Delhi progressed to Qualifier 2 after beating Hyderabad in what was a pulsating contest. Chasing a mediocre 163, Delhi at one point seemed in total command thanks to Prithvi Shaw's half-century and a blitzkrieg of 49 from Rishabh Pant. However, a lower order collapse saw the game go deep into the wire. Eventually, a Keemo Paul boundary in the last over sealed the chase.
Earlier, Hyderabad suffered as a number of their key batsmen got starts but no one could transform it into a substantial score. Martin Guptill was the top-scorer with 36 while for Delhi Amit Mishra was exceptional with 1 for 16.
Meanwhile, Pant, who slammed five sixes in his 49 from merely 21 balls said that hitting the ball into the stands is in his 'muscle memory' and so he doesn't really bother about who is bowling. His aim is to just dispatch the ball across the fence.
"In T20s, you need 40 off 20 or so, then you have to attack one bowler. I don't see who's bowling. It's in our muscle memory, and that's why we practice so much. Today, that was special because I didn't try to hit the ball too hard. I was just watching the ball, and I was trying to time the ball," Pant said after the game.
Pant also added that he tries to keep a positive mindset in chases, and admitted that he must finish chases. "If you are set on a wicket like this, you have to finish the match for your team. I took it very close, but next time I will finish it for the team. I just try to be positive. If your mindset is negative, it doesn't help," said Pant.
Meanwhile, Prithvi Shaw, who came up with a half-century in the crucial game after some not so great performances, thanked the team and the support staff for having faith in him.
"All this is dedicated to my team as they have backed me quite well. I wasn't scoring runs in the last few games. All thanks to supporting staff, players, and coaches for believing in me and giving the opportunity as well. I was a bit nervous but my coaching staff helped me," Shaw stated.
Delhi will now face Chennai in Qualifier 2 and the winners of that match will meet Mumbai in the final.
--By A Cricket Correspondent