The Delhi Capitals (DC) held their nerve against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a thrilling contest to register a 17-run win and advance to their first-ever IPL finals. SRH, on the other hand, finish third - one place higher than last season, and much better than most pre-season predictions expected them to perform.
Chasing a rather daunting 190 for victory, on a pitch that was described to be great for batting, SRH were dealt a death blow up front with the loss of skipper and talismanic player David Warner for just 2 runs.
While young Priyam Garg - SRH's surprise new opener - and Manish Pandey got starts, both were dismissed before they could push on. It was only standout batsman Kane Williamson who held the innings together in his crucial 45-ball 67.
However, his innings ended just as SRH were turning the game in their favour. Abdul Samad, in his final opportunity to impress, made a very handy 33 off 16, but wasn't able to keep the fireworks up till the very end. Ultimately, a three-wicket over from Kagiso Rabada at the death snuffed out the chase to allow DC to sneak through.
Dhawan, Hetmyer set up DC's 189/3
A brilliant final over full of yorkers from T Natarajan probably provided momentum to SRH in the second innings, but it could be said that the damage was already done.
Shikhar Dhawan's brilliant run in this IPL continued as he punished the SRH bowling in his 78 off 50. His innings ended in strange fashion, as he did not review an LBW decision that seemed to have struck him well outside the line even to the naked eye.
DC's tactical decisions mostly paid off. They chose to hold back Ajinkya Rahane, Marcus Stoinis was sent to open. The Australian repaid the faith as DC enjoyed a fruitful powerplay yielding 63 runs.
The fireworks at the back end of the innings came from Shimron Hetmyer, who came back to the team and chose the perfect stage to make an impact. Though Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant could not keep up the run rate, DC had enough on the board.
IPL 2020, DC vs SRH: Who was the Man of the Match?
Kagiso Rabada's four-wicket bag that included the big scalps of Warner and Samad was a massive factor in DC's close win, as was Shikhar Dhawan's anchoring innings and Hetmyer's aggressive ball-striking. However, there was one star who showed his value to the team in all facets of the game, and that was Marcus Stoinis.
Stoinis' 38 off 27 at the top of the order consisted of five fours and one six, as he allowed DC to dominate the powerplay. With the ball, he was just as crucial, as his medium pace claimed him three wickets. Not only did he scalp Garg, he also took the game-changing wicket of Kane Williamson to pull the curtains down on SRH in IPL 2020.
For an all-round show, Marcus Stoinis was the Man of the Match in yesterday's match.