The Delhi Capitals (DC) take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 25th match of IPL 2021 on Thursday, 29th April, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It'll be the second match of a doubleheader, with the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals squaring off in the afternoon game.
DC are coming off a heartbreaking one-run defeat to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, while KKR had a morale-boosting win over the Punjab Kings (PBKS). DC, though, have four wins in six games, while KKR have triumphed just twice this season.
Electing to bowl first against RCB, the DC bowlers did a good job to vindicate their captain's decision. The returning Ishant Sharma combined well with Avesh Khan to remove the dangerous RCB opening pair of Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal. Amit Mishra then had Maxwell hole out in the deep, leaving the bulk of the run-scoring responsibility on AB De Villiers and an impressive Rajat Patidar.
Things went well for DC till the 19th over, but some brilliant hitting from AB De Villiers saw RCB post an above-par total of 171/5.
In response, DC lost early wickets and weren't able to keep up with the required rate till Shimron Hetmyer arrived at the crease. With 56 runs required off the last four overs, he raced away to a 23-ball 50 to bring DC back into the game.
However, Mohammed Siraj held his nerve to defend 14 runs off the last over. He conceded only four singles off the first four balls. An uncharacteristically out-of-sorts Rishabh Pant then managed only two boundaries off the last two balls when ten were needed.
DC managed to put up a good fight against RCB, but Pant's tactics of finishing off Kagiso Rabada's overs by the 18th and not bowling out Amit Mishra were questionable.
KKR, meanwhile, bowled well against the Punjab Kings, restricting them to 123/9. On a surface that assisted both spinners and seamers, the KKR bowlers hit the right spots from the start. Once KL Rahul perished, KKR put their foot on the throttle and never eased the pressure.
They got off to a poor start in their run chase, as Nitish Rana departed for a golden duck. Shubman Gill looked good in his short stay at the crease, but KKR looked in some sort of bother at 17/3. However, KKR captain Eoin Morgan walked in and built a match-winning partnership with Rahul Tripathi.
The duo launched a good counter-attack against PBKS, pressuring them into misfields. Even though Tripathi and Russell perished before the finish line, Morgan, in the company of Dinesh Karthik, carried KKR over the line with 22 balls to spare.
With their first win in five games, KKR rose from the bottom of the table to fifth. Eoin Morgan and co. will look to continue their momentum against DC.
Both DC and KKR have produced some fascinating contests in the past, including a tense Super Over finish. So another competitive contest could be on the cards on Thursday.
IPL 2021: DC vs KKR Match Details
Date: 29th April 2021 (Thursday).
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
It should be another hot evening in Ahmedabad, with an average temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius. Dew could play a role in the second innings of the match.
The wicket in Ahmedabad tends to be a tad slow and have some uneven bounce at times. Nevertheless, it's a decent wicket to bat on once batsmen get their eye in, and a score of around 160 runs should be par for the course.
Delhi Capitals (DC)
Despite their close loss, DC could stick with the same XI for this match. They'll hope that Kagiso Rabada comes good and complements the already impressive Avesh Khan.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
The impressive performances of Shivam Mavi give KKR a real boost ahead of this game. Like DC, they could also stick with the same playing XI for this game.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna.
IPL 2021: DC vs KKR Match Prediction
While DC have had a better campaign than KKR, the two-time champions seem to have recovered their mojo. Their top order will be eager to deliver in this must-win game and look to build on their winning momentum.
Prediction: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to win.
IPL 2021: DC vs KKR TV and Live Streaming Details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP.