Third-placed Delhi Capitals and fourth-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will clash in the Eliminator – the second of the VIVO IPL 2019 Playoff matches.
The Delhi Capitals have broken a string of poor seasons by qualifying for the playoffs; the last time they progressed past the regular league stage was in 2012. This time around, under Shreyas Iyer, they have consistently played good cricket – particularly in the second half of the league season. DC had won only two of their first five matches, but have since then piled on seven wins in their next nine matches.
The Delhi Capitals have been the best travellers this season; they’ve won 5 of their 7 matches on the road, and therefore will be confident heading into this match which will be played at a neutral venue. Among areas the Delhi Capitals would have identified as worrisome are the form of Prithvi Shaw at the top, and the lack of runs from the lower middle-order. The Capitals management will be delighted that Ishant Sharma upped his game and turned in an excellent spell in the match against the Rajasthan Royals, in the process ensuring the team did not feel the absence of Kagiso Rabada.
The Sunrisers have blown hot and cold this season; they won three, lost three, won two, lost two, and come into the playoffs at the back of two defeats – one of them in a Super Over against the Mumbai Indians. The Sunrisers became the first side in the history of the IPL to sneak into the playoffs with just 12 points; it was the big wins they notched up earlier in the season – by 118 runs v RCB, with 5 overs to spare against KKR and by 45 runs against KXIP – that came to their rescue.
The Sunrisers do not have two key members of their first-choice team; David Warner and Jonny Bairstow were key contributors to the Sunrisers climbing to the top of the table in the first fortnight. Their overseas openers consistently scored runs – as individuals and as a pair – ensuring Sunrisers continued to remain in the top four. After their departure, Manish Pandey – recalled to the side, along with captain Kane Williamson, have stepped up.
Among the areas the Sunrisers management will be worried about is the lack of application, and therefore lack of runs, from their lower middle order. Tom Moody and company will also know that the Sunrisers haven’t travelled well this season; they’ve won only one of their seven matches on the road this season.
Both teams will be aware there are no second chances at this stage of the competition and need to play their absolute best cricket. Who will prevail and progress, who will take the flight back home?
8 May 2019, 1930Hrs IST
ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Previous Match XIs:
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed.
For the Delhi Capitals, the bulk of the runs have to be scored by Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant; each of them has scored in excess of 400 runs in the season and have played match-winning knocks at some point in time. Between the three of them, they’ve scored 11 of the 12 half-centuries scored by the Delhi Capitals batsmen this season.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, Martin Guptill, Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson will be expected to score the bulk of the runs. Wriddhiman Saha has been inconspicuously getting the Sunrisers off to brisk starts; in the three innings he has opened, he has scored 73 runs at a strike-rate of 187.17.
Among the bowlers, one can expect the spinners to get assistance from the surface, and therefore Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane and Rashid Khan will be expected to work their magic.
Head to Head in Indian Premier League
Overall: Matches – 14, Delhi Capitals – 5, Sunrisers Hyderabad – 9.
7 of the 11 IPL matches played at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam have been won by the team batting first.
The Delhi Capitals have a 3-2 win-loss record batting first this season, while the Sunrisers have a 2-5 win-loss record batting first.
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson has had a poor run with the coin this season; he has won only 2 tosses in the eight matches he has been SRH captain this season.
The winner of this match will take a step closer to competing in the VIVO IPL 2019 Final; their next opponent will be Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2, scheduled to be played in Visakhapatnam on May 10. For the team that loses this match, it will be the end of the campaign as far as VIVO IPL 2019 is concerned.