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.
SRH were hurt badly by the return of their opening duo of Warner and Bairstow back home and their famed bowling lineup not producing results. Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma failed to recreate the magic of IPL 2018, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, though he picked wickets and was economical, gave runs in heaps in some of the matches. Therefore, when Khaleel Ahmed was fit enough to play, he was included in the team and changed the look of the bowling attack.
Khaleel has been outstanding
Khaleel Ahmed, who missed out on a debut World Cup spot in the team, scalped 19 wickets from 9 games for SRH this season at an economy of 8.23. His best bowling figures in the competition were 3 for 30. SRH skipper Kane Williamson heaped praises for Khaleel and reckoned that he has been a real threat for them this season. Williamson noted that Khaleel has been outstanding in his ability to pick up wickets in the powerplay and through the middle-overs.
Khaleel picked up the crucial wickets of the Delhi Capitals’ batters, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer in the Eliminator clash. These two wickets also helped his team stage a definite comeback in the game, before eventually losing it due to a miscalculation from skipper Kane Williamson, which cost them the match. The SRH captain gave the ball to Basil Thampi in the 18th over instead of Khaleel, and Rishabh Pant carted him for 22 runs, effectively ending Hyderabad’s hopes of making it into the second qualifier.
“Khaleel has been outstanding in his ability to pick up wickets in the powerplay and through the middle when we have brought him back. He’s been a real threat for us this season when he’s had his opportunities. And he showed that again today, picking up two wickets in that (11th) over which changed momentum quickly,” quoted Kane Williamson.