Delhi Capitals take on Chennai Super Kings for place in final against Mumbai Indians.
Images from Wednesday’s IPL Eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals, in Visakhapatnam.
Young Keemo Paul provided the final touches to Rishabh Pant’s blitzkrieg as Delhi Capitals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in a nerve-wracking IPL Eliminator, in Visakhapatnam, on Wednesday.
Chasing a target of 163, Delhi Capitals lost their way after a blazing start, but were taken to the cusp of victory by Pant, who smashed 49, inclusive of five sixes, off 21 balls, before Paul sealed victory off the penultimate delivery of the innings with a boundary off Khaleel Ahmed.
Pant, who resurrected the innings from a precarious 111 for 5 couldn't have chosen a better venue than chairman of selectors MSK Prasad's home ground to drive home a point on his much-debated World Cup exclusion.
It was a sense of deja vu for West Indian Paul, who had similarly hit the winning runs in the Under-19 World Cup final in 2016 when Khaleel was the bowler in the last over.
Delhi Capitals now face Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier in their bid to make it to their maiden IPL final, against Mumbai Indians.
Needing 34 from three overs, Pant showed brilliant game awareness to target Sunrisers's weakest link, Basil Thampi, smashing him for 21 runs in the 18th over to bring the game on even keel.
A six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar brought the equation down to five runs before Pant, in his bid to finish the game, perished with five required from seven balls.
When the chase started, Prithvi Shaw (56 off 38 balls) was in his element in the fifth over, bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He first played a flowing cover drive, followed by a ramp shot for six over third man and a lofted boundary over mid-off to put Sunrisers on the backfoot.
Sensing that Prithvi has taken the lead, senior partner Shikhar Dhawan (17), after collecting three boundaries, started playing second fiddle as 55 came off the Powerplay overs.
One of the most regal shots played by Prithvi was a six over long-on when he gave off-spinner Deepak Hooda the charge. In the same over, Wriddhiman Saha effected a smart stumping down leg-side to see the end of Dhawan even as Prithvi completed his 50 off 31 balls.
However just like Sunrisers, Delhi also lost momentum at start of the back-10 with Khaleel's extra pace and bounce accounting for Prithvi and skipper Shreyas Iyer (8). Prithvi's innings had six fours and two sixes.
It was Rashid Khan (2/15 in 4 overs), who then removed Colin Munro (14) and Axar Patel (0) to peg back Delhi at 111 for 5.
Pant, who teed off with a six off Mohammed Nabi, hit him for a second six as 42 runs were required off the last four overs when Pant changed the complexion of the match.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals’s bowlers did well to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs and restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to a par score of 162 for 8 on a good batting surface.
Keemo Paul (3 for 32 in 4 overs) was ably supported by Amit Mishra (1 for 16 in 4), Ishant Sharma (2 for 34 in 4) and Axar Patel (0 for 30 in 4), the quartet bowling 40 dot balls between them.
Ishant got rid of Wriddhiman Saha (8), who offered a simple catch to Shreyas Iyer at mid-off, after Martin Guptill gave the Sunrisers a blazing start.
Guptill (36 off 19 balls) hit three sixes, including two off compatriot, Trent Boult, to set the pace in the Powerplay overs which yielded 54 runs.
But credit to Delhi bowlers, as the next 14 overs produced only 108 runs.
Guptill’s early aggression allowed the normally flamboyant Manish Pandey (30, 36 balls) to play around before the spinners came in operation.
Axar and Mishra choked the run-flow, and Guptill was accounted for trying to slog sweep leg-spinner Mishra. His innings had four sixes apart from a boundary.
Sunrisers suddenly lost momentum in those middle overs as Pandey and Kane Williamson (27 off 26 balls) added only 34 runs in seven overs before he Karnataka batsman was dismissed by a slower delivery from Keemo Paul.
When Pandey was out to a superb catch by Sherfane Rutherford at the long-on boundary, the Sunrisers were reduced to 90 for 3.
Ishant, in his second spell, bowled the perfect in-swinging yorker to send back Williamson.
Vijay Shankar (25 off 11 balls) and Mohammed Nabi (20 off 13 balls) added 36 runs in 2.4 overs to boost the total despite Paul keeping things tight in the end.