By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
For the second day in succession, the thirteenth edition of the Dream11 Indian Premier League produced a one-sided result as Delhi Capitals made light work of the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
After Chennai Super Kings’ huge 10-wicket win against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, DC generated a similar type of dominating performance with a thumping 59-run victory against the RCB to jump to the top of the IPL table with eight points from five matches. RCB (6 points) slipped to the third spot.
Out of the four wins, this would undoubtedly look the best for Delhi Capitals as they were in total control of the proceedings from the first to last ball of the encounter. Chasing a stiff target of 197 for win, RCB never looked like threatening the opposition as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Barring Virat Kohli none of the RCB batsmen showed any measure to go for the target and were restricted to 137 for 9.
Kohli, who was caught behind the wickets by Rishabh Pant off Kagiso Rabada, was batting well but appeared disturbed at the regular fall of wickets at the other end. The RCB skipper scored 43 (39 balls, 2×4, 1×6). During this innings, he became the first Indian player to cross 9000 runs in T20 cricket.
Chris Gayle (West Indies: 13296 runs), Kieron Pollard (WI: 10370), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan: 9926), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand: 9922), David Warner (Australia: 9451) and Aaron Finch (Australia: 9148) are the six players ahead of Kohli in the list.
Kagiso Rabada once again justified that he is perhaps the best fast bowler in the world with a four-wicket haul. The South African pacer grabbed all the four important wickets at the cost of just 24 runs. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel (2-18), who was later named man-of-the-match, and seamer Anrich Nortje (2-22) gave him able support. Veteran R Ashwin chipped in with a wicket.
Earlier, a blinder of an innings by Marcus Stoinis propelled Delhi Capitals to a huge total of 196 for 4. The useful all-rounder proved his worth with the bat again with a blistering knock of 53 not out. The 31-year-old Australian took just 26 balls in which he hit six fours and a couple of towering sixes.
Stoinis and Pant entertained the fans with their free-flowing batting. They were involved in a big 89-run partnership for the fourth wicket which gave the momentum to the Delhi innings. Pant was dismissed by Mohammed Siraj after scoring 37 off 25 balls when the score was 179 for 4. The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman hammered three boundaries and two huge sixes.
Put in to bat by Kohli, Delhi Capitals looked a different team from the beginning. Prithvi Shaw (42: 23 balls, 5×4, 2×6) and Shikhar Dhawan (32: 28 balls, 3×4) provided Delhi Capitals a flying start.
The left-right opening combination worked wonders for Delhi Capitals as they added 68 for the first wicket. They were so dominant from the word go that they raced to 63 at the end of Power Play, which was the best score after 6 overs in this IPL season. In the last five overs, DC amassed 62 for the loss of Pant.
Delhi started their new season with a win over KXIP, followed by a victory against Chennai Super Kings, defeat to SRH and a win against KKR. Although Delhi never won the title, they are looking a formidable unit this time around.
On Tuesday, defending champions Mumbai Indians will face Rajasthan Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 196 for 4 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 53 not out, Prithvi Shaw 42, Rishabh Pant 37, Shikhar Dhawan 32, Shimron Hetmyer 11 not out, Shreyas Iyer 11; Mohammed Siraj 2-34, Moin Ali 1-21, Isuru Udana 1-40) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 137 for 9 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 43, Washington Sundar 17, Aaron Finch 13, Navdeep Saini 12 not out, Moin Ali 11, Shivam Dube 11; Kagiso Rabada 4-24, Axar Patel 2-18, Anrich Nortje 2-22, R Ashwin 1-26) by 59 runs. Man-of-the-match: Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals).