The Shreyas Iyer-led DC registered seven wins from their first nine matches and despite the dip in the latter stages of the season, made it to the playoffs. However, they lost four games in a row before beating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the last league stage match to seal a place in the Qualifier 1, where they lost at the hands of Mumbai Indians (MI).
However, the top two finish after the conclusion of the league-stage has guaranteed them one more shot to reach the final and they will be looking to make the most of it.
On the other hand, SRH had only three wins against their name from the first nine matches. But the David Warner-led unit turned the tide and are now made it to the Qualifier 2 registering four wins on the bounce - RCB in the Eliminator and against MI, RCB and DC (in the league stage).
While momentum currently is in SRH’s favour, what will also boost their confidence is their 2-0 head-to-head record against DC this season. In their first meeting against DC, SRH sealed a 15-run win before outplaying them by 88 runs to commence their four-match winning streak which has now brought them one-win closer to reach the final, where the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) await.
There are just 21 runs which separate David Warner (546 runs) and Shikhar Dhawan (525 runs) in the list of the leading run-getters of the season. The two openers have often set the tone for their teams and they will be the ones that their respective teams will look to in this crunch game.
While Dhawan did not trouble the scorers in DC’s last game, Warner scored 17 in SRH’s last match. However, DC has been below par with the bat over the last few games and have not clicked as a unit.
Meanwhile, SRH have seen Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Jason Holder rise to the occasion and take the team home. While Manish Pandey has not had a big standout score in the last few games, he has not looked out of sorts either.
On one side we have Marcus Stoinis, on the other we have Jason Holder. Both the all-rounders have put up their hand and delivered for their teams. While Stoinis, who has 314 runs and 9 wickets to his name, was pivotal to DC’s early surge in the tournament, Holder, who was brought into the side as a replacement, has revived SRH’s campaign with 13 wickets from 6 matches and some match-winning contributions with the bat against RCB in the Eliminator and the penultimate league-stage encounter. The two will once again be in the thick of action and can swing the course of the Qualifier 2.
The pair of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were at the centre of DC’s domination in the first half of the tournament where the team won 7 out of nine matches. Overall, the South African duo has enjoyed a fine season, taking 45 wickets between them this season.
However, as DC look to bounce back from five defeats from the last six matches and make it to their maiden IPL final, Rabada and Nortje will have their task cut out.
Coming to SRH pacers, they have hunted as a unit and that has served the team, which had lost the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar to an injury early in the season, well, helping them to reach the top four. While T Natarajan has 16 wickets to his name, Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder have scalped 13 wickets each.
Rashid Khan, Mr Parsimonious of IPL 2020, has 19 wickets to his name, with an economy rate of 5.30. The leggie has been someone that SRH have turned to and he has not let his team down.
On the other side, there’s R Ashwin. The veteran India off-spinner, who has 13 wickets to his name this season, is coming into this game on the back a fine bowling performance (3/29) against MI, and DC will once again turn to the wily spinner as they take on the likes of Warner, Williamson and Manish.
Shreyas Iyer needs 67 runs to complete 500 runs in IPL 2020. Ajinkya Rahane requires 69 runs to complete 4000 IPL runs. David Warner is 5 sixes away from completing 200 IPL sixes. Shahbaz Nadeem needs 3 wickets to complete 50 IPL wickets. (UNI)