Sunrisers Hyderabad rose to the occasion to thrash defending champions and table toppers Mumbai Indians by a massive 10-wicket margin to qualify for the playoffs in the Dream11 Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
In the 56th and last league outing of the IPL at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, SRH outclassed four-time champions MI to book a berth in the last-four.
Prior to the match, SRH had to win the tie to claim the spot or Kolkata Knight Riders would have grabbed the position on the basis of their 14 points.
In the end, SRH raised their level of play in the crunch encounter to shatter the hopes of KKR with an emphatic 10-wicket victory.
Chasing a modest total of 150, David Warner (85 runs off 58 balls: 10×4, 1×6) and Wriddhiman Saha (58 runs off 45 balls: 7×4, 1×6) stitched an unbeaten opening partnership to take SRH home in a must-win game in just 17.1 overs.
This big victory also means that KKR are out of the tournament despite 14 points to their credit. A poor net run-rate of -0.214 cost KKR the place in the playoffs.
It was a sweet revenge for SRH as they had lost to MI in the last encounter. Holders had beaten SRH by 34 runs in the first leg of the competition last month.
Earlier put in to bat, MI could muster only 149 for 8 in 20 overs. Kieron Pollard was the top scorer with 41, while in-form batsman Suryakumar Yadav contributed 36. Ishan Kishan (33) and Quinton de Kock (25) were the other notable scorers.
Medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma, who was man-of-the-match in the last outing, once again bowled brilliantly to pocket 3 wickets at the cost of 34 runs. Shahbaz Nadeem was the most effective bowler with 2 for 19. He was later named man-of-the-match. Speedster Jason Holder scalped 2 for 25, while leg-spinner Rashid Khan took 1 for 32.
Mumbai Indians will face Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 in Dubai on November 5 (Thursday) while SRH will clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator on November 6 (Friday) in Abu Dhabi.
SRH captain David Warner was very happy with the result of the match and hoped to continue a good show in the next outing.
“It feels good now after that dreadful loss against KXIP. They rested a few players but to hold them to 150 on this ground was great. A lot of credit goes to the bowlers, Nadeem was superb. We were trying to be as clinical with the bat then and it feels good. We try and put our best foot forward and that stems from the franchise owners. They are great people and it is like a family. We have a never-say-die attitude and that is how we approach each game,” said Warner.
Mumbai Indians 149 for 8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41, Suryakumar Yadad 36, Ishan Kishan 33, Quinton de Kock 25; Sandeep Sharma 3-34, Shahbaz Nadeem 2-19, Jason Holder 2-25, Rashid Khan 1-32) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 151 for no loss in 17.1 overs (David Warner 85, Wriddhiman Saha 58) by 10 wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Shahbaz Nadeem (Sunrisers Hyderabad).