Sunrisers Hyderabad have been eliminated from the tournament after losing to Delhi Capitals in the first eliminator despite Rashid Khan (3/15) trying his level best to pull off a heist. Martin Guptill had done his bit with the bat, but the team needed a bit more from their skipper Kane Williamson.
Wriddhiman Saha (3/10): The wicket was low and slow, which resulted in Wriddhiman Saha batting in a fashion that is natural to him, but the fans had rarely seen that in this year’s IPL. The eight-run innings, laced with one boundary, was primarily the eventual byproduct of the nature of the wicket that Vizag offered.
Martin Guptill (6.5/10): Martin Guptill has a great record against leg-spin as he scores over eight-and-a-half an over against the wrist-spinners in T20s and in the IPL alone, he does it at over nine an over against them. So when Amit Mishra was introduced, Guptill, who had 35 off 17 balls in the powerplay, tried attacking him with a sweep, but that went for a catch at deep midwicket. Coming to his innings, it gave SRH fans a deja vu moment of what Jonny Bairstow and David Warner were doing for them a few days ago. Good job, Martin!
Manish Pandey (4/10): The kind of form that Manish Pandey is in, SRH were right to expect something more than they should’ve, but that pressure forced the Karnataka batsman to sacrifice his natural game for that. He batted slowly, and with Kane Williamson struggling against spinners, he tried to go for big ones, against the natural order of the day, but failed miserably. Shreyas Iyer sent the square leg to the wide of cow-corner, and when Pandey was subjected to a full ball, he had it to cramp himself and played it over wide long on where Sherfane Rutherford was stationed.
Kane Williamson (5/10): This IPL has seen Kane Williamson facing problems against spinners and on a surface like Vizag, the expectations were of course not as they were last year. Williamson also knew that going bonkers wouldn’t help the cause and that prompted him to play a patient innings. His score of 28 runs off 27 balls eventually help lay a foundation for Vijay Shankar and Mohammed Nabi to go for big shots in the death overs.
Vijay Shankar (7/10): “Hopelessly overrated” is how a Twitter User described Vijay Shankar after his World Cup selection and in the current circumstances, this can’t be farther from the truth. An existential comedy was needed to be avoided for Shankar to have some goodwill ahead of the World Cup, and hopefully, his 11-ball 25 would’ve done the trick.
Mohammad Nabi (5.5/10): The Afghan’s growing reputation as a power-hitter gave Sunrisers Hyderabad hope that he would unleash few of them tonight and he partly lived up to it by scoring a 13-ball 20. Even with the ball, where a spinner would never want to bowl an over after 9 PM, Nabi showed great heart to create few opportunities while giving away just 29 runs. It could’ve been better, but then again, Rashid Khan was doing the job for him.
Deepak Hooda (6/10): He would be really disappointed in the manner of his dismissal, but Hooda’s biggest contribution was getting the better of Shikhar Dhawan tonight. That aside, his fielding was top class and one of the reasons, Delhi couldn’t try extra cover as often as they would have liked. Not a bad day, Hooda!
Rashid Khan (9/10): Rashid Khan was not having a great with the ball, but as history has it, he had single-handedly won Sunrisers Hyderabad last year in the second qualifier. A comeback was on the cards and he very well did it to ensure that Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t throw in the towel after Prithvi Shaw hammering in the powerplay. In a way, if Amit Mishra was brilliant with the ball, then Rashid’s performance was legendary. For context, his figure was 3/15 in four overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/10): SRH lost tonight and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would head back home for a few days of rest before boarding the flight to England for the World Cup. Things will be alright after some days, and the 10.25 rpo wouldn’t even haunt him. However, what will not keep him in good stead was the way he bowled - full and angled deliveries with a side-on seam. That was not something one would expect from their spearhead and even the two wickets he took do not showcase his performance in good light.
Khaleel Ahmed (5/10): Well, it is hard to explain how Khaleel Ahmed is regularly exploiting that natural angle without forcing too much upon himself and ending up finding lateral movement with little or no help from air. In Vizag, with dew being prevalent, Khaleel kept the seam upright and even though that was a tactics fritted with danger, he went for it straight away. He used the slowness of the pitch by digging the ball in, but I will give an extra point for that celebratory run, mock-dialling a number.
Basil Thampi (2.5/10): The Kerala pacer had made this a habit and it was a tactical error in Sunrisers’ part to have him for the death. Notwithstanding the fact that he had given away only 19 runs in his first three overs, he spent as many as 22 runs in his last thanks to Rishabh Pant’s incredible power-hitting. For reasons only known to Thampi, he bowled all ball on just outside the off-stump, probably being unaware of the fact that Pant’s all 15 sixes against the pacers had come on the leg-side.
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