The Delhi Capitals have so far been in fine form in IPL 2021 but playing in Sharjah against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rishabh Pant and co had a bad day at work. DC's big hitting batting line-up could only get 127 in the first innings before the bowlers provided some sense of hope with a few big wickets, but were unable to stop KKR's lower order from rounding off the win in style.
KKR chased down the target in the 19th over and with 3 wickets in hand in a closely fought contest. The win keeps KKR on fourth while DC also remain on second with CSK at the top of the IPL points table.
Most balls remaining when a team won an IPL match by 3 or less wickets:-
10 - KKR v DC at Sharjah, today
6 - RCB v KKR at Kolkata, 2015
5 - RR v DC at Jaipur, 2008
5 - CSK v SRH at Mumbai, 2018#IPL2021 #DCvKKR
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) September 28, 2021
In what were really hot conditions, DC with Steve Smith and Shikhar Dhawan were hoping to get their side off to a good start. With Prithvi Shaw out injured, DC’s attacking impetus at the top of the order wasn’t as pronounced on the day.
The DC openers found it tough to get going and Dhawan was the first to be dismissed, having hit five fours in his 24. The southpaw was caught in the covers by Venkatesh Iyer off Lockie Ferguson.
Two deliveries after the powerplay was completed, Shreyas Iyer was cleaned up by Sunil Narine for 1 off 5 deliveries, as Smith at the other end was trying his best to keep the scoring rate going as fast as possible.
Smith was joined by captain Rishabh Pant, but both continued to find it tough to break the shackles against KKR’s spinners kept things tight.
Overs 10 and 11 produced 21 runs for Smith and Pant as Narine and Iyer bore the brunt of that. Smith though was dismissed in the 12th over as he tried to improvise and inside edged it onto his stumps. The Australian was Ferguson’s second wicket and was gone for 39 with the partnership adding 37 to the cause.
Pant was joined Shimron Hetmyer, however the pressure told on the new man, who was dismissed for 4 by Iyer. Hetmyer was looking to clear long off and was caught by Tim Southee, with the score reading 88/4 in the 14th over.
Next in was Lalit Yadav, who found Narine too tough to play, and had to make the walk back for 0 after three deliveries. Narine finished his spell with figures of 2/18. Not too long later, Axar Patel was gone for 0 as Iyer picked his second wicket.
Pant was joined by R Ashwin and the duo dragged DC to 120 before the spinner was caught in the deep off Southee in the final over for 9. Ashwin’s dismissal was followed by the players on both sides exchanging a few words with the batter, Southee and Morgan having a say while Dinesh Karthik and Pant helped diffuse the situation.
Pant however was run out a couple of deliveries later as they tried to take a quick 2 for 39. Avesh Khan and Kagiso Rabada managed to DC to 127/9.
In response, KKR lost a couple of early wickets even as Shubman Gill was making batting look extremely easy.
The in-form Iyer wasn’t able to really make much of an impression this time as he was bowled by Lalit Yadav for 14. Rahul Tripathi, another player who has been doing well, could not hang in there either and was dismissed for 9 by Avesh Khan.
With Nitish Rana and Gill in the middle, KKR finished the powerplay at 44/2 with the right-handed opener not holding back. He smashed Ashwin for a six too after that as KKR continued to stay on course for a comprehensive win.
Rana and Gill were looking far more comfortable in the middle and were aided with the fact that there wasn’t any run-rate pressure either as they headed into the first time out at 62/2 after 9 overs.
After the break, DC struck twice in quick succession as Kagiso Rabada had Gill caught in the deep for 30 before Ashwin packed off Morgan and celebrated with gusto. Ashwin finished his spell with figures of 1/24 as KKR were in a spot of bother.
Three dots from Avesh started off the 15th over and that caused Karthik to try and unsettle the bowler, but it ended in the KKR man walking back to the pavilion for 12 after dragging it on to his stumps.
Narine added a couple of lusty blows after that against Rabada to bring KKR on the cusp of a win before he was gone and Rana finished it off with a boundary in the 19th over.
Rana finished unbeaten on 36 with KKR registering a crucial win.
. Read more on Cricket by The Quint.Pancakes : A Plate Full of HappinessIPL 2021: KKR Defeat DC by 3 Wickets; Stay on Course for Top 4 Finish . Read more on Cricket by The Quint.