A first ever Indian Premier League (IPL) final appearance is in sight for young Delhi Capitals but they must first navigate past defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier set to take place in Vizag on Friday.
Three-time champions Chennai will get a second bite at the cherry following their loss to Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier while Delhi come into the game on a high following a nerve-wracking win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.
MOMENTUM FIRMLY WITH DELHI
Although Chennai have had the upper hand over Shreyas Iyer’s men in the league stage with two victories in as many games, it is Delhi who arrive at the second Qualifier with the momentum firmly on their side.
Despite being the first team to qualify for the 2019 IPL play-offs, Chennai have lost their aura of invincibility with three defeats in four matches. Their sole victory in that period came in an 80-run win over Delhi but MS Dhoni and his men have ended up on the losing side twice against Mumbai Indians and once against Kings XI Punjab.
Delhi, on the other hand, are flying despite their late hiccup in the Eliminator triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad. Iyer’s men have now won five of their last six outings with the loss to CSK being the only blip in their fine run.
PRESSURE RISING ON CSK’S VETERANS AS DELHI SHOW FRAILTIES OF YOUTH
It will be a clash of experience versus youth as Chennai’s veteran campaigners take on a Delhi side brimming with youngsters.
Delhi’s young squad has showed the vulnerability of youth with the way they have struggled to close off matches with the bat. It was once again evident in the Eliminator on Wednesday where Delhi nearly botched up a straightforward chase before winning the match off the penultimate ball.
Crumbling under pressure while chasing is a bad habit that has plagued Delhi’s youngsters throughout the tournament and it is one that could prove costly in a knock-out clash.
Be that as it may, Chennai’s veteran campaigners haven’t really covered themselves in glory with skipper MS Dhoni making his frustrations clear with the top-order batsmen following his side’s defeat to Mumbai in the first Qualifier.
One of the men under pressure is opener Shane Watson who is averaging a meagre 17 in the tournament and was guilty of throwing his wicket away to a rash shot in the first Qualifier.
Delhi and Chennai’s bowling units have been more than formidable over the course of the IPL but there are clearly issues in the batting department for both sides which could be exploited.
CSK’s STELLAR PLAY-OFF RECORD
While Delhi are chasing their maiden IPL final appearance, their opponents have been there and done that plenty of times over the course of the tournament’s history.
The loss to Mumbai in Qualifier 1 was a rarity for Dhoni’s men who have developed a penchant of always going deep into the competition. In their previous nine editions of the IPL, Chennai have qualified for the play-offs on each occasion.
In those nine editions, only twice has the franchise failed to reach the final which is a staggering achievement in its own right. Dhoni’s men have made a record seven final appearances previously and the experience of playing in those should hold them in good stead.
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c and wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Munro, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma.
Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer has laid down the gauntlet for defending champions Chennai Super Kings following his side’s tense win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Eliminator.
Chasing 163 for a win at Vizag on Wednesday, Delhi were cruising at 151-5 in the 18th over before a late stutter saw them lose three wickets in quick succession. The equation ultimately came down to two runs required off as many balls before Keemo Paul struck the winning boundary.
It was the first IPL play-off win for Delhi who have made the top four for the first time since 2012. It means that the Capitals will now take on three-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier on Friday at Vizag for a spot in the final against Mumbai Indians.
“I can’t express my emotions,” a relieved Iyer said after Delhi’s thrilling win.
We pulled off a thrilling chase last night to beat SRH in the Eliminator 😍— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) May 9, 2019
Witness the best images from our super victory at Vizag 📸
Full match album ➡️ https://t.co/8OHITRZQ6c#DCvSRH #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals #IPL #IPL2019 pic.twitter.com/M3D1uQ2Fl6
“It was such a pressure situation. I was just sitting with my teammates and it felt as if I’ve been sitting with them for years! Those last two overs it was like hell, to be honest.
