The Delhi Capitals went into Qualifier 2 as betting underdogs as they did not look very impressive in their last two games and punters felt that Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) would be able to get the better of them. The Capitals made some changes to their playing XI and batting order which caught SRH off-guard.
Those risks paid off in the end as the Capitals ended up winning by 17 runs. They will enter the IPL Championship finals for the first time in the history of the tournament when they take on the defending champions Mumbai Indians on 11 November.
Delhi Capitals Batting Experiment Pays Off
The Capitals not only made changes to their playing XI but also decided to experiment with the batting line-up in Qualifier 2. This was a very bold move that outfoxed the opposition and gave the Capitals a great total to defend. Delhi decided to move Marcus Stoinis up the order to open with S Dhawan and it worked.
The two put on an 86 run partnership in 8.2 overs which gave the Capitals a great launching pad. Stoinis made 38 of 27 balls and Dhawan who has been in good form during the IPL, played a solid innings scoring 78 of 50 balls. The captain S Iyer promoted himself up the order to bat at number 3 but was unable to get going. He fell for 21 of 20 balls and then Shimron Hetmyer came to the party and paid a blinder.
The hard hitting West Indian batsman took advantage of this opportunity and made 42 runs of 22 balls at a strike rate over 190. The Capitals were able to get to a good score of 189.
Rabada And Stoinis Destroy SRH
SRH have depended heavily on David Warner and Kane Williamson. The Capitals knew that they had to get Warner out early to put pressure on the rest of the SRH batting line-up and KG Rabada delivered when he bowled Warner for just 2.
Stoinis took confidence from his batting and dismantled the top order taking the crucial wickets of P Garg, M Pandey and Kane Williamson to break the back of the middle-order. Williamson made 67 of 45 at a strike rate of 148 and held the innings together but none of the other batsmen were able to make a significant contribution and take the fight to the Capitals.
KG Rabada came back towards the end and bowled with pace to take wickets at the death and finish his spell with 4 wickets. Stoinis only sent down 3 overs and finished with 3 wickets. While S Dhawan and KG Rabada made useful contributions with the bat and ball, the man of the match award went to Stoinis for his contribution with both the bat and ball.
Comments From Warner and Iyer
David Warner was disappointed at not making the IPL finals but said overall he was happy with the way his team played given the fact that everyone had counted SRH out. He said losing W Saha for this crucial game definitely hurt the side but they would not make any excuses for their loss. Warner said they were happy to see T Natarajan shine for them and also made mention of M Pandey coming good towards the end of the IPL tournament.
S Iyer was a relieved man at the press conference as he said the IPL has been a roller coaster for his side. Iyer said this tournament had thought him a lot about captaincy and thanked the Capitals team management and coaches for supporting him. Iyer knows that if he can lead the Capitals to a win over Mumbai Indians, it will really put him in the spotlight as a future captain for India.