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IPL 2017, DD vs RPS: Ben Stokes' dismissal is the SK Turning Point of the Match

Anderson took a great catch to dismiss Stokes just as the Englishman was beginning to explode.

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Stokes’ wicket totally turned the tide in Delhi’s favour as Pune slipped to an improbable loss

In a humdinger of a match, Delhi Daredevils, already out of the tournament, twisted a dagger in the heart of Rising Pune Supergiant, who lost a match that they should have definitely won. At the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, the game went all the way down to the wire, with Manoj Tiwary’s 60 turning out to be a valiant effort in a losing cause.

The context

Batting first, Delhi Daredevils posted 168 for 8, a score just par on a small ground and a good batting track. Karun Nair finally got some runs, scoring 64 off 45 balls. Delhi did well to recover from 9 for 2 to 83 for 3 in just 8.5 overs. However, they couldn’t make the most of that platform and managed just 168 after losing a flurry of wickets towards the end.

Rising Pune Supergiant had a bad start too, Zaheer Khan bowling a brilliant inswinger to get through Rahane’s defence in the first ball of the Pune innings. Rahul Tripathi failed as well. However, Steve Smith and Manoj Tiwary gave the chase a good shape. Ben Stokes scored 33 off 25, adding 51 for the fourth wicket with Tiwary and at that point, Pune seemed to be cruising along towards a victory.

The turning point – Stokes’ dismissal

Stokes fell when Pune were 125 for 3 in the 16th over, the chase well under control. Stokes, who had smashed three fours and two sixes, mishit a full toss bowled by Mohammad Shami in the fourth ball of the 16th over after hitting a six a couple of balls earlier.

Corey Anderson took the catch brilliantly on the edge of the long-off boundary. Although Shami missed his yorker length by a few inches, and Stokes usually thumps such deliveries down the ground with great ease, it was not to be this time around.

Extra Cover: IPL 2017, DD vs RPS: Pune's sensational fielding performance is the SK Play of the Match

The Englishman failed to middle the ball, and as a result, didn’t get any elevation on the lofted shot. In a tournament where a million catches have already been dropped, including one that Nair dropped in the previous over, Anderson made a tough catch look ridiculously simple, balancing himself inches inside the boundary and taking the catch over his head.

The impact

Stokes’ dismissal suddenly shifted the momentum completely towards Delhi. Anderson bowled the 17th and Cummins bowled the 18th over. Pune scored just five runs from each of these overs. Shami bowled the 19th over and it went for just 8, with Christian dismissed LBW.

17 runs were scored off the 20th over but Pune still fell short of the target by 7 runs. Zaheer Khan’s 2/25 off his 4 overs, including the first ball wicket of Rahane, helped Delhi turn a par score into a winning score. Karun Nair was the Player of the Match.

While Delhi have 6 wins in 13 matches, this loss makes it tricky for Pune. If they lose their next game as well and stay on 8 wins, their negative run-rate could result in elimination. 

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