The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) capped of their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 campaign with a heartening 2-wicket defeat in the Eliminator clash suffered at the hands of the Delhi Capitals (DC) in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday (May 8). In the first innings, the Delhi bowlers bowled really well to restrict the opposition within a par first innings total. However, the real thrill came in the second innings of the match, when the momentum shifted ends quite frequently.
Rishabh Pant did play a fantastic innings but then left his team depleting on the doorsteps of a probable victory. However, towards the end, DC all-rounder Keemo Paul held his nerves to finish off the matters in just the last over of the game and in turn guided his team to an emphatic win.
Sunrisers Hyderabad registered its name in the record books of IPL as they became the first team ever in the entire history to qualify for the playoffs with a tally of 12 points. The Kane Williamson-led team recorded six victories from 14 games played in the league stages. Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab also had 12 points each but the 2016 champions edged ahead on account of a better net run-rate.
“Sunrisers Hyderabad’s defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals, and subsequent elimination from IPL 2019, was symbolic of our entire campaign. We weren’t necessarily at our best, but we kept scrapping and battling and, in the end, we fell just short. There are learnings from this campaign that we will take on board, and come better prepared to try and fulfil the expectations of our fans,” quoted SRH mentor VVS Laxman.
We were about 10-15 runs short says VVS Laxman
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, SRH opener Martin Guptill got his team off to a blazing start, smashing 31 runs in the first three overs. DC new ball bowler Ishant Sharma then removed Wriddhiman Saha in the fourth over to provide his team with the opening breakthrough. Guptill was looking in a solid touch, but he failed to convert his start of 36 runs into a big innings. The two big match campaigners for SRH, Manish Pandey and skipper Kane Williamson also failed to contribute with any big innings either, getting dismissed for the scores of 30 and 28 respectively.
The DC bowling duo comprising of Keemo Paul and Amit Mishra bowled very well to apply the brakes on the opposition’s progress during the middle-overs stage. Then towards the end, Mohammad Nabi and Vijay Shankar played vital cameo knocks to help SRH put forward a fighting total of 162 runs in their quota of 20 overs.
“We have excellent players of spin, so it was more a case of approach than skills that let us down. We found momentum towards the end to post a competitive total, but like in previous games where a very tepid middle was sandwiched between a blazing start and a good finish, I felt we were about 10-15 runs short,” Laxman added.
Laxman also made special mentions for Prithvi Shaw (56 off 38 balls) and Rishabh Pant (49 off 21 balls), who played brilliant knocks to help Delhi Capitals claim a spot in the Qualifier 2. Pant set the stage on fire by smacking Basil Thampi for a total of 22 runs in the 18th over which in turn reduced the result fact to mere formalities.
“I was impressed with the fearlessness with which he (Shaw) struck the ball despite being dropped, which is another of the ills that plagued our run throughout the season.”
“The dangerous Rishabh Pant was still around, and he showcased his ability with a savage assault on Basil Thampi. As painful as it was to be at the receiving end, it was also exhilarating to see Rishabh take on the bowlers. He is clearly the future of Indian cricket, and it pleased me no end to witness the maturity he showed, though he will be disappointed that he wasn’t around to finish off the job,” Laxman concluded.