eleven boundaries and a six before holing out in the deep to part-timer Suresh Raina. Moises Henriques (19 off 9 balls) and Eoin Morgan (32 off 27) maintained the momentum as Hyderabad raced to their highest total of the season.

Dwayne Bravo withstood the assault returning impressive figures of 3-25, catapulting him to the top of the wicket-takers list. He has 14 wickets and shares the top spot with team-mate Ashish Nehra.

Morgan feels the manner in which they dismantled Chennai at home will boost the team’s confidence immensely as they look to improve their position in the standings.

The win at their place augurs well for Hyderabad, who will be playing their last three games at the same venue.

“Obviously, getting the result our way is a great start to our campaign at home. But to get it in the fashion that we did is probably better,” Morgan said after the game.

“Playing Chennai Super Kings is not always an easy task. They are a team of world beaters and to come out winning the way we did tonight is something we can take a lot of confidence from. Our bowlers tonight were outstanding. They performed well on a wicket that didn’t really have much going for them.

“They built pressure and picked wickets at crucial periods of time. We did have a little bit of luck going our way but we took advantage of it,” he told iplt20.com.

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#360view: Kirsten's influence key

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Leader: South African JP Duminy.

They may not be anywhere near the top of the table right now, but Delhi Daredevils have proved to be the surprise of this year’s Indian Premier League.

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To be fair, Delhi had hit rock bottom so the only way they could have gone was up. The team that topped the league table in 2012, had finished rank last in the previous two editions. In that period, Daredevils won just five matches in 30 outings – three out of 16 in 2013 and two in 14 last year. 

The losing streak continued when they were beaten in the first two ties this year. Both were close matches with last-ball finish, but losses nevertheless.

A five-wicket win against Kings XI Punjab in Pune started the revival. That was their first win after 11 defeats and almost a full calendar year.

Two matches later, they annihilated Mumbai Indians at Ferozeshah Kotla to end a nine-match losing streak at home. The JP Duminy-led, and Gary Kirsten-coached side have won four times this year, and even though they were in sixth place, they are looking like a good bet to make it to the play-offs.

Kirsten, whose credentials as a coach are unmatched after helping India win the 2011 World Cup and taking them to No. 1 position in Test cricket and repeating it with the Proteas, has clearly been the mastermind of this turnaround.

The South African played a very active role during the auctions this year, with Daredevils officials admitting Kirsten had complete freedom of choice as long as Delhi managed to get Yuvraj Singh, ear-marked as their marquee player.

Inspiring: Gary Kirsten.

Kirsten decided to start from scratch. He completely disbanded the unit, retaining only two players – Duminy and Quinton de Kock.

Duminy was elevated to the role of captain, and that was another important decision given the South African’s relationship with Kirsten. And he hasn’t disappointed. He has made runs, taken wickets and led by example.

Imran Tahir and Albie Morkel were two more additions from Kirsten’s home country, while Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews and Australian duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Markus Stoinis completed the foreign signings.

Kirsten also brought in veteran Zaheer Khan, and the wily former Indian pace bowler underlined his importance with a superb spell in his first match on Friday when Delhi made mincemeat of Punjab.

Their turnaround becomes even more remarkable, given that their biggest star, Yuvraj – also, their largest spend in this year’s auction – is struggling massively. He has scored just 124 runs, and has played only one innings that actually made an impact on the outcome of the match – his 54 against Punjab in Delhi’s third game.

Also missing out on the entire tournament is fast bowler Mohammad Shami, who was expected to be Delhi’s strike bowler. Shami, who impressed so much playing for India in the Cricket World Cup, is recuperating from a knee injury.

The batting has been slightly weak, with too much expected from promising youngsters Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal at the top and Duminy coming in at one-down.

The bowling has also depended on a couple of players – Tahir, Coulter-Nile and Duminy – and yet they have somehow managed to pull it off as a team so far.

What Daredevils now need is a more complete performance and contributions from the other players. That will surely make them serious challengers for the crown.

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Twitter reacts to Sunrisers' 22-run IPL win over CSK

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Victorious: Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Following Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 22-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), we pick out the best tweets from the game.

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