MARCH 30, 2019
Brief Scorecard: Delhi Capitals 185 for 6 (Shaw 99, Iyer 43) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 185 for 8 (Russell 62, Karthik 50) via the Super Over
Super OverDelhi Capitals 10 for 1 (Pant 6*, Iyer 4, Prasidh 1-10) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 7 for 1 (Russell 4, Uthappa 2*, Karthik 1*, Rabada 1-7)
DELHI, INDIA – Prithvi Shaw’s free-flowing knock was stopped at 99. Delhi Capitals needed only 12 runs for their second win when it happened, and they had six wickets and nine balls left to get them. But true to the theme of their fluctuating fortunes on the night, they allowed the game to meander into a Super Over, where a world-class over from Kagiso Rabada was required to seal the win. Kolkata Knight Riders had come back from being 61 for 5, and then defended six off the last over, but they couldn’t muster a third miracle in Delhi.
Both teams hit only a boundary each in the Super Over, but Rabada kept Knight Riders to only three off their last five balls. Andre Russell had struck a 28-ball 62 and Dinesh Karthik a 36-ball 50 to shift the control halfway into the game, but they were both powerless against Rabada in the tie-breaker.
Knight Riders blindsided
Shreyas Iyer admitted that batting first Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday was a mistake. Here, they decided to bowl and made four changes. Two of the replacements, Sandeep Lamichhane and Harshal Patel, made immediate impacts.
Nikhil Naik, a batsman known for his power-hitting and, on the night, replacement for the injured Sunil Narine, got a boundary first ball against Rabada via an inside edge, but his next three runs cost Knight Riders 15 deliveries as Lamichhane, Rabada, and Chris Morris piled the pressure on him with straight lines. He was out lbw, reviewing because he thought he had inside-edged Lamichhane’s googly. Knight Riders’ unproductive Powerplay ended with Uthappa missing an offcutter in front of middle against Harshal.
Off the next seven balls, Capitals picked up two wickets with short balls; Lynn grabbed down leg side to Rishabh Pant and Nitish Rana ramping a short ball to Rabada’s right at fine leg off Harshal. The two combined again two overs later. Rabada slid to his left from sweeper to parry the ball to a backtracking Harshal, whose throw caught Shubman Gill short on a lazy third-run attempted at the non-striker’s end. Knight Riders fell to 61 for 5 at this point.
We’ll attack, thanks
But Knight Riders finished with 185, a staggering 124 runs off their last 10.5 overs, despite having only one recognized batting pair left. It was reminiscent of their game against Super Kings last season, where they made 202 after being 89 for 5 in 10 overs. The protagonists were the same, and the turnaround began in the 12th over.
Lamichhane began the over with figures of 3-0-12-1, and had gotten into four balls of his final over with only a boundary scored by Karthik. His last two balls, however, were dispatched over midwicket and long-off by Russell from a low base.
There was a brief lull in the overs after that, particularly in the 14th when Russell was hit on the left shoulder by a Harshal beamer, and the over following that when Morris twisted his ankle in his delivery stride. But both players were back to business after treatment, but Russell’s belligerence was umatchable.
It began with lofting Morris over his head soon after the treatment, and took full swing against the man who had hit him: Harshal’s next over went for 20, 12 of them coming over wide long-on from Russell’s bat. By the time his blitzkrieg ended – in a flurry of boundaries before he top-edged Morris – Knight Riders had full control. Karthik brought up his fifty, and even Chawla and Kuldeep had their fun.
But Knight Riders didn’t have Narine, and fifth bowler, Russell, wasn’t a hundred percent.
As he often does, Shaw made scoring look simple with his languid strokeplay off the back foot. Helped along with a brisk but short-lived 16 off 8 by Shikhar Dhawan, Shaw set the tone at the start of the innings as Iyer struggled for rhythm. At the end of the Powerplay, Capitals had 45 for 1, with Shaw flat-batting three fours and a six, and Iyer on 4 off 11.
But Knight Riders’ weakend bowling attack was going to be shown up soon, particularly because Shaw and Iyer went after their No. 1 bowler – Kuldeep Yadav. Iyer’s first boundary came against him, a straight drive that whistled past the bowler. Shaw then picked a wrong’un and sent it over Kuldeep. It was the signal. They picked up 24 off the next two overs, and when Kuldeep returned, he was taken for 20 – once again, a combined effort. At 2-0-33-0, Knight Riders’ best bowler was neutralized.
Their decision to replace Narine with a pure batsmen would have stung even more, as three boundaries came off four balls in the over that followed from a visibly hurt Russell. It was Karthik’s final gamble, and eventually Russell got Iyer at deep midwicket. But Capitals had caught up with the asking rate at 116 for 2 in 12 overs.
The depleted bowling became even more apparent when Nitish Rana bowled the over immediately after the wicket. Shaw enjoyed himself through the middle overs – he punished any width, going square on the off side, and in front of square on the leg side. Full deliveries kept going over the bowlers’ heads and for poetry’s sake, he even brought out some scrumptious inside-out shots over the covers.
But on 98, he under-edged a bouncer onto his right shoulder cap and was clutching it before taking guard on 99 against. It turned out to be another short ball and this time he got the top-edge, to be taken at short third man. Knight Riders haven’t conceded a century in the second innings since 2011.
Before that, however, Kuldeep had redeemed himself, going around the wicket to Pant and having him drag a length ball to deep midwicket in an 18th over that went for only three.
He began the 20th from around the wicket as well, to the left-handed Colin Ingram who went with the turn but couldn’t find runs off the back foot in the off side. Kuldeep kept going slow, untill he went seam-up against Hanuma Vihari, playing his first IPL game since 2015, and got him to toe-end a pull to deep midwicket off the penultimate ball. This left Capitals needing two off the last ball. Ingram had crossed over, but his decision to sweep meant he couldn’t make a reasonable attempt at completing the second run as Robin Uthappa threw in on the bounce from deep backward square.
Capitals chose not to go with Shaw in their opening pair, opting instead for Iyer and Pant. Prasidh Krishna went short to Iyer, was taken for four, and followed up with a full one that was lofted into Piyush Chawla’s path at long-off. His three slower balls, dug into the pitch, were too much for Pant whose swatting and attempted reverse-ramping only got Delhi five off the last three.
Rabada’s first ball immediately put Knight Riders ahead. With 11 needed, Russell clipped his miscued first-ball yorker to the midwicket boundary. But an inch-perfect yorker took out Russell’s middle stump two balls later with no runs being added.
Karthik had one ball to face in the over and, predicting Rabada’s length, promptly went down for the ramp. But Iyer had fine leg placed very fine, specifically for that shot and 6 off 2 became 5 off 1. Uthappa went straight batted against the final yorker – a four would have meant a Knight Riders win by virtue of making more runs off the last ball of the Super Over. But he couldn’t get it past mid-off.