The Delhi Capitals took a step closer towards making their maiden appearance in an IPL final when they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday evening. In the Eliminator played in Visakhapatnam, the Captains restricted the Sunrisers to 162-8 and then chased down the runs in the final over. Courtesy their 2-wicket win in this match, the Capitals set up a May 10 date with the Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2.
The Capitals innings was of four parts; when young Prithvi Shaw was pummelling the bowlers, it appeared they would cruise to the target. The Capitals were 83-1 at the half-way stage needing exactly 80 more runs in the back half.
But after Shreyas Iyer and Shaw were dismissed in the eleventh over, and three overs later when Colin Munro and Axar Patel were dismissed in the space of four deliveries, it appeared the Capitals had hit a slippery patch and were losing control of the match.
Rishabh Pant took his time initially, but just as the required run rate was nearing the twelve-run mark, he cut loose and took the game by the scruff of the neck; in the eighteenth over – when the Capitals needed 34 from 18 balls – he hit Basil Thampi for 4, 6, 4 and 6, to bring the equation down to a run-a-ball.
And then the drama at the end. With the Capitals needing 5 from 8 balls, Pant was dismissed attempting a big hit, when the job could have been done by running the ones. Five balls later Amit Mishra was rightly given out Obstructing the Field leaving the Capitals to score two runs off the last two balls. Keemo Paul obliged, pulling away a short delivery from Khaleel Ahmed to the midwicket boundary to take the Capitals home with one ball remaining.
For the Sunrisers, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi were the pick of the bowlers; the two Afghanistan spinners returned combined figures of 8-1-44-2.
Earlier in the evening, Sunrisers Hyderabad got to 162-8 riding on contributions from several of their batsmen. Martin Guptill, who struck a boundary and four sixes in his 19-ball 36, would be SRH’s top-scorer. Manish Pandey (30), Kane Williamson (28), Vijay Shankar (25) and Mohammad Nabi (20) were the other noteworthy contributors.
Though each of the first five partnerships was worth more than 20 runs, none was better than the 36-run fifth wicket partnership between Nabi and Shankar. Despite losing five wickets, the final five overs were the most productive phase of the innings for the Sunrisers; they added 58 runs in that period, after only managing 54 runs in the powerplay and 50 runs in the middle nine overs.
For the Delhi Capitals, Keemo Paul was the most successful bowler, while Ishant Sharma (2-24), Amit Mishra (1-16) and Trent Boult (1-37) also chipped in.
Standout Batting Performance
The Delhi Capitals have invested a lot in youth, and two youngsters repaid the faith on Wednesday night. First, Prithvi Shaw set up a platform for the chase with a stroke-filled 56,and then later in the chase Rishabh Pant nearly took his team over the line. The feature of Shaw’s innings was how he was able to punish even the slightest error in length, while the highlights of Pant’s innings was how he was able switch gears in an instant and how effortlessly he could deposit the ball into the stands. Shaw’s 56 (off 38 balls) contained six fours and two sixes, while Pant’s 49 (off 21 balls) contained two fours and five sixes.
The dismissals of both the batsmen was ill-timed; Shaw miscued a pull in the same over that his captain was dismissed, while Pant attempted a glory shot with his team needing five runs from eight balls, only to be caught in the deep.
Martin Guptill struck the ball sweetly in the Sunrisers innings. In the second over, he showed signs of aggression when he collected a six down the ground off Ishant Sharma. In the fourth over, he took a liking for his compatriot Trent Boult and deposited him into the stands twice in succession – first over cover and then over point. And then in the fifth over, he took on the spinner Axar Patel and clobbered him over deep square-leg. He was dismissed in the over immediately after the powerplay when his slog-sweep off Amit Mishra carried to Keemo Paul at midwicket. Guptill had made 36 (19 balls) out of Sunrisers’ total of 56.
Standout Bowling Performance
Amit Mishra was the Delhi Capitals’ best bowler. The leg-spinner, introduced into the attack immediately after the conclusion of the powerplay, struck in his very first over when he dismissed the dangerous Martin Guptill. He bowled his four overs without conceding a single boundary, ending with impressive figures of 4-0-16-1.
Mishra’s pitch map – which has a good grouping of deliveries – indicates the control he had over the ball and the rhythm he was in.
Unsurprisingly, Rashid Khan (4-1-15-2) was the Sunrisers’ best bowler. After bowling three uneventful one-over spells, the leg-spinner finally left his imprint on the game with a double-wicket maiden. The impact of Rashid’s maiden over was that the Capitals’ required run-rate, which was 8.66 at the start of the over, had shot up to 10.40.
Notable Support Act – Bowling
Keemo Paul, who bowled his four overs in three spells, was the Delhi Capitals’ most successful bowler, ending with figures of 3 for 32. After a quiet first over – the eighth of the innings, he struck for the first time in the fourteenth over when he had Manish Pandey caught at long-on. He conceded two boundaries bowling the eighteenth over, but then bowled an outstanding final over in which he picked up the wickets of Nabi and Rashid Khan, and played a part in the dismissal of Deepak Hooda.
The secret to Paul’s success was to not give the batsmen any pace to work with; the deliveries that fetched him wickets in the last over registered 108kph and 103kph on the speed gun.
Stat of the Match
With the wicket of Martin Guptill, Amit Mishra became the first bowler to take 100 wickets for the Delhi Capitals in T20 cricket.
Delhi Capitals: 165-8 in 19.5 overs (Prithvi Shaw 56, Rishabh Pant 49) defeated
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 162-8 (Martin Guptill 36, Keemo Paul 3-32) by 2 wickets.
Man of the Match
Rishabh Pant, for his 21-ball 49