Delhi prevail over Hyderabad to enter maiden IPL final
Williamson waged a lone fight but it was not enough
Delhi Capitals stormed into their maiden IPL final by defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs in a thrilling qualifier at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
In the knockout encounter, an in-form all-rounder Marcus Stoinis hit a 27-ball 38 and shared an 86-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan (50-ball 78), and later snared three top-order wickets, including Kane Williamson (45-ball 67), to steer Delhi to Tuesday's final in Dubai against defending champions Mumbai Indians. Chasing Delhi's 189/3, Hyderabad gave a tough fight but could make only 172/8.
At the start, a struggling Delhi won the toss but against the grain skipper Shreyas Iyer chose to bat first and set a big total. Delhi batsmen were brilliant posting 189/3 and were helped by erratic performances from Hyderabad bowlers and fielders.
While defending, Delhi removed their nemesis David Warner (3-ball 2) early with Kagiso Rabada's dipping inswinger. Then Stoinis inflicted double blows – first bowling Priyam Garg (12-ball 17) and then getting Manish Pandey (14-ball 21) caught. With Hyderabad at 44/3 after five overs, Williamson and Jason Holder went into repair works. The duo got stability to the innings and Hyderabad reached 75/3 at the half-way stage. Williamson then shifted gears by pumping sixes. However, Holder (15-ball 11) trying to replicate Williamson was felled by a wily Axar Patel ending a crucial 46-run stand.
Williamson waged a lone fight and edged Hyderabad past 100. The New Zealander made a 35-ball 50 and found his match in Abdul Samad, who struck Anrich Nortje for fours and a six to set the tone for the final overs.
After 16 overs, the duo raised a 50-run stand from just 27 balls. And Hyderabad required 51 from 24 balls.
But Williamson failed to deposit Stoinis into the stands and holed up in the deep as Hyderabad hopes sank.
In the penultimate over, Rabada slammed the door shut with wickets of Samad (16-ball 33), Rashid Khan (7 ball-11) and Shreevats Goswami (0). The South African retained the purple cap with 29 wickets.
At 168/8, Hyderabad needed 22 from the last over but it was a mountain too high to climb for Shahbaz Nadeem and Sandeep Sharma.
Earlier, after the mauling at the hands of Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier, Delhi went for rejig. Stoinis was promoted to open the innings with Dhawan. Stoinis, at 3, was dropped by Holder, placed specifically on silly mid-on for lofted shots. Stoinis made it a costly miss for Hyderabad by finding boundaries with ease. Soon Dhawan got in the act as Delhi raced to 65 by the end of the first power play.
Hyderabad were so rattled that ace leg-spinner Khan darted an aimless overthrow past keeper Goswami for four runs. Just when Hyderabad players were out of sorts, Khan made amends by nailing Stoinis. However, Dhawan soon got to his 50 from 26 balls. But skipper Iyer perished after a 20-ball 21. At 126/2, Shimron Hetmyer joined Dhawan and ensured a late surge with lusty blows helped by two dropped catches. But Sharma got a lucky leg-before decision against Dhawan thereby ending a 52-run stand with Hetmyer (22-ball 42).
Delhi after being at 102/1 after 10 overs, fell short of 200 with top batters in good touch – a factor they would look to improve if they are to challenge a dominant Mumbai.
M Stoinis b Rashid Khan 38
S Dhawan lbw b Sandeep Sharma 78
S Iyer c Pandey b Holder 21
S Hetmyer not out 42
R Pant not out 2
Extras (b1, lb2, nb2, w3) 8
Total (3 wkts, 20 overs) 189
Fall of wickets: 1-86 (Stoinis, 8.2 ov), 2-126 (Iyer, 13.6 ov), 3-178 (Dhawan, 18.3 ov)
Bowling: S Sharma 4-0-30-1; J Holder 4-0-50-1; S Nadeem 4-0-48-0; R Khan 4-0-26-1; T Natarajan 4-0-32-0