Paul shines as Capitals advance to crucial qualifier

The Delhi Capitals took a step closer towards making their maiden appearance in an IPL final when they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday.

VISAKHAPATNAM, India, CMC – West Indies all-rounder Keemo Paul grabbed three wickets and then returned to lash the winning runs as Delhi Capitals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets with a ball to spare, to keep alive their hopes of reaching the final of the Indian Premier League yesterday.

Playing in the second playoff game at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, Capitals chased down 163, with 19-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw top-scoring with 56 off 38 balls and Rishabh Pant blasting a sizzling 21-ball 49.

With five runs required from the last over bowled by left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed, Capitals got three from the first three deliveries, before Paul (five not out) ended the contest with a swing to the mid-wicket fence.

He had earlier snatched three for 32 from his four overs as Sunrisers were held to 162 for eight off their 20 overs, after they were sent in.

New Zealander Martin Guptill top-scored with 36 while Manish Pandey got 30, in a 34-run third wicket stand with captain Kane Williamson who made 28.

Paul picked up his wickets at the back end of the innings, the first coming when he deceived Pandey with a slower ball in the 14th over and had him taken at long on by fellow Guyanese Sherfane Rutherford.

West Indies all-rounder Keemo Paul.

The 21-year-old Paul, who missed out on World Cup selection, grabbed his final two wickets in the last over when he removed Mohammad Nabi for 20 after the batsman failed to clear point off a slower ball, and then had Rashid Khan caught at the wicket without scoring.

In reply, Capitals got a great start from Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan (17) who posted 66 for the first wicket before five wickets tumbled for 45 runs to leave the game open.

However, Pant slammed two fours and five sixes in a 40-run, sixth wicket stand with Rutherford (9) to give Capitals the edge again.

Capitals will meet Dwayne Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings in the final playoff match on Friday, for the right to face Kieron Pollard’s Mumbai Indians in Sunday’s final.

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