In the Eliminator of IPL – 2019, Young Keemo Paul gave the final touches to a Rishabh Pant blitzkrieg as Delhi Capitals (DC) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by two wickets in a nerve-wracking IPL match at ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here yesterday.
DC will now face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the second Qualifier on May 10 in Vizag in their bid to make it to the maiden IPL final against Mumbai Indians (MI).
Chasing a target of 163, DC, who had lost the way after a blazing start, were brought to cusp of victory by young Pant, who smashed 49 off 21 balls with five sixes as West Indies’
Paul finished it off the penultimate ball of the innings with a boundary off Khaleel Ahmed.
Pant, who resurrected the innings from a precarious 111 for 5 couldn’t have chosen a better venue than Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad’s home ground to drive home a point on his much debated World Cup exclusion. It was a sense of deja vu for Paul, who had similarly hit winning runs in an U-19 World Cup final in 2016 when Khaleel was the bowler in the final over.
Needing 34 from three overs, Pant showed brilliant game awareness to target Sunrisers’ weakest link Basil Thampi, smashing him for 21 runs in the 18th over as he brought the game on even keel. A six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar brought the equation down to five runs before Pant in his bid to finish the game was holed out with five required from seven balls.