The Delhi Capitals’ losing streak was finally broken as they came to their own in a must-win game, not just for qualification for the playoffs but for their confidence as well. Chasing a target of mere 153 set up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were sent to bat by the Capitals, after the latter won the toss in Abu Dhabi.
The Delhi team, while not being able to pick up quick wickets kept the pressure on RCB by not offering them easy getaway. Once the Devdutt Padikkal-Virat Kohli partnership was broken, the sluice gates opened as Anrich Nortje got into the act to pick quick wickets and restrict the red and gold to just 152 runs in their registered 20 overs.
In the chase, two veterans in Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane stuck together to see their team through. On this note, let us look at the Hits and Flops from the game.
The South African internationals in Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have been the heart and soul of the Delhi bowling line-up. They have not only got wickets when it has mattered but have got them in ways that were electrifying and changed the course of the game. Prior to this game, there was another match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, near the start of the season, where he spit fire with the ball and won it for his team.
In this game too, the 26-year-old was on the money as he dismissed two very important batters of the RCB side - Padikkal and Chris Morris. However, more than the importance of the wicket, it was its timing that made Nortje’s wickets real special. He delivered when required and finished with the figures of 3/33 in his four overs.
If there was one player who needed to show that he belonged, it was Ajninkya Rahane. The Test stalwart had lost his place in India's limited-overs side, was released from the Rajasthan Royals but was fortunately picked by the Capitals ahead of the season. But not getting starts in the earlier phases, it was Prithvi Shaw’s dip in form that gave him a lucky break. Having let slip the earlier chances, Rahane grabbed the one that was probably the mattered the most in DC's IPL 2020 journey.
In a must win game, the Mumbaikar scored a crucial 60 off 46 balls with fours and one beautiful six over the bowler’s head before playing a very non-required rash reverse sweep to get out.
Along with Rahane, Dhawan too made his experience count as he built an all-important 88-run-stand with the former. The runs came at a quick pace as well, making the partnership look smooth. Dhawan who has already scored two hundred in the IPL 2020 so far, was on course a big score this time around as well. But much like Rahane and earlier to him as well, got out playing a paddle sweep which was not the need of the hour what so ever. He scored 54 off 41 balls with the help of six fours.
Not for the first time this season, Chris Morris disappointed the RCB management with the bat. He was sent ahead of Shivam Dube so as to score quick runs. But failing in that, he just got out for a duck off Nortje. Apart from a 25 off 8 balls against the Kings XI, the South African hasn’t really hasn’t been able to do much with the bat in hand.
In the last two games, he hasn’t been able to do much with the bowl either. In this game as well, the 33-year-old gave away 19 runs in two overs before getting injured and unavailable to bowl.
Although RCB have now qualified, what if they hadn’t, what if they lost the game before 17.3 overs? All blame would have fallen upon the captain and rightly so. Kohli is going through a lean patch and there is no fault in accepting that. However, once settled, one must play through till the end. And this has been Kohli’s thought process as well. But in this IPL, he hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations of the fans and the team either.
In this game too, he got out after settling in and playing 24 balls. The manner in which he got out was rather disappointing as well. Kohli had scored 29 with the help of two fours and one six before being dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin.
With the end of this match, all eyes would now shift to Sharjah as along with Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR would be equally interested in the outcome, hoping that MI beats SRH.
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