KKR vs DC: Another run fest in Sharjah
KKR won the toss in the high scoring and small Sharjah ground, and Dinesh Karthik put the Capitals into bat hoping to restrict them to a reasonable total.Any such plans were quickly quashed by the Delhi openers as they went on attack straight away, both Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw were at their aggressive best scoring quickly in the powerplay. Delhi managed to score almost at 10 runs per over during the power play to score 57, for the loss of Dhawan’s wicket at the end of the power play. Chakravarthy getting him caught to Morgan for a 16 ball 26.
What came next was a real classy yet brutal attack from the Delhi skipper, as he went hell for leather against hopeless Kolkata bowlers. Initially with Prithvi Shaw, Iyer put together a 72 run partnership in 7 overs, where Prithvi Shaw completed his half century in double quick time, his innings included 4 boundaries and 4 sixes as he scored 66 of 41 balls before succumbing to Nagarkoti in an effort to further up the ante.
In walked Rishabh Pant to join his captain, as the pair tore into the KKR attack, both of them scoring at a strike rate of over 220, as their partnership scored 70 runs in 5 overs.
Russel was the only successful bowler in the KKR bowling line up, where all other bowlers went at almost over 12 runs per over or above, Russel ended with figures of 2 for 29 in his 4 overs, and contained the scoring to some extent, especially in his last over, without which Delhi were threatening to surpass the 250 run mark.
They finally ended up at 228 for 4 in their allotted 20 overs, with Shreyas Iyer being the Star of the show with a breath taking 88* of 38 balls, who looked set for a century, but missed out as he could not get strike in the last over. Overall Delhi capitals hit 18 fours and 14 sixes in their innings to set KKR a target of 229 to chase.
KKR opened their innings with Gill and Narine again, although they had Rahul Tripati in the team today. Their thinking that Narine would score quickly in this small ground couldn’t be faulted, although that plan did not materialize as Narine’s struggles continued, and he was cleaned by Nortje in the second over with a pacey delivery for just 3 runs.
Gill and Rana steadied the ship and accelerated the scoring rate in the remainder of the powerplay and were neck to neck as compared to Delhi at the end of the power play, with a score of 59 for 1 as opposed to Delhi’s score of 57 for 1 in the first 6 overs.
The fall of Gill’s wicket in the 9th over to Amith Mishra brought Andre Russel to the crease, Much was expected of Dre Russ, in such a big run chase, but after hitting just one four and a six, Russel fell to Rabada for just 13 runs of 8 balls. The KKR captain once again failed to deliver and disappointed scoring just 6 runs of 8 balls.It was in the 13th and 14th over that Delhi tightened their grip on the match , Harshal patel getting back to back wickets, first well set Rana for 58 (35) and Karthik next ball. Cummins was sent ahead of Rahul Tripati, but he did not fare well, and was dismissed the next over by Nortje.
Then Morgan and Tripati got together and brought the match back to life with some clean hitting. They scored 61 runs of the 3 overs between over numbers 16 to 18, what was even more interesting was that two of those three overs were bowled by Rabada, who is known for his death over bowling skills. Morgan looked in fine touch and with 31 required of last two overs, it looked promising for KKR that he and Tripati would take them over the line.
But Nortje had other plans and bowled an immaculate penultimate over, giving away just 5 runs and picking up the all-important wicket of Eoin Morgan for 44 of just 18 balls. With 26 needed of the last over, Stoinis closed out match for Delhi, as he bowled a perfect yorker to get Tripati for a well made 36 of just 16 balls. Delhi eventually won by 18 runs, but for most part of it, the match was much closer than what the final victory margin suggests. Nortje was the pick of the bowlers for the capitals along with Harshal patel, the pair taking 5 wickets between them, with an economy of just over 8 runs per over.
With this win Delhi Capitals moved to the top of the points table with 3 wins out of 4, and KKR are at the 5th position, wondering about their choices and what could have been in today’s match had they opened with Tripati.
All in all, it was another run fest at the Sharjah cricket stadium, with over 430 runs being scored in the 40 overs, Delhi held their nerve and came out on top, and their captain was awarded the man of the match for his blistering 38 ball 88
About Author: Srikanth N is an MBA graduate from IIM Visakhapatnam .He is a die hard fan of Formula 1, and other motor sports.Big Lewis fan, and waiting to see him surpass Schumacher’s records.He also likes to analyse and critique F1 and F2 race weekends