A step away from finals Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals lock horns in key contest

A step away from finals Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals lock horns in key contest

Winner of Qualifier 2 will take on Mumbai Indians at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on November 10

The Sunrisers Hyderabad has been on a roll since October 27. They have beaten the top three sides in the tournament to qualify for the playoffs, but haven’t stopped there. On November 6, they took on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator. SRH won the game due to disciplined all-round performance and positive attitude that moved them to the next stage and ended RCB’s IPL campaign. Today, SRH will be facing a team they have beaten twice this season, the Delhi Capitals.

Delhi started their IPL campaign in a similar fashion. They won seven out of their first nine games and then they lost steam. They lost four in a row, won against RCB and made it to the second position on the points table, setting up their clash against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1. DC lost that game after putting MI into bat. DC’s biggest concern has been their top order as they lost three wickets for zero runs chasing 201.

There have been suggestions that Marcus Stoinis is likely to open with Shikhar Dhawan. Stoinis has opened for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League and was the leading run scorer that particular season. Having him on the top will be a bonus for DC. However, the problem doesn’t stop there for DC. In Qualifier 1, Delhi’s bowling leaked 92 runs in the last five overs of the game. If DC lost the match anywhere, it was here. They went for 63 runs in their first six overs. Between 7 to 14 overs, they gave a miserly 45 runs but had a horrendous finish to the first innings.

SRH on the other hand, have been high on confidence. Winning four on the trot, Hyderabad have played with nothing to lose. Three weeks ago, nobody gave SRH a chance to make it to the top four and today they are one step away from the final. SRH’s biggest positive has been their bowling attack. In the last five games, SRH has restricted teams to under 150 runs. Out of those, four games have been against the top three sides. SRH will be hoping that Wriddhiman Saha is fit for this match, as they will depend on him to get the team off to a flyer.

The Hyderabad franchise is also hoping other batmen to step up big time. With Kane Williamson and Jason Holder’s smart game-winning knock in the Eliminator, SRH have found two calm yet brilliant middle order batsmen. A win today and one team will meet Mumbai Indians in the Final on November 10.

With the game being played at Abu Dhabi, the Eliminator between SRH and RCB showed that if there is no dew in the second half, batting could be difficult. The pitch was two-paced and not easy to play strokes on. Interesting to see what the captain who wins toss decides to do.

DC is likely to drop Prithvi Shaw and Daniel Sams and is likely to bring in Shimron Hetmyer and Harshal Patel into their team line-up. SRH on the other hand may make a change only if Saha is fit which Shreevats Goswami will be left out. With Priyam Garg also struggling, SRH could bring in Abhishek Sharma.

The NationWide