Delhi Capitals (DC) consolidated their position on top of the table with 16 points from 12 matches and a net run rate (NRR) of +0.233 by scoring a facile 16-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in an afternoon IPL match at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings are on second spot, also with 16 points from 12 matches and NRR of -0.113. RCB continue to languish in the last spot with eight points from 12 matches an NRR -0.694.
In the night match, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) scored a 34-run victory over Mumbai Indians (MI) despite Hardik Pandya scoring a belligerent 91 off 34 balls with nine sixes and six fours. Hardik Pandya’s fastest 50 (off 17 balls) this IPL season paled West Indian Andre Russell’s effort for KKR. Hardik was indeed a man on fire, and despite suffering a hamstring niggle after completing his half century, he continued to smash the ball to the fence.
When Hardik Pandya left MI required 48 runs off 12 balls, but ended up on 198 for seven in reply to KKR’s 232 for two. MI stay on the third spot with 14 points from 12 matches and NRR of +0.347, while KKR moved to the fifth spot with 10 points from 12 matches and NRR of +0.100.
Electing to bat on winning the toss on their home ground in the first match, DC were off to a robust start with openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan adding 35 runs off 15 balls. Prithvi Shaw was out for 18 runs off 10 balls with four fours in trying to cut Umesh Yadav but got a thick outside edge. Parthiv Patel who took a hard knock his chest when taking the catch was down in pain prompting the umpires to refer the decision to the third umpire and replays confirmed that Parthiv had taken a clean catch.
Shikhar Dhawan in the company of his skipper Shreyas Iyer got into his elements to step the run rate further and add 78 runs for the second wicket. Dhawan slammed two sixes in five fours in his 37-ball 50 and was out trying to sweep Yuzvendra Chahal from outside the off stump. The ball lobbed into the air for Washington Sundar to complete a simple catch at short-fine leg.
Wicketkeeper batsman Rishab Pant, a southpaw also fell soon to the guiles of Chahal, but Iyer sustained the momentum to top score on 52 off 37 balls with three sixes and two fours. With West Indian Sherfane Rutherford hammering a quickfire 28 from 13 balls with three sixes and one four, DC put up a very competitive score on the board.
The DC bowlers then kept their nerves to ensure that their team moved to the top of the table with another clinical performance overall. Despite Parthiv Patel and captain Virat Kohli giving RCB a brisk start by adding 63 runs in 35 balls, the visiting team fell short by losing wickets at the crunch moment.
The quick dismissal of Parthiv and Kohli put the pressure on the middle order batting. The fall of big hitting A.B. de Villiers for a subdued 17 runs off 19 balls with a six dashed RCB’s hopes. Gurkeerat Singh (27, 19 balls, one six and two fours) and Australian Marcus Stoinis (32 not out, 24 balls, two sixes and one four) tried to make a late rally by adding 49 runs for the sixth wicket. Their effort bore no fruit as RCB ended their innings on 171for seven.
West Indian all-rounder Andre’s brute batting power was in display against Mumbai Indians as KKR logged this IPL season’s highest score of 232 for two in 20 overs. Russell’s 80 off 40 balls despite some discomfiture on his left wrist (the top hand of his bat) was peppered with eight sixes and six fours.
His effort was overshadowed by Hardik Pandya, who like a man possessed, sent the ball crashing to the boundary with practically every touch of the ball with his bat. The MI innings had 14 sixes and 14 fours thanks to Hardik Pandya’s spectacular knock
The MI chase began on an ominous note with West Indian Sunil Narine accounting for opener Quinton de Kock early in the second over of the match. Rohit Sharma fell LBW to Englishman Harry Gurney as he was stuck on the back pad. Though Rohit opted for the DRS, he lost the review and reacted angrily by knocking off the bails at the non-striker’s end. MI were on 78 for four at the end of 10 overs.
Earlier, it was a truly awesome display by the West Indian so much so KKR captain Dinesh Karthik even sacrificed two singles in the last over to allow Russell to finish off with a flourish – hitting a six of the last ball. KKR were off to a rollicking start with openers Shubman Gill (76, 45 balls, four sixes and six fours) and Chris Lynn (54, 29 balls, two sixes and eight fours) adding 96 runs for the first wicket after MI captain Rohit Sharma opted to bowl in his 100th match as captain.
Russell was promoted up the order to number three with the fall of Lynn. He took the centre stage after Gill left and completed the KKR innings by hoisting his 50th individual six of this IPL season. KKR’s blazing knock had 15 sixes and 21 fours.