The 2019 IPL Eliminator was held between the Delhi Capitals and the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Vizag. Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bowl first. SRH got off to a flying start with Martin Guptill smashing four sixes in a cameo. Delhi made a comeback by removing both the openers by the seventh over.
Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey had a little partnership. Both of them got starts but could not carry on till the end of the innings. SRH were in a spot of bother but small bursts from Vijay Shankar and Mohammad Nabi at the end ensured that they crossed the 160 run mark.
Chasing 163 to win, Delhi got the start they needed. Prithvi Shaw who was having a below par IPL, had one of his better innings in a crucial encounter. Shaw kept the score board ticking by smashing boundaries in the powerplay overs.
Shikhar Dhawan got out in the eighth over. Shaw scored his 4th IPL half century and got out to Khaleel Ahmed in the 11th over. The left-arm pacer removed both Shreyas Iyer and Shaw in the same over which gave SRH a glimmer of hope.
Rashid Khan bowled a double wicket maiden in the 15th over by removing both Colin Munro and Axar Patel. But then Williamson made a tactical error as he gave the 18th over to Basil Thampi when he had options like Khaleel Ahmed. This turned the game as Rishabh Pant went berserk and smashed 20 runs of the first four balls including two massive sixes. Thampi conceded 22 runs in that over.
The required run rate came down to run a ball after such brutal hitting from Pant. Delhi won the game in the last over and will play Chennai Super Kings on Friday in the second Qualifier.
The innings from Pant turned many experts his fans. It also brought the World Cup selection debate back on the table. Twitteratti are strongly backing him for the mega event. BCCI can still make ca hange in the World Cup squad. So we have to wait and see if anything pans out.
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