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IPL 2019: Eliminator, DC vs SRH – Mismanagement of spinners nearly cost Delhi Capitals

As many as five batsmen scored 20+ runs.

Delhi players
Delhi players. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Delhi Capitals got better off the Sunrisers Hyderabad to register their first ever victory in the knockouts/playoffs of the IPL. Though no batsman crossed 40-run mark, the Sunrisers finished with 162/8 in their 20 overs. Prithvi Shaw struck 38-ball 56 at the top before the Capitals struggled their way in the middle overs. However, Rishabh Pant killed the chase with a 21-ball 49 but got out five runs short of a win.

The Delhi Capitals, however, completed the chase of 163 on the penultimate ball with two wickets in hand. However, on a slow Vizag track, the Delhi team would not able to chase 163 at first place had they not been smarter. Given the small contributions worked for SRH with the bat, better planning could have limited SRH to 145 which wouldn’t have created much mess up the Shreyas Iyer-led team in this knockout fixture while chasing.

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Where were the spinners?

With breeze around and not so long boundaries, Martin Guptill felt like playing at home. Adding to his comfort, Guptill faced his country-man Trent Boult in the powerplay. Delhi fed him with the pacers early on as the Kiwi opener got off to a flyer utilizing the field restrictions. Spin was introduced in the 5th over with Axar Patel getting thumped for a six by Guptill. Amit Mishra bowled his first in the 7th over to bring an end to Guptill’s blitz.

Prior to this game, Guptill scored 64 from 49 balls and was dismissed three times against the spinners in the IPL. However, his numbers against the pacers aren’t any better but his reputation playing the spin bowlers could have been considered by the Delhi Capitals. Guptill’s 19-ball 36 powered the Sunrisers to 54/1 in the powerplay before the spinners to the control in the middle overs.

Why bring a spinner?

Bringing spinners a little late forced the Delhi Capitals bowl an over of spin in the death overs. Axar Patel was handed the ball in the 17th over against the likes of Mohammad Nabi and Vijay Shankar. The duo was pretty good at hitting the spinners and they proved it by hitting a boundary apiece. Keemo Paul was set to bowl the 18th and 20th overs who was expected to choke the SRH finishers with his variations.

Despite going for a boundary here and there, Paul did keep down the SRH to 21 runs across his two overs. Axar Patel’s over was chipped in to not complete Trent Boult’s quota. The left-arm pacer conceded over 12 runs an over at death this season. With Shankar and Nabi weren’t great exponents against quality pacers, Iyer could have gone stuck with Boult. Even switching the overs of Axar and Ishant Sharma could have worked for DC given Ishant’s success in this season.

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