<p>Prithvi Shaw. (BCCI/IPL Photo)<br></p>
CHENNAI: Prithvi Shaw hit a sparkling fifty but Delhi Capitals frittered away a bright start to settle for 159 for four against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match on Sunday.
The 81-run stand between openers Shaw (53) and Shikhar Dhawan (28) had set a perfect platform for DC for a huge total but Hyderabad spinners Rashid Khan (1/31 in 4 overs) and Jagadeesha Suchith changed the course of the innings with their tight spells.
Skipper Rishabh Pant (37) and Steve Smith (34 not out) raised a 58-run stand for the fourth wicket to ensure a fighting total after electing to bat.
Shaw began with a hat-trick of fours off pacer Khaleel Ahmed. Those were breathtaking strokes, straight out of a text book.
There was sheer elegance in his cover drives, both along the ground and the ones played over the field as Shaw backed his timing with precision and power.
His six off pacer Siddarth Kaul over long on and the ramp shot over short third-man off the same bowler bore testimony to his supreme touch.
Dhawan was happy playing the second fiddle as the Capitals put on board 51 without loss in Powerplay overs.
Left-arm spinner Suchith, playing his first game for SRH, did a decent job, giving away only 21 runs in his four-over quota. He consistently troubled Dhawan.
Suchith bowled in tandem with Khan, SRH’s best spinner over the years, as the two bowlers put brakes on the run flow.
Rashid also provided his side with first breakthrough when he found stumps of Dhawan, ending DC’s 81-run opening stand.
Shaw’s splendid knock ended in a run out after a mix-up with skipper Pant.
Pant and former Australia captain Steve Smith were now two new batsmen at the crease. They kept the scoreboard moving.
Smith was dropped on 14 by Kaul off Vijay Shankar. Khaleel had also missed out on a chance offered by Pant a few balls ago off Rashid.
The duo managed to get a few boundaries but SRH bowlers largely controlled the proceedings.