An outstanding performance with the bat followed by a stellar showing from their pacers saw Delhi beat Hyderabad by 17 wickets in Qualifier 2 to reach their maiden Indian T20 League final.
Here are the key talking points from the contest:
The dubious duality of Shikhar Dhawan
After being dismissed for a duck against Mumbai in Qualifier 1, Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan redeemed himself in grand fashion, smashing 78 off 50 balls to help his side post a massive, and eventually a match-winning total of 179 on the board. Dhawan has now scored two fifties and two centuries in his last seven outings, however, he failed to get off the mark in the other three, returning to the pavilion for a duck. If he manages to get off the mark in the final, Mumbai will have to put extra effort to get rid of the veteran opener.
Williamson's valiant knock
Having walked in with the scoreboard reading 43/2 and 44/3 soon after, Kane Williamson was the last man standing between Delhi and maiden final appearance. And the Kiwi batsmen ensured that he kept the game alive right until the 17th over with an incredibly stylish knock of 67 off 45 balls. However, with wickets tumbling at the other end and the required rate rising, Williamson finally succumbed on the penultimate ball of the 17th over which effectively ended the contest. Irrespective, it was a stellar knock from one of the best batsmen on the planet.
Stoinis' sizzling all-round display
Despite the change in role and being sent as an opener, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis continued where he left off against Mumbai, smashing 38 off 27 balls before being dismissed by a ripper from Rashid Khan. He then came in to bowl in the powerplay and dealt a killer blow to Hyderabad’s chances, picking up two wickets in the space of three balls to reduce the opposition to 44/3. Stoinis then put the nail in Hyderabad's coffin by dismissing Williamson in the 17th over. Stoinis' all-round brilliance earned him the man of the match award.
Can Delhi get over the Mumbai hunch?
With this win, Delhi head to the final to take on Mumbai, who they will face for the fourth time this season. Mumbai have beaten Delhi four times on the trot, with none of the matches being particularly close. Mumbai well and truly have Delhi's number and the first time finalists will need a performance of a lifetime from their star men if they are to usurp the reigning champions.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League