Karun Nair hit the winning runs off the final ball for the Delhi Daredevils to beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Daredevils went into their clash in Raipur needing to win their last two matches, and they’re one step closer to that, but their final group-stage opponents are the Royal Challangers Bangalore, which sets up a potentially mouth-watering clash to see who makes the playoffs.
The Sunrisers meanwhile aren’t guaranteed of their place in the playoffs, but their net run rate holds them in good stead, and a victory in their final group game will earn them a spot in the top two.
The Daredevils, in sweltering conditions in Raipur and without the services of Chris Morris, who was injured during the warm up, won the toss and sent the Sunrisers into bat. David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan, who have been very effective throughout the tournament upfront, weren’t at their brisk best in the powerplay overs but still managed to put on 46 before Carlos Brathwaite produced an inspired piece of fielding off his own bowling to send Dhawan back for 10.
Warner battled on and brought up yet another half-century as he put on a 39-run stand with countryman Moises Henriques. JP Duminy would be the man to end the stand as Henriques walked back for 18.
Warner eventually got to 73 before Brathwaite took his second wicket of the innings. Naman Ojha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced cameos of 16 and 13 respectively to get their side to 158.
The Daredevils’ response got off to a stuttering start as Quinton de Kock, the Daredevils” leading scorer in the tournament, struggled to a nine-ball two. There were no such difficulties from there however, as Rishabh Pant and Nair fired to a 73-run stand to put their side in a commanding position.
Pant was run out for 32 and the nerves showed as Duminy and Brathwaite fell for 17 and 10 respectively, but Nair produced the best IPL knock of his career to hit back-to-back boundaries off the last two balls to see his side over the line, and keep their playoff hopes alive.