Late-blooming-Delhi, You Are Looking For A First Knockout Win > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Late-blooming Delhi look for a first-ever knockout win

Can Delhi continue their upsurge?

When Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad meet in Visakhapatnam for the Eliminator, there's more at stake than survival. It's a cultural clash of the season's two unique journeymen: one being a late-blooming team that's come of age like never before, and the other which won the Indian Premier League as a prodigy but now reels from all the genius it spent over the last few seasons.

Surely Delhi must remember what a playoff feels like. They have made it this far after seven long years, a time span that didn't just witness Sunrisers come into existence but also become champions. Delhi, though as old as IPL itself, haven't won the tournament yet. They haven't even played a final.

It makes sense that Delhi aren't their usual disappointing selves in a season that's been pretty outlandish. Only one point separated the bottom five teams on the league table, meaning Hyderabad, a team that's known more hard labour than luck, could sneak into the top-four with only 12 points. Another first.

Delhi lost heavily when they played Sunrisers for the first time this season, prompting Ricky Ponting to call the pitch the "worst" he has seen all season. Delhi were clearly struggling to make a habitat out of Feroz Shah Kotla, that spun too much for a team populated with confident stroke-makers. So it was suggestive when Delhi travelled to Hyderabad and beat the Sunrisers on a low and slow track, prepared very intentionally for an encore. It was evidence of how far Delhi have come this season. Their away record - 5 wins in 7 matches - no longer remained a function of flatter pitches.

Visakhapatnam, which played joint hosts to Sunrisers in 2015, now awaits the third and deciding round. Who wins: the "hosts" or the perfect strangers?

What: Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Eliminator on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 PM IST

Where: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam

What to expect: The track looked delightfully homogeneous and beige on the eve of the match, meaning lesser natural variations off the pitch, but it's not a guarantee for a high-scoring game. The last game here against Australia, although a last-ball finish, saw scores of 126 and 127. Much like Jasprit Bumrah and Nathan Coulter-Nile in that game, fast bowlers will stick to hard lengths on this pitch. There should be some spin available too. Slow outfield could be a dampener.

There's a 10% chance of precipitation but the rain is likely to stay away. 86% humidity and 32 degrees temperature expected around match start.

Team news

Delhi Capitals: It's been two matches since Kagiso Rabada was ruled out of the tournament with a back issue but the loss feels galactic on the eve of an Eliminator. Trent Boult replaced him with his left-arm pace but still has a long way to go to emulate Rabada's death-bowling heists. Chris Morris, now into South Africa's World Cup squad, could be in with a shout.

Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Martin Guptill and Wriddhiman Saha have had all of two matches to try and mimic Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. It's unrealistic to expect them to fire straightaway, so Kane Williamson's return to form in the last match (70* off 43 against RCB) and Manish Pandey's run of good form augurs well.

Basil Thampi bowled full steam in the nets to Kane Williamson on the eve of the match and should retain his place ahead of Sandeep Sharma. Yusuf Pathan replaced Abhishek Sharma in the last league match against Royal Challengers Bangalore but there's not a lot to choose between the two, partly because Vijay Shankar is the sixth bowling option. It will really come down to whether the leadership group wants youth or experience in a crucial game.

Probable XI: Wriddhiman Saha(w), Martin Guptill, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson(c), Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan/Abhishek Sharma, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi

Did you know

- Head to head: Sunrisers have won 9 out the 14 matches between the sides

- Delhi have never won a knockout match in IPL

- Sunrisers won 5 out of 9 matches in IPL 2018 while defending totals. In 2019, they have successfully defended only twice in 7 matches, the scores being 212 and 231

- Barring Amit Mishra (6.33), all other Delhi spinners have conceded over nine in away games - Axar (9.35), Tewatia (9.00) and Lamichhane (9.13)

What they said

"We have to take the confidence from our win against them in Hyderabad. They also beat us in Delhi, so both the teams are fairly confident, and it is going to be a tough match. However, they are also missing some of their players, and we are without Kagiso now, so it is going to be a difficult task as well, but a well-matched encounter" - Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals captain

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