Iyer breathes fire as KKR go down fighting to a daring Delhi
It was an action packed evening of the double header weekend when Delhi Capitals won comprehensively over Kolkata Knight Riders in another high scoring matchup. The game happened in Sharjah and fans were expecting a ball change every over courtesy to the six hitting average in the ground. With players like Shaw, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis from DC and Gill, Russell, Morgan, DK from KKR any score under 200 would be a paltry total for the others to chase it up. Both teams dropped a bowler and went for an extra batsman as even a mistimed shot will sail over the fence.
KKR won the toss and asked the Delhi batsmen to take the middle. Shaw and Dhawan got to a brisk start scoring at just over 10 RPO in the powerplay before Dhawan perished. Shaw and Iyer took charge from there and got the team’s 100 run mark in no time with constant hitting and never let the run rate drop below 10. When Shaw skied one off Nagarkoti, the game was evenly poised and the roadster buddies were ready to see the scoreboard scoring high. Pant played a sensible and power hitting knock after a long time without miscuing any shot. There was no calm after the Sanju Storm in Sharjah as it was skipper Iyer this time breathing fire. He finished up remaining unbeaten at 88 off 38 balls and Delhi happily reached back to their dugout with the scorecard reading 228/4.
A modestly difficult target for KKR with some serious pace of Rabada and Nortje to counter them meant that they had to utilize their chances from ball 1. Narine continued to disappoint as he fell without troubling the scorers much. Rana played a composed knock by piercing through the gaps wittily and Gill was simply unstoppable. In such a small ground, it was obvious that spinners would get belted left and right. But that wasn’t the case with DC as their veteran Amit Mishra kept bowling tight lines to remove Gill. With 72/2 in 8 overs, this meant that KKR had to accelerate from that very moment to win and sent their demigod Dre Russ. A four and six straight away and fans were ready to witness a brutal run chase. But a coin has two sides and Delhi employed their talisman Rabada who quietly removed Russell. Memories were rushing back to the super over battle between DC and KKR in 2019. Captain DK’s pathetic run continued and Rana eventually succumbed to pressure as wickets fell in two successive deliveries. With 122/6 on the board, KKR were virtually out of the contest as Delhi should have made a cakewalk victory from there on. But in came England captain Eoin Morgan with another youngster bearing the first name Rahul who was ready to do what another Rahul did a week ago. 78 from 24 balls and Stoinis was smoked by Morgan and Tripathi all around the park collecting 24 runs off that over. Then he smacked 3 consecutive sixes off Rabada and the equation read 34 from 12 balls. The Irish coffee was too strong for the Delhi chatpata chaat. However, it was Nortje this time who removed Morgan at a timely moment and then it was a customary win for Delhi which made them collect two points and sit comfortably at the top of the table.
In a game of high scoring battles, there were quite some interesting aways and social media again didn’t fail to disappoint.
- Hetmyer issues : With such a strong Indian top order and Stoinis coming in as the finisher, Hetmyer looks as the weakest link. He swallowed the last over completely in the match where only 7 runs were scored which could have made a big difference. He was sloppy in the field as well. Maybe Carey could be roped in place of him.
- Thank you bowlers for showing up: In such a small ground with flat pitches, all that bowlers could do was just show up on the field. There were literally no take-aways for them but one thing which any team coming to Sharjah must focus on is that bowlers shouldn’t give away extras, especially no balls. This would seriously hurt the team in run chases.
- Dark Knight (DK) must rise: KKR captain Dinesh Karthik definitely must be in a dark phase as he continued to fail again with the bat and caused a middle order collapse. He should have promoted Morgan and Tripathi ahead had he felt his touch was not deft.
- So-Nil Narine: Neither with bat nor with ball was he instrumental. Opening partnership is one of the crucial phases of the game and Narine threw his wicket away cheaply once again. Banton could be utilized here.
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