After battling for 14 league games and getting a chance at the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs, the Delhi Capitals (DC) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have a chance to progress to the next stage of the competition, Qualifier II. These two sides will meet in Vizag on Wednesday evening (Midnight AEST) for the Eliminator match, with the winner awaiting the loser of Qualifier 1 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.
Both sides traded games in the IPL league stage this season. While SRH defeated DC by five wickets in Delhi, the Capitals defeated Sunrisers by 40 runs in Hyderabad. Overall, SRH hold a 9-5 record in IPL games, with a 2-2 record in neutral venues. They did face each other once previously at this stadium, with DC winning by four runs.
Surprising quite a few observers with their performances, DC stormed into the playoffs with a 9-5 record that included four wins out of the last five. With Shikhar Dhawan showing great consistency over the last month or so, and Rishabh Pant getting over with his World Cup snub, the Capitals look a charged unit.
However, question marks still remain over the consistency of their run scoring. Their net run rate is the worst among all the qualifiers, although two batsmen remain in the top 10. The absence of ‘Purple Cap’ holder Kagiso Rabada is a big blow as they look to carry their good recent form into the Playoffs.
The first team in the history of the IPL to qualify with just six wins (W6, L8), SRH have been very lucky to scrape through. In the final analysis, it is their positive run rate (+0.577) that helped them nudge ahead of the rest. The worry, though, is the absence of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, who combined for nearly 50% of their total runs this season.
The improved form of Manish Pandey (314 runs) is the only solace with the bat. Khaleel Ahmed (17 wickets) and Rashid Khan (15 wickets) remain their best bowlers, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (ER 7.61) slowly getting into his rhythm.
Manish Pandey has burst into life ever since he got promoted to number three for SRH. Aggregating 260 runs over his last five innings, the stylish right-hander has become a crucial part of SRH’s batting.
Shikhar Dhawan has shown great consistency this season (486 runs, SR 137.28) with five 50+ scores in the regular season. The left-hander will look to give aggressive starts for his side.
Khaleel Ahmed has picked up 17 wickets in just eight games this season, with five three-wicket hauls. The left-arm pacer has been consistently among the wickets and should be the leader of the pack once again.
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