IPL 2019 Qualifier 2: CSK's veterans battle young Delhi Capitals for a place in final

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CSK captain MS Dhoni and Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

It’s the battle between youth and experience as defending champions Chennai Super Kings take on a revamped Delhi Capitals in the second IPL 2019 Qualifier in Vizag on Friday.

The winner of this clash will battle Mumbai Indians in the final on Sunday. Needless to say, the stakes are high for both teams with the ageing Chennai side fighting to preserve their unique T20 style and the exciting group of Delhi youngsters aiming to topple the veterans.

Who will come out on top? Catch the updates below.

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IPL 2019: Momentum with Delhi Capitals but experience with CSK ahead of Qualifier 2

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A battle of experience vs youth. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

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 have done it all before.

Chennai have done it all before.

LIKELY XIs

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.

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IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer - Not intimidated by Chennai Super Kings

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Iyer's Delhi on a high. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

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.

“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.

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