Chennai, April 26: Axar Patel hit the ground running as Delhi Capitals claimed a dramatic Super Over victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
The Capitals posted 159-4 on a slow pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Prithvi Shaw top-scoring with 53 from 39 balls and Rishabh Pant (37) and Steve Smith (34) both adding handy contributions.
Sunrisers looked beaten when Axar took two wickets in as many balls to reduce them to 117-6 in the 17th over, but Kane Williamson's unbeaten 66 from 51 deliveries kept them in the hunt.
They needed 16 to win off the last over from Kagiso Rabada and forced the Super Over after a boundary from Williamson and Jagadeesha Suchith's huge six over midwicket.
Williamson and David Warner were then restricted to just seven runs by Axar, who was handed the ball for the Super Over in his first match of the tournament after recovering from coronavirus.
Sunrisers were deducted a run as Warner's bat did not cross the line as he scampered back for a second off the final ball of Axar's over.
Shikhar Dhawan struck a boundary before he and Pant went through for a third leg bye of Rashid Khan's decisive over to secure a fourth victory from five matches for second-placed Delhi, who are level on points with leaders Chennai Super Kings.
Williamson did not deserve to be on the losing side after making an excellent half-century following Jonny Bairstow's blistering 38 from 18 balls, which included four sixes. Avesh Khan claimed 3-34 for the Daredevils.
Shaw steps up at the top of the order
The first three balls of the match sent down by Khaleel Ahmed were dispatched for four by Shaw and the Capitals had 26 on the board after two overs.
Shaw reached his half-century off 35 balls, with Dhawan bowled by Rashid Khan for 28 to end an opening stand of 81 in the 11th over.
Pant and Smith struck a six apiece after Shaw was run out, putting on 58 for the third wicket on a slow track with runs not easy to come by.
Axar makes up for lost time
Spinner Axar was stuck in quarantine as the Capitals made a promising start to the season following a positive COVID-19 test that brought him back down to earth after an outstanding Test series against England.
Avesh Khan removed Bairstow immediately after the England wicketkeeper-batsman hit him for six, after Warner had been run out for six, and the same bowler also saw the back of Virat Singh.
Axar was on a hat-trick after trapping Abhishek Sharma and Rashid Khan in the 17th over, and he bowled a tight Super Over to ensure Williamson's brilliant knock was in vain.