“I could see the happiness in everyone’s faces, and it was an amazing feeling to see them coming out and expressing themselves. Obviously the joy we’re going to share after victory is going to be really good. And yes, hoping for another one against Chennai. We’re definitely not going to be intimidated by any team. Looking forward to the next game.”
CSK had previously prevailed over Delhi in both the league fixtures between the two sides. MS Dhoni and his men had emerged victors by six wickets in the away fixture at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium before registering a thumping 80-run win in the home clash at the Chepauk stadium.
Delhi Capitals kept their cool in the end to sneak through to a two-wicket win with one-ball remaining against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL Eliminator clash in Vizag on Wednesday.
Hyderabad posted what seemed an above par 162-8. Delhi’s reply was led by young opener Prithvi Shaw who hit 56 off 38 balls. But it was wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant who swung the match decisively in Delhi’s favour with a 21-ball 49 after Khaleel Ahmed and Rashid Khan had both picked up two wickets in an over each.
Despite a late meltdown, Delhi hung on for a two-wicket win and set up a clash with Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier. It was the first playoff win for Delhi in IPL history.
Sunrisers were lucky to make it to the playoffs; they were the first team to make it this far with just 12 points from the league stage. But on the big day, Hyderabad batsmen put in a collective effort.
Five of the first six batsman scored at least 20, which was good in the sense that at least they all got starts. But the other way to look at it is no Sunrisers batsman converted his start, with Manish Pandey (30 off 36 balls) captain Kane Williamson (28 off 27) not particularly quick with their scoring either. Vijay Shankar’s 11-ball 25 and Mohammad Nabi’s 20 off 13 allowed Sunrisers to take 58 runs from the last five overs.
Ishant rises to the challenge
Ishant Sharma inside powerplay in #IPL2019— Prasenjit Dey 📰 (@CricPrasen) May 8, 2019
- 186 Balls
- 8 wickets
- ER of 6.83
That's the joint second highest number of wickets by any bowler inside powerplay this season.
His ER of 6.83 is also the best among bowlers with at least 100 deliveries inside PP.#DCvSRH
Delhi have been forced to manage the business end of the IPL without their pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada who is out with a back niggle. In his absence, Ishant Sharma has taken the additional responsibility with aplomb.
After failing to pick up a wicket in four out of five games at one point – even as he maintained a good economy rate – Ishant hit back with five wickets in three games heading into the Eliminator.
On Wednesday, the lanky quick dismissed opener Wriddhiman Saha before accounting for captain Williamson with the ball of the day – a yorker at 90mph aimed at the base of the off-stump which found its target.
He came, he Shaw, he conquered… almost
Batting was only going to get tougher on a bone-dry Vizag pitch. Sensing it, Delhi opener Shaw put pedal to the metal. The diminutive opener went after the most experienced Hyderabad bowler – Bhuvneshwar Kumar – and hit him for two fours and a six in three balls with the ramp shot over third man for a maximum a treat to watch.
But at the other end, batsmen were struggling for timing on a slowing pitch. Shikhar Dhawan was stumped down the leg side as the asking rate started to climb.
Left-arm seamer Khaleel split the game wide open in the 11th over by first getting captain Shreyas Iyer edge a lifter behind before getting the dangerous Shaw for 56 with a short ball. Delhi had lost three wickets and the noose began to tighten.
Delhi tried to keep star leg-spinner Rashid Khan at bay but in his last over, the Afghan ace turned the match on its head by first trapping Colin Munro lbw and then forcing Axar Patel to glove behind in a double-wicket maiden to make it 111-5 after 15.
Pant then took the game by the scruff of the neck, smashing five sixes en route to a 21-ball 49. He had the game in the bag but another rush of blood in the penultimate over saw him hole out in the deep with just five needed.
Panic set in thereafter as Amit Mishra was run out in the final over bowled by Khaleel for obstructing the field. But Keemo Paul smashed the penultimate ball for a boundary towards midwicket to secure a clash against Chennai.