David Warner and Vijay Shankar consolidated Hyderabad's position against Gujarat with a 133-run stand for the third wicket that helped the defending champions comfortably overhaul a Gujarat unit, by eight wickets, in the Indian Twenty20 competition at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on May 13, and book their berth in the eliminator against Kolkata on May 17.
Gujarat, batting first, looked comfortable at the onset with their openers, Dwayne Smith and Ishan Kishan, adding a 111-run stand, but then Rashid Khan and Mohammed Siraj struck and dismissed the duo two-overs apart. That marked the start of the collapse from which Gujarat never recovered and managed just 154.
Hyderabad ran the risk of following a similar pattern when they lost Shikhar Dhawan and Moises Henriques in the first three overs of the chase, but Warner and Shankar dropped anchor and cautiously consolidated the innings. By the end of the fifth over, Warner was on 7 off 12 and Shankar 2 off five. As the asking rate touched eight, the duo cut loose - and backed by some poor fielding - made Gujarat pay for their indiscretions. Warner remained unbeaten on 69 off 52 balls, in an innings laced with nine fours, and Shankar on 63 off 44, also with nine fours. They scored at 8.76 runs an over and guided their side home with 11 balls to spare.
What they said:
"They got a flier, I was scratching my head there for a second. When we got wickets back to back, it showed the wicket was slowing a bit. Credit to the bowlers, Siraj, the way they brought it back was fantastic. Some fantastic bowling units around in the country. Shows what talent you have here, especially in the T20s and ODIs."
David Warner on Gujarat's batting collapse
Iyer, Cummins lead rescue act for Delhi
When Shreyas Iyer and Pat Cummins came together, Delhi was still 75 runs adrift from an imposing Gujarat target of 196, with only 36 balls remaining. When their 61-run stand, for the seventh wicket, finally ended in the 19th over, the deficit stood at just 14 off 10.
Delhi, in the chase, lost their way early with two wickets falling in the first two overs. Iyer and Karun Nair added some stability with a 57-run stand for the second wicket, but just as they drew Delhi back into the contest, Nair departed in the eighth over. Two run outs, that of Marlon Samuels and Corey Anderson, followed and it threw Delhi off course once again as they stood at 121 for 6 in 14 overs. It was then that Cummins joined Iyer and the duo cut loose against Pradeep Sangwan in the 15th over, slapping him for two four's each.
Iyer followed that up with three-consecutive fours off Dhawal Kulkarni in the next over, before they plundered James Faulkner for two sixes and a four. In all, they smashed 17, 14 and 21 runs off the 15th, 16th and 17th overs. The onslaught brought Delhi to within touching distance from the target. Cummins finally fell for a 13-ball 24 and Iyer followed for a 57-ball 96.
What they said:
"I wasn't thinking much about my hundred, i decided at the start I would bat till the end. Hundred doesn't matter, winning the game does. I was just trying to time the ball, was getting the ball in my areas."
Shreyas Iyer on missing a ton
Rayady, Tiwary take table-toppers Mumbai past Kolkata
A 61-run stand between Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayadu helped Mumbai trump an inform Kolkata by nine runs, on May 13, to end the league stages as table-toppers.
Tiwary and Rayudu, Mumbai's most productive pair in the 2010 season, seven-years on produced a partnership that guided their side to yet another respectable total. Tiwary was fluent at the onset but struggled for fluency once the Powerplay restrictions disappeared, scoring only 18 off 21 from the start of the seventh over.
He found runs against Sunil Narine, who he muscled for successive fours in the 15th over to bring up his half-century. The lefthander departed for a 43-ball 52. Rayadu, played aggressor through the innings and finally fell for a 37-ball 63, which included six fours and three sixes.
What they said:
"This was the perfect example of playing a perfect game. They were going at 10 an over but we kept picking wickets. We were sticking to our plans,we didn't panic. When the batsmen go after the bowlers like that, it can be hard to keep calm but everyone executed well. It's a little tournament we have to play now, the playoffs."
Rohit Sharma on his strategy during Kolkata onslaught
Carlyle Laurie is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo