A fantastic four-wicket haul from left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav combined with left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed taking three wickets helped Delhi Capitals snap their two-match losing streak with a 44-run win over table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday.
After Delhi posted a gigantic 215/5 in their 20 overs, thanks to fifties from David Warner, Prithvi Shaw and some blazing knocks from captain Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur, Kolkata needed similar knocks from their batters. But barring a 54 from captain Shreyas Iyer, there weren't many substantial contributions as Kolkata crashed to 171 all out in 19.4 overs.
Kolkata began their chase by losing openers Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane to Ahmed in power-play. While Iyer pulled straight to deep square leg, Rahane, who was lucky in surviving two lbw calls on first two balls of the innings, miscued a slog and was caught by Thakur running back from mid-on.
Iyer and Nitish Rana got off to a good start by taking boundaries off Axar and Kuldeep. The duo then took 17 runs off Rovman Powell's part-time pace in the tenth over to bring up fifty of their partnership. Just as the 69-run partnership began to take a more threatening look, Lalit Yadav's off-spin took out Rana as the left-hander smacked a low full toss straight to long-on just after hitting a six.
In the next over, Iyer danced down the pitch to hit Kuldeep over long-on for six and bring up his first IPL fifty in Kolkata jersey. But on the very next ball, Kuldeep had the last laugh, stumping Iyer with a googly. Sam Billings took a four and six off Axar but was caught by fine leg off a slog sweep, becoming Ahmed's third victim of the match.
Pat Cummins' hope of repeating the stunning 14-ball fifty heroics against Mumbai came to a premature end when he missed a wild slog off Kuldeep and was trapped plumb lbw in front of leg-stump. One brought two for Kuldeep on successive deliveries in the 16th over as Sunil Narine miscued a heave to long-off, followed by the spinner running to mid-on to complete a terrific caught and bowled dismissal of Umesh Yadav.
Andre Russell was uncomfortable in his 21-ball 24 and sliced uppishly to point off Thakur in the final over. A ball later, Thakur finished off the match by having Rasikh Salam holing out to long-on to give Delhi their second win of the tournament.
Earlier, Shaw's 29-ball 51, Warner's 61 off 45 balls, Pant's blazing 27 and a late 49-run stand from Axar (22 not out) and Thakur (29 not out) set the base for Delhi's comfortable win. Shaw began by punching Umesh through extra cover for a boundary on the first ball of the innings.
Three balls later, Yadav strayed in line and Shaw whipped through fine leg to collect his second boundary of the opening over. He danced down the pitch and slapped Rasikh Salam through covers for four. Warner joined the boundary-hitting party with a pulled four off Salam through mid-wicket. With pacers finding no support from the pitch, Yadav had Shaw in a tangle with a sharp bouncer but the batter hooked well for four.
Yadav bowled short again and hit Shaw's helmet as ball flew over short third man for four leg-byes. After the concussion test, Shaw flicked Yadav through mid-wicket to complete an eventful over. Warner welcomed Cummins with back-to-back fours through cover before Shaw hammered a pull over deep mid-wicket to bring up Delhi's fifty in just four overs.
The introduction of spinners Chakravarthy and Narine couldn't stop Warner and Shaw as boundaries continued to flow. Shaw then slammed Venkatesh part-time pace for a four and six on both sides of the wicket followed by reaching his fifty in 27 balls. Chakravarthy broke the 93-run opening stand by castling Shaw through the gate with a googly.
Pant's promotion to three worked well as he swept Narine through fine leg as Delhi reached century-mark at halfway stage. Chakravarthy came under attack from Pant, who was slog-swept for a six followed by reverse-sweep for four more. After two no-balls and byes, Warner crunched Chakravarthy for a boundary through cover to take 24 runs off the 11th over.
Warner reached his fifty by smacking Russell over long-on but Pant fell as he sliced uppishly to deep backward point. Narine brought Kolkata back in the match as he took out Lalit and Powell in quick succession. It was followed by Umesh removing Warner as the left-hander mistimed pull to deep mid-wicket.
Axar and Shardul smashed six boundaries off Yadav and Cummins to take 39 runs off the last two overs, providing Delhi with the perfect finish to go past 210-mark, which was enough to achieve a comfortable win.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 215/5 in 20 overs (David Warner 61, Prithvi Shaw 51; Sunil Narine 2/21, Andre Russell 1/16) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 all out in 19.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 54, Nitish Rana 30; Kuldeep Yadav 4/35, Khaleel Ahmed 3/25) by 44 runs20220410-201803