Delhi Capitals (DC)'s swashbuckling opener Prithvi Shaw played a thrill-a-minute knock of 82 off 41 balls as his team made a mockery of a target of 155 set by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Ahmedabad.
Andre Russell’s 45 not out off 27 balls had taken KKR to a decent total of 154 for 6. But the kind of murderous mood Shaw was in, no total would have been big enough on the day, as DC cruised to victory with seven wickets and a whopping 21 balls to spare for their fifth win in seven games in IPL 2021
Prithvi Shaw got DC’s chase off to a spectacular start, battering Shivam Mavi for six consecutive fours in the first over. After starting off with a wide, Mavi’s first legal ball was launched over the bowler’s head, while the second was whipped away to the on-side fence.
The third one was driven past deep point, while the fourth, a full toss, was guided to the cover boundary. The last two fours of the over were slashed to the left of deep point and cover, respectively, as 25 came off the opening over, marking only the second instance in IPL history of a player hitting six boundaries in an over.
When Sunil Narine was introduced to the attack in the fourth over, the young DC opener launched the spinner over extra cover for six and over cover for four off consecutive balls.
Shaw raced to an 18-ball fifty, clipping a length delivery from Pat Cummins off his pads to deep square leg for a single. Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan, the silent partner for a change, helped themselves to a four apiece in the Cummins over.
Eoin Morgan brought back leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who had conceded only 14 in his first two overs, hoping for a change in luck. He almost got the breakthrough, as Shaw charged down the track and mistimed one, but Shubman Gill let the ball burst through his hands at long-off and conceded six runs. DC soon raced away to 95 for no loss at the halfway point of their chase.
The Shaw show carried on. Narine began the 13th over with a friendly short delivery, and the DC opener pulled him over midwicket for six with utter disdain. Dhawan, who had moved to 46 almost unnoticed amid the Shaw tsunami, fell lbw to a Cummins full toss after launching him for a six over square leg. The opening partnership was worth 132 in 13.5 overs.
DC captain Rishabh Pant came in and helped himself to a couple of big hits. At the other end, Shaw’s magnificent knock ended when he top-edged a lifter from Cummins to point. The DC captain perished for 16, though, caught at the boundary while going for the winning hit. Marcus Stoinis, though, brought about the winning runs with a four off Prasidh Krishna.
Andre Russell’s quickfire 45 not out lifts KKR to 154 for 6
KKR big-hitter Andre Russell found his range in the last few overs against DC to lift his team to a decent total after a slow start. Russell hammered an unbeaten 45 off 27 balls as KKR went from 123 for 6 after 18 overs to a rather competitive 154 for 6 at the end of their innings.
Russell hit Kagiso Rabada for a four over midwicket in the 19th over and followed that up with two sixes - one over the bowler’s head and the second over long-on. He ended proceedings by carting a low full toss by Avesh Khan straight down the ground for a maximum to give KKR some momentum going into the break.
Earlier, KKR were sent into bat after DC won the toss but never found any rhythm in their innings. Nitish Rana managed to reverse sweep Axar Patel for a six in the fourth over but was back in the dugout the very next ball. The left-hander was stumped for 15, foxed by a slider.
Shubman Gill managed a couple of boundaries off Ishant Sharma and also slog-swept Axar Patel for a six. At the other end, though, KKR kept losing wickets. Rahul Tripathi (19) picked out deep cover as he tried to unsettle Marcus Stoinis.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine perished to Lalit Yadav for ducks in the 11th over of the innings. Morgan holed out to long-off, while Narine was undone by a quick off-break and was cleaned up. Gill’s resistance finally ended on 43 off 38 balls when he mistimed a slower ball from Avesh Khan to long-on.
When Dinesh Karthik perished for 14, KKR were floundering at 109 for 6 in the 17th over. But Russell’s lofty hits gave KKR a decent target to defend before the Shaw blitzkrieg floored the two-time champions.
IPL 2021: DC vs KKR - Man of the Match
DC opener Prithvi Shaw put together an unbelievable exhibition of boundary-hitting. He began in marvelous fashion, hitting six consecutive fours in the first over and never looked back. Shaw raced to a belligerent 18-ball 50 and ended up making 82 off 41, relegating the result of the match to a foregone conclusion.
Lalit Yadav was brilliant with the ball for DC. He dismissed Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine for ducks in one over to stall KKR’s progress earlier in the match. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was among the wickets again, dismissing Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik.
For KKR, Andre Russell hammered an unbeaten 45 off 27 balls to boost his team’s total, while opener Shubman Gill scored a sedate 43.
But it was no surprise that Prithvi Shaw was named the Man of the Match for his astounding innings, helping DC join the duo of CSK and RCB atop the IPL 2021 table.