Through a nail-biting thriller Delhi Capitals registered a two-wicket win to oust Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator clash of the Indian Premier League at Visakhapatnam.
Sunrisers Hyderabad posted a challenging 162 for 8 in 20 overs through short but valuable knocks from Martin Guptill (36), Manish Pandey (30), Kane Williamson (28), Vijay Shankar (25) and Mohammad Nabi (20).
Delhi through a dramatic chase reached the target with one ball to spare. Hyderabad skipper Williamson committed the blunder of introducing pacer Basil Thampi for the 18th over when they almost had the match in their pocket. Thampi got hit for 22 runs and allowed Delhi to get back into the game.
Khaleel Ahmad, who bowled brilliantly to take two crucial wickets, ended up without even completing his quota of overs. Rishabh Pant showed his ability to demolish an attack by scoring a superb 49 off just 21 balls with two boundaries and five sixes after 19-year-old Prithvi Shaw gave a good start through a knock of 56 runs off 38 balls with six boundaries and two sixes.
Delhi will now meet Chennai Super Kings on May 10th.
Hyderabad were at 104 for 3 at the end of the 15th over but did well to post a fighting total.
Delhi chase to the target was filled with ups and down. They got off to a quick start with Shikhar Dhawan hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two consecutive boundaries in the first over. Though Mohammad Nabi bowled a tight second over giving just two runs, the third over saw Shaw smash three boundaries off Ahmad. Shaw on 15, escaped being out, when Thampi at mid-off dropped him off Nabi. The pair put on 50 runs in just 5.4 overs with Shaw even smashing strike bowler Rashid Khan elegantly through extra cover.
The pair put on 66 runs in 7.3 overs when Deepak Hooda had Dhawan on 17 stumped by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who moved to his right and whipped off the bails brilliantly. Shaw raced to his half century in 31 balls.
At the half way mark, Delhi were 83 for 1 needing another 80 runs to win when Ahmad had Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer caught behind for 8. Ahmad also struck to remove Shaw, caught at point by Vijay Shankar and push Delhi to 87 for 3 in 11 overs.
Pant hit Mohammad Nabi for a six over long-on to ease the pressure. Colin Munro too hit Basil Thampi over long leg for another six. Rashid Khan then produced a double wicket maiden over. He first trapped Munro leg before for 14, after the pair had added 24 runs in three overs. Khan also quickly removed Axar Patel caught behind for a duck to put Hyderabad back into the game. Delhi need 42 off the last four overs, when Williamson did the mistake of trying Thampi again for the 18th over and Pant hit him for two sixes and two boundaries off that over to take the game away from Hyderabad. With 22 runs scored off that over, Delhi needed only 12 from the last 12 balls. Rutherford ell to Kumar after adding 40 runs with Pant in 3.3 overs. Pant fell for 49 caught by Nabi off Kumar when Delhi needed five runs off seven balls.
The last over bowled by Ahmad was dramatic when with two runs to win Mishra was given out obstructing the field leading to two runs needed off last two balls and Keemo Paul pulled Ahmad to the mid-wicket boundary.
Earlier, Delhi won the toss and elected to bowl. It was a dramatic start to the eliminator with Hyderabad opener Saha given out leg before to Trent Boult to the first ball by Umpire Bruce Oxenford and but the review saved him. Saha celebrated it by hitting Boult between cover and point for the first boundary.
The second over saw Martin Guptill hit a towering six off Ishant Sharma into the top tier of the stadium. The third over saw the crowd go berserk when Guptill hit two consecutive sixes off Boult. However, Delhi struck back through Sharma by having Saha caught at mid-off by Iyer for 8. The inform Manish Pandey joined Guptill, who also hit left-arm spinner Axar Patel for his fourth six over deep square leg. They put on 25 runs in 3.2 overs when their strike bowler Amit Mishra, who was introduced for the seventh over, had Guptill slog sweep to Keemo Paul for 36 off just 19 balls.
Kane Willliamson ran well for singles and twos with Pandey and at the half way mark were 71 for 2. Williamson on 5 escaped being caught behind when wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropped him off Mishra in the 11th over. Pandey tackled the turn of Patel and scored a boundary past point.
When it looked like Pandey will play a big knock, Paul got him out with a slower ball that forced Pandey to hit to Rutherford at long on for 30 off 36 balls. Pandey and Williamson added 34 from the seven overs. With score reading 90 for 3 in 13.3 overs, Hyderabad needed some quick scoring from next man Vijay Shankar.
With only five more overs to go, Delhi re-introduced Sharma. He yorked a well-set Williamson for 28 runs nullifying the chances of a big score. Mohammad Nabi, who joined Shankar picked two boundaries off Sharma and Patel. Meanwhile, Shankar also hit Patel for a six over mid-wicket. When Paul bounced at Shankar, he elegantly pulled him for a boundary.
Boult was re-introduced to bowl the 19th over and Shankar hit him for a six over extra cover. The next ball too he hit to long off but Iyer could not take the catch and the momentum took him over the boundary resulting in a second six. The third ball he hit to Patel at deep mid-wicket to end his knock of 25 off 11 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.
Paul bowled the last over and Nabi hit the third ball for a six over long on. He fell to the fourth ball after scoring 20 runs in 13 balls with three boundaries.
Delhi Capitals bt Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wkts.
Hyderabad 162 for 8 in 20 overs (Martin Guptill 36, Manish Pandey 30, Kane Williamson 28, Vijay Shankar 25, Mohammad Nabi 20, Ishant Sharma 2 for 34, Kemo Paul 3 for 32)
Delhi 165 for 8 in 19.5 overs (Prithvi Shaw 56, Rishabh Pant 49, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 42, Khaleel Ahmad 2 for 24, Rashid Khan 2 for 15)
Man of the match: Rishabh Pant