Updated: May 8, 2019 1:30:29 am
The road to the Indian Premier League final has entered its business-end where Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad will battle it out for a place in the Eliminator on Wednesday.
Delhi Capitals have been one of the top sides in this edition, playing cricket never seen before from them. Despite finishing with 18 points from their 14 IPL matches this season, they still need to play in the Eliminator because of a lesser net run-rate than table-toppers Mumbai and second-placed Chennai.
The Capitals will now be facing fourth-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad here at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Hyderabad and their skipper Shreyas Iyer believes that it is going to be an amazing challenge against SRH.
The one thing that stands out for DC this season has been their consistency and that has transformed itself into the winning formula and finally brought the smiles back on the faces of fans after years of disappointment.
Shikhar Dhawan has lived up to the expectations of the team management and scored more than over 450 runs in the tournament. Along with him, young Prithvi Shaw has formed a fine opening combination. Skipper Shreyas Iyer (over 400 runs) has also performed in high-pressure situations while leading the side.
However, the Capitals will dearly miss the services of pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada. Whether that will turn out to be their bane remains to be seen but DC have enough firepower in bowling to surprise SRH.
Hyderabad became the first team in IPL history to qualify for the playoffs with 12 points. While the duo of Warner and Bairstow played a vital role in the league stage, the likes of Manish Pandey stepped in after they left.
In bowling, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneswar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed have done just enough to help Sunrisers Hyderabad keep things. In Kane Williamson, SRH have a dependable captain and he will expect a little more from his New Zealand team-mate Martin Guptill.
Speaking before the big match on Wednesday, skipper Shreyas Iyer summarized his team’s performance this season, and looked forward to the Eliminator.“It has been a great tournament for us so far. Majority of the wins have also been convincing from the team, and I am really happy with the way the team has stepped up to the occasion. However, that is all in the past, and we are now really looking forward to the Eliminator.”
Asked if it is unfair that even with nine wins and 18 points on the board, they have to play SRH who only managed to accumulate 12 points from their 14 matches, Shreyas said that he agrees that IPL can sometimes be unfair to teams finishing in the top spots but said he doesn’t want to look at it from this perspective.
“I think we shouldn’t think about that, it is how the tournament is. IPL is a funny tournament, any team can beat anyone and we have seen that in the past editions where the team finishing on top of the table has struggled to life the trophy eventually. So instead you have to take all the factors in your stride, and play your best cricket on the day to come out on top,” said the 24-year-old.
Head to Head Record:
The two teams defeated each other in their respective away matches this season as it was SRH who won the first match in Delhi when they beat the Capitals by 5 wickets. But Delhi Capitals made a comeback in the away leg as they took 8 wickets for just 15 runs to restrict SRH to 116 all out and win the match by 39 runs.
The two teams have previously faced each other on 14 occasions in IPL history, with Sunrisers Hyderabad having won 9 matches while Delhi only have five wins.
Pitch Report: The pitch has assisted batsmen and a big run-fest could be on the cards. However, both the teams have bowlers who can restrict the batsmen and that can determine the outcome. The team winning the toss should once again choose to field first.
Teams (likely XI):
(With inputs from PTI)
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