final-over win over GT

Pant, Axar star in DC’s nervy final-over win over GT

Delhi Capitals rode on their captain’s incredible knock of 88 from 43 balls to eke out a narrow four-run victory over Gujarat Titans, despite the best efforts of Sai Sudharsan, David Miller and Rashid Khan to stop the hosts from doing the double over them. Pant’s knock, alongwith Axar Patel’s essay (66 off 43) and Tristan Stubbs’s late cameo (26 off 7) turbo-charged DC’s innings well past the 200-run mark, and yet proved to be just about enough to pick the two points in the end.

Where was the match won?

GT started the game better and matched DC through the middle overs, but the backend carnage that saw DC smash 11 sixes in the last five overs made the difference. 22 off the 19th over and 31 off the last pushed DC to a total they weren’t even close to getting just a few overs before. GT fell short despite smashing at 14.6 in the last five overs, reiterating the importance of the finish DC got with the bat on the night.

The death-overs difference


Delhi Capitals

PowerPlay: Sandeep Warrier and the Afghan duo rattle the hosts

Phase score: 44/3 [RR: 7.34, 4s/6s: 5/2]

Jake Fraser-McGurk flirted with danger like he always does, and succeeded until the fourth over when his big flick went straight to Noor Ahmad at deep square leg. Three balls later, Prithvi Shaw went for a pull and was sent back by Noor’s incredible forward-diving catch at the same position. Sandeep Warrier bowled a third over to close out the PowerPlay and had his third wicket as Shai Hope mistimed a big hit and Rashid Khan ran in from deep point to complete another sharp catch. Warrier ended the phase with 3 for 15 in 3 overs, and DC limped to 44/3.

Midway Overs: Pant counterattack, Axar

Score for the phase: 83/0 (9.20 RR, 4s/6s: 9/3]

Axar’s promotion to No. 3 was a wise move for DC as he teamed up with his captain to destroy spin in the middle overs. Rashid and Noor let up 57 runs in 6 overs between them. They were using erroneous ‘uns all the time, but Axar and Pant could read them. The slower ones by Mohit Sharma also failed, as runs were made off the quicks. In order to counter the slower bowlers, both hitters went for the leg side boundary; during this period, Axar reached 50 off 37 balls.

Death Overs: DC surpasses 200 with multiple sixes

Score for phase: 97/1 19:44, 4s/6s: 4/11

Pant began the death-overs match by hitting Mohit for a six with a whip similar to a helicopter. In the same over, he hit an extra cover for sixteen runs. Axar welcomed Noor’s final over, which included two huge sixes, but he too fell in the 14-run over, scoring a superb 66 off 43 balls. Noor was trusted to deliver in the dying over. Adding to the six-gun bombardment, Stubbs left on a similar note. R Sai Kishore, who interestingly bowled his first over of the match in the 19th and gave up 22 runs, was hit for two fours and two sixes by him. Then, in the final, Pant destroyed Mohit, removing 31 from it. Pant hit 62 of the GT pacer’s 73 expensive bowling stats in just 18 balls, making him the most expensive bowler in IPL history. With five fours and eight sixes in a quick 88* from just forty-three balls, the DC captain claimed the championship.

Gujarat Titans

PowerPlay: Saha and Sai Sudharsan get going quickly

Score for phase: 67/1 [RR: 11.16, 10/2 for 4s/6s]

Taking advantage of a quick outfield, Wriddhiman Saha struck five fours to score 33 off just 15 in this round. Shubman Gill was removed by DC in a major early blow, but their impact replacement, Sai Sudharsan, got things going with a six and carried the pace. By the end of the phase, he had added four fours and another six. Plus, he had good fortune on his side when Axar let the left-hander off with a straightforward catch at mid-on. In their short history, GT’s second-best PowerPlay score came from this.

Rasikh Salam applies the brakes with wickets in the middle overs.

Score for the phase: 80/4 [RR: 8.88, 7/2 for 4s/6s]

The middle overs saw two outstanding catches halt GT’s progress. Firstly, Axar made up for his previous mishap by timing his jump to grab a fine catch at cover, ending Saha’s innings. Fraser-McGurk then pulled off a Noor-like blinder, diving forward to view Azmatullah Omarzai’s back while sprinting in from deep square leg. But Sudharsan didn’t let up, scoring a half-century off 29 balls. The impact sub for DC, Salam, was a medium-pacer who clipped the wings of the southpaw as Sudharsan holed out to Axar miles away. In Salam’s next over, Pant’s quick reflexes sent Shahrukh Khan packing, putting GT five down and forcing them to chase 78 in the final five overs.

Miller, Sai Kishore, and Rashid score big, but GT lose.

Phase rating: 73/3 [RR: 14.60, 6/7 for 4s/6s]

After giving up five runs and dismissing Rahul Tewatia in the 16th over, Kuldeep went above and beyond for GT in their dramatic comeback. But David Miller’s 24 off fellow countryman Anrich Nortje reduced the difference between balls left and runs needed. Abishek Porel missed a difficult catching opportunity at deep square leg off Rashid Khan, putting DC under pressure, but Salam performed admirably at long on to terminate Miller’s brilliant innings of 55 from just 23 balls. Though it wasn’t expected, that wicket continued GT’s chase. Before being dismissed by the same bowler who had before hit two sixes off Salam, Sai Kishore went for the fences each time and connected. Rashid reduced the equation from 19 off 6 to 5 off 1, but even with some incredible hitting, he was unable to bring his team over the finish line.

Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 220/8 in 20 overs (Sai Sudharsan 65, David Miller 55, Rashid Khan 21; Rasikh Salam 3-44, Kuldeep Yadav 2-29) defeated Delhi Capitals 224/4 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 88, Axar Patel 66; Sandeep Warrier 1-15) by 4 runs.

What are the teams’ next moves?

On Saturday, April 27, the Delhi Capitals will play the Mumbai Indians at home. On Sunday, April 28, GT will host a struggling RCB in an afternoon match in Ahmedabad.