By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
It was a day of the captains. After a match-winning knock by Virat Kohli earlier in the day, Shreyas Iyer led from the front to guide Delhi Capitals to a nerve-wrecking 18-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Dream11 Indian Premier League match at the Sharjah Cricket ground on Saturday.
Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer smacked eight boundaries and seven sixes in his blistering unbeaten 38-ball 88 to help his side amass 228 for 4 – which is the highest total in this year’s IPL. Together with Prithvi Shaw (66: 44 balls, 4×4, 4×6) and Rishabh Pant (38: 17 balls, 5×4, 1×6), Iyer powered Delhi to such a huge score from which they literally out-batted Kolkata Knight Riders.
Chasing a herculean task, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders fought hard and made a valiant effort through Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi but fell short of the mark by eighteen runs as they were restricted to 210 for 8.
Earlier, Steve Smith’s decision to bat first in the Dream11 IPL after winning the toss backfired completely as Rajasthan Royals crashed to an eight-wicket loss against an inspired Royal Challenges Bangalore.
The first afternoon game of this year’s IPL turned out to be a one-sided affair with RCB registering their third win in four matches at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It was for the first time since 2013 that RCB have won three out of their first four matches in IPL.
KKR were struggling at 122 for 6 in the 14th over, it looked like DC would cruise to a win. However, a fierce charge by Morgan (44: 18 balls, 1×4, 5×6) brought his team back into contention with five big hits. Tripathi (36: 16 balls, 3×4, 3×6) also rose to the occasion by smashing powerful shots. When Morgan and Tripathy left in quick succession, KKR’s hopes evaporated in the thin desert air.
Earlier, the 25-year-old DC skipper Iyer scored his fastest half-century ever in the cash-rich league. Opener Prithvi Shaw smashed 66 runs off 41 deliveries, in an innings comprising four boundaries and as many sixes.
With this third win, DC moved to top of the table. Both DC and RCB have six points from four matches but better net run-rate helped Iyer’s side claim the first position. KKR are lying fifth with four points from as many matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal emerged as the chief architects of RCB’s commanding win over Rajasthan Royals. While Chahal grabbed a three wickets to restrict RR Royals to 154 for 6, Kohli, who led from the front, in the company of Padikkal steered their side home with five balls to spare.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 154 for 6 in 20 overs (Mahipal Lomror 47, Rahul Tewatia 24 not out, Jos Butler 22, Robin Uthappa 17, Riyan Parag 16, Jofra Archer 16 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-24, Isuru Udana 2-41, Navdeep Saini 1-37) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 158 for 2 in 19.1 overs (Virat Kohli 72 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 63, AB de Villiers 12 not out, Aaron Finch 8; Jofra Archer 1-18, Shreyas Gopal 1-27) by 8 wickets. Man-of-the-match: Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB).
Delhi Capitals 228 for 4 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 88 not out, Prithvi Shaw 66, Rishabh Pant 38, Shikhar Dhawan 26, Shimron Hetmyer 7 not out; Andre Russel 2-29, Kamlesh Nagarkoti 1-35, Varun Chakravarthy 1-49) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 210 for 8 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 58, Eoin Morgan 44, Rahul Tripathi 36, Shubman Gill 28, Andre Russel 13; Anrich Nortje 3-33, Harshal Patel 2-34, Amit Mishra 1-14, Marcus Stoinis 1-46, Kagiso Rabada 1-51) by 18 runs. Man-of-the-match: Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals).