Dhawan and Iyer power the Capitals past the Shers

Half-centuries from the two top order batsmen ensured the Capitals chased down the Shers’ total.

A spirited effort from the KXIP bowling unit fell short, as Delhi Capitals, led by captain Shreyas Iyer’s half century, chased down the Shers’ total of 163 to win at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.

Photo: SPORTZPICS

After being put in to bat first, KXIP were dealt a huge blow in just the second over, as the in-form KL Rahul had to walk back to the dugout after some tidy work behind the stumps by keeper Rishabh Pant. His opening partner Chris Gayle reacted positively and counter-punched, picking up 10 in the third over followed by 16 in the fourth to put the Shers in a strong position.

In the fifth, however, Delhi Capitals brought on pacer Kagiso Rabada and the move paid dividends as he managed to get rid of Mayank Agarwal with the scoreboard reading 42/2. Gayle continued his onslaught and finished the powerplay with a six, but on the very first delivery of the seventh over, the Shers were dealt their third blow as Miller hit one straight to midwicket.

Sadda Sher

Gayle’s magnificent innings of 69 runs off 37 deliveries despite wickets tumbling around him helped the Shers put up 163 on the board.  

Gayle and new man Mandeep Singh steadied the ship with a 31-ball 45-run partnership, but a stunning effort from Colin Ingram, who caught the ball and threw it to teammate Axar Patel before running over the boundary line, ended Gayle’s stay out in the middle after a well-made 69 off just 37 balls. Just four deliveries later, Sam Curran, too, departed without troubling the scorers as the scoreboard read 106/5.

That double blow put the brakes on the run rate with only 35 runs being scored in the next five overs and the departure of Mandeep in the 17th over made the task of finishing the innings on a high a bit more difficult for the Shers. But, a brave cameo from debutant Harpreet Brar and a couple of sumptuous shots from captain Ravichandran Ashwin helped the Shers add 22 to the team’s score in the final two over to finish with 163/7.

 In reply, the home team was off to a flyer, as openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan adopted an aggressive approach and smashed 24 off the first three overs. But a mix-up on the very first delivery of the fourth gave Mandeep a chance to run Shaw out and he made no mistake from a tough angle, getting the Shers their first breakthrough.

Unha Da Sher

Captain Shreyas Iyer ensured that there was no repeat of the previous encounter between the two teams and steered his home to victory in the final over.

Despite the dismissal, Dhawan and, new man in, skipper Shreyas Iyer scored 36 in the next 17 deliveries to put the Capitals in command of the chase at the end of powerplay. The introduction of spin managed to halt the leakage of runs, but without a breakthrough, the Capitals were still in control of proceedings.

Dhawan, having completed his 50, decided to up the ante and attack pacer Hardus Viljoen, but a miscued shot went straight up into the night sky and captain Ravichandran Ashwin made no mistake in reeling in a tough catch to get the Shers a much needed breakthrough.

In his very next over, Viljoen got his second of the night, as Rishabh Pant’s pull shot did not have the necessary distance and found Sam Curran in the deep.

Turning Point

Colin Ingram’s magnificent catch followed by his awareness to throw the ball to the nearest teammate to get rid of Chris Gayle put a lock on the Shers’ scoring and helped the Capitals restrict KXIP to 163.

Needing 23 off the final 18 deliveries, Colin Ingram gave the Capitals the perfect over in the circumstances, smashing three boundaries to bring the equation down to just 10 off 12. But there was more drama in the 19th over, as Shami’s perfectly executed yorker got rid of the dangerous Ingram and on the very next delivery, new man Axar Patel was run out giving the visitors a glimmer of hope.

However, there was no comeback this time around for the Shers, as Iyer and Sherfane Rutherford ensured that the Capitals got over the line with a couple of balls to spare.

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