Delhi Capitals won a playoff game for the first time in their IPL history as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in Vizag. (Image credit: Twitter)
Delhi Capitals were in a precarious position in their chase of 163 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator clash of the 2019 Indian Premier League. Shreyas Iyer’s team needed 34 off the last three overs against a team that was strong in the death overs bowling department. Kane Williamson decided to toss the bowl to Basil Thampi but the move backfired. Rishabh Pant blasted two fours and two sixes in the 18th over and 22 runs were scored. The left-hander smashed another six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and despite some tense moments towards the end, Delhi Capitals ended their losing streak in the playoffs as they won the Eliminator by two wickets to set-up a clash against Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier.
In the process, Delhi Capitals finally broke their jinx in the IPL playoffs and it showed that a change in the franchise name has indeed given them rich dividends. In the previous four instances when Delhi Daredevils had qualified for the playoffs, they were beaten miserably. In the first two editions of the IPL in 2008 and 2009, Delhi Daredevils had performed brilliantly in the league stages but failed miserably in the playoffs.
In the 2008 semi-final against Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils were left chasing a big target of 193 thanks to Shane Watson’s aggressive 52. In response, they woefully stumbled to 87 all out and lost the match by 105 runs to bow out of the tournament miserably. In the 2009 IPL, Delhi Daredevils had topped the group and were facing Deccan Chargers in the semifinal at Centurion Park.
Tillakaratne Dilshan hit a blazing fifty as they reached 153/8 but a magnificent assault by Adam Gilchrist, who blasted 85 off 35 balls helped Deccan Chargers win by six wickets and qualify for the final. In the 2012 IPL, the new playoff format was introduced when the top two teams would get two chances to qualify for the playoffs. Delhi Daredevils squared off against Kolkata Knight Riders in the first qualifier at the MCA stadium in Pune.
Chasing 163, Delhi Daredevils found the going tough and they stumbled by 18 runs. In the second qualifier against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram stadium, Murali Vijay blasted 113 and MS Dhoni’s team reached 222/5. In response, Delhi Daredevils never got going and plagued with team composition issues, they lost by 86 runs. This was the last time the Delhi franchise had qualified for the playoffs.
In 2019, they once again encounter Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier. Unlike in 2012, they would be hoping to snap their losing streak against Dhoni’s side who are slightly low on confidence after losing to Mumbai Indians for the fourth consecutive time.