Hyderabad earn last spot in IPL playoffs

·3-min read

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sunrisers Hyderabad claimed the last spot in the Indian Premier League playoffs after beating depleted leader the Mumbai Indians by 10 wickets on Tuesday.

Hyderabad qualified third on net run rate. It beat the three other playoff teams in its last three matches. If it had lost, the two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders would have advanced instead.

Mumbai made it easier for Hyderabad by resting striker bowlers Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah, and allrounder Hardik Pandya, who has had back issues.

Curiously, Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma played for the first time since Oct. 18 when he injured his left hamstring. The injury was given as a reason by the India selectors not to pick the stalwart for the touring party to Australia. India coach Ravi Shastri warned him not to rush back. But after missing four IPL matches, Sharma opened for Mumbai and was out for 4 off seven balls.

"I am happy to be back on the park,” Sharma said. “The hamstring is absolutely fine.”

Mumbai creaked to 149-8, which Hyderabad overhauled with 17 balls to spare. Captain David Warner was 85 not out from 58 balls and Wriddhiman Saha 58 not out from 45 in a total of 151 without loss.

When the playoffs begin on Thursday, defending champion Mumbai will play the Delhi Capitals. The winner advances to the final. The loser will face Hyderabad or Royal Challengers Bangalore, who meet on Friday. The final is on Tuesday.

“RCB ... have a lot of dangerous players. We beat them in the 2016 final,” Warner said. “Another do-or-die game. Hopefully, we can carry the momentum from this game.”

Warner and Saha cruised home against the weakened attack. They were 56-0 after the powerplay, and 89-0 after 10 overs. After 14 overs, they had the run rate required down to 3 an over.

Warner's 10th boundary completed the win, and Hyderabad reached the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year. They won the IPL in 2016.

After being made to bat first, Sharma was out caught at mid off in the third over when he mistimed a slower ball by Sandeep Sharma.

Quinton de Kock was out soon after trying for a third consecutive six, also off Sandeep Sharma.

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem had Suryakumar Yadav stumped on 36 and Krunal Pandya dismissed for a duck in the same 12th over, and when Saurabh Tiwary was out for 1, Mumbai had collapsed from 81-2 to 82-5.

Kieron Pollard arrived and hit four sixes, broke his bat, and was bowled on 41 off 25 balls in the last over. Ishan Kishan helped out with 33.

"To hold them to 150 on this ground is outstanding," Warner said. “Nadeem, to go for 18 in his four (overs) against a side with so many left-hand batsmen, is exceptional. There is great resilience in the side.”

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