Delhi Capitals held their nerves to seal a thrilling 2-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2019 Indian Premier League Eliminator in Vizag and kept alive their hopes of a maiden IPL final. DC will now take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings but it was not easy in a tense clash against SRH.
Chasing 163, Delhi Capitals were cruising thanks to Prithvi Shaw’s sensational 56. However, Khaleel Ahmed and Rashid Khan struck twice in an over each to bring Sunrisers Hyderabad back in the game. Rishabh Pant did what he has done so often for DC – he hit 5 sixes to almost close it for his team.
However, it looked like there was a twist in the tale when Rishabh Pant fell for a 21-ball 49. DC still needed 5 from 11 and had only 3 wickets left. Khaleel Ahmed bowled a brilliant last over and made it difficult for the Capitals.
Amit Mishra out obstructing the field when he changed his direction while running down to the striker’s end for a quick single as Khaleel attempted to hit the stumps. Keemo Paul kept his cool to take Delhi home but Shreyas Iyer admitted he endured some nervous moments sitting in the dug-out.
“I can’t express my emotions. I was sitting and those last two overs were like a hell,” Iyer told the host broadcaster after DC moved to Qualifier 2. “It felt like I have been sitting and watching for years when it came to the last two years.”
Shreyas Iyer had reasons to feel nervous. Earlier in the season, they were cruising to victory against Kings XI Punjab before Sam Curran derailed Delhi Capitals with a hat-trick. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, Prithvi Shaw had set it up nicely with a 99 but late collapse meant the game went to the Super Over.
But on Wednesday, Rishabh Pant was determined to see Delhi through and he kept his calm to hit 5 sixes in a match-winning effort.
It was really down to two of the youngest talents in Indian cricket. Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant have already played for India and have been brilliant for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Shreyas Iyer said it was best to leave the two alone and let them play their natural game.
“I personally feel they are the sort of batsmen who you can’t control and let them play on their own. If you try to stop players like Rishabh and Prithvi, it may not work. If they go on with the flow, they can win you games.”
Delhi Capitals will face defending champions Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2 in Vizag on Friday. The winner will meet Mumbai Indians in the final on May 12. DC have never made it to the final but they will seriously start believing now. All they need to do now is beat 2 teams who have won the IPL 3 times to win their first title.
With Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant in their ranks, Delhi Capitals have dared to dream. And they have learned to dream big. An IPL title is not too far off now.