Bottom-placed Delhi Capitals bring a halt to the Gujarat Titans’ juggernaut with a 5-run win
Delhi Capitals won the toss against Gujarat Titans on Tuesday and chose to bat first. However, that decision backfired soon as Phil Salt’s stay on the crease was rather short-lived as he was caught out on the bowling of Indian talisman Mohammed Shami. To add salt to injury, skipper David Warner was run out in the very second over. With just six runs on the board, the away side had both their openers back in the pavilion.
Shami wreaked havoc on DC’s middle order as he got rid of Rilee Rossouw, Priyam Garg, and Manish Pandey at scores of eight, ten, and one respectively.
The Capitals lost five wickets in the powerplay and managed to put up just 23 runs on the board. At a point, it looked like Warner’s men would barely manage to put up 100 runs on the board.
However, Axar Patel and Aman Hakim Khan steadied the ship gradually. Axar played a handy knock of 27 runs, which included a maximum and two boundaries, with a strike that isn’t synonymous with his name. Khan scored his maiden IPL half-century and his knock included three maximums and three boundaries, which was instrumental in allowing the bottom-placed team to cross the 100-run mark.
Axar fell to Mohit Sharma in the 13th over and following his departure, Ripal Patel joined Khan on the crease. He played a cameo of 23 runs, just enough to stick at the other end while Aman tried to be the aggressor. As a result, Delhi Capitals managed to put up 130 runs on the board, which looked like a pipe dream at one stage of the match.
The Titans were absolutely lethal with their bowling. Shami was the pick of the bowlers and bagged four crucial wickets while giving away just 11 runs. Skipper Hardik Pandya and Noor Ahmad went wicketless, while Mohit Sharma chipped in with two wickets in the dying embers of the game.
The defending champions looked pretty comfortable on the field and with the performance they had put in, they looked in the driving position to consolidate their position at the top of the table.
However, an off-color Delhi Capital’s side had other plans. While GT’s opening pair of Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill has been a force to be reckoned with, Saha fell pretty cheaply on the bowling of Khaleel Ahmed, who was returning to the side following a niggle.
While Gill tried to counter-attack, he too, fell in the third over on the bowling of Anrich Nortje. Joining skipper Pandya at the other end was Vijay Shankar has managed to find some form in the last few games following a couple of lean IPL editions. Sadly, he was no match to Ishant Sharma’s lethal knuckle-ball that knocked the stumps out of the ground in the very next over.
The home team was almost at par with the Delhi-based franchise, as both teams barely managed to put up 30 runs on the board and had lost half their side. David Miller, who has earned a name for himself for being a clinical finisher, got bowled out on duck on the fourth ball of Kuldeep Yadav while trying to play a scoop.
What once looked like an easy chase, had turned on its head. The team from Gujarat found themselves in murky waters, despite skipper Hardik Pandya looking solid at the other end. Abhinav Manohar walked into a kind of role that he was rather unfamiliar with. He was tasked with building a partnership with Pandya to seal the match for the Titans. Despite playing a few good shots, Manohar fell in the 17th over, with over 30 runs still left to chase.
Rahul Tewatia joined Pandya at the crease and creamed Nortje for three maximums in the 19th over, taking his side within touching distance of the total.
Ishant Sharma was tasked with probably one of the toughest jobs of bowling the last over of the match as he had to defend 12 runs in the last over with Pandya and Tewatia at the crease. Interestingly, not only did Ishant concede just six runs in the over, but he also managed to get rid of Tewatia keeping the danger-man Pandya off-strike for the majority of the over.
The Capitals will return to Delhi to face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday evening as Gujarat Titans have to face the high-flying Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Supergiants in a span of less than 48 hours between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.