Delhi Capitals (DC) thumped SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 17 runs in the second Qualifier on Sunday to book their berth in the final and move closer towards their maiden IPL trophy. After electing to bat first, DC's batting unit, led by the new opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis, started off well by hitting a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay.
The duo put up 86 runs for the first wicket to lay the foundation of a colossal total. While Stoinis scored 38 off 27, Dhawan finished with 78 from 50 deliveries. With Shimron Hetmyer's late fireworks, DC amassed a daunting 189-run total on the scoreboard. In response, SRH were jolted with an early blow in the form of skipper David Warner. Kagiso Rabada took four wickets and Stoinis scalped three as DC curbed the Hyderabad batting unit to 172 runs, sealing a comprehensive victory at Abu Dhabi.
This is the first time when the Delhi franchise has progressed into the final of the IPL. Stoinis, who was awarded Player of the Match for his impressive all-round performance, said that DC can lift the trophy if they play their best against the defending champions -- Mumbai Indians (MI).
"I am looking forward to going to the change room to see how everyone is going, it is a nice feeling right now knowing we have made the finals. The preparations for the finals will be the same, it is important to stick to your strategy when these important games coming up. Mumbai have been consistent throughout this season and they have beaten us twice, but I think if we play our best cricket, it should be good enough," said Stoinis during the post-match press conference.
"Bowling in this format is always hard, it is about the planning before you reach the ground, you speak to the captain and coach, it is also important to stick to your strengths, in T20 matches, you are not always trying to take a wicket, you are also trying to control the run-rate which eventually leads to wickets," he said about his bowling exploits.
Stoinis also further lauded Dhawan's batting performances this season. With two consecutive tons, the left-handed opener has played a vital role in DC's title heist in the UAE.
"Shikhar has been unbelievable this season, he has made two centuries, even when he has missed out, he has timed the ball really well. He has really led the way for us this season, he is a leader and he brings a lot of energy to our team. He has been really good to me and I am proud of him. Hopefully, he has another big knock in him for the finals," said Stoinis.