Delhi Capitals (DC) outclassed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 59 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday. A fourth win in five matches took DC to the top of the IPL points table.
Faced with a huge target of 197, RCB stumbled to a disappointing 137 for 9. Only Virat Kohli (43, 39b, 2×4, 1×6) got among the runs for RCB, and when the skipper edged pacer Kagiso Rabada to the wicketkeeper, it was game over. Rabada added three more wickets to his kitty, returning fine figures of four for 24.
– Axar, Nortje, Ashwin shine –
Axar Patel (two for 18), Anrich Nortje (two for 22) and Ravichandran Ashwin (one for 26) were impressive as well, choking the RCB batters by keeping a tight line and length. Spinners Axar and Ashwin were not afraid to give the ball air, tempting batsmen into playing false shots. Nortje contributed by getting the key wicket of AB de Villiers (9, 6b, 2×4), whose slog only went as far as Shikhar Dhawan at mid-wicket.
Earlier, Marcus Stoinis (53 n.o., 26b, 6×4, 2×6) and Rishabh Pant (37, 25b, 3×4, 2×6) provided the late impetus to carry DC to a big total.
Stoinis and Pant came together when DC was struggling for momentum, at 90 for three. The duo got cracking, putting on an 89-run stand in 6.5 overs. Stoinis, his muscular frame exuding power, notched up his second fifty of the tournament.
Openers Prithvi Shaw (42, 23b, 5×4, 2×6) and Dhawan (32, 28b, 3×4) gave DC a good start, scoring 68 in 6.4 overs.
It took a brilliant catch to get rid of form batsman Shreyas Iyer (11, 13b, 1×4). Shreyas struck a full delivery from Moeen Ali to deep mid-wicket, where Devdutt Padikkal threw the ball in the air before stepping out of the field of play and then jumping back in to claim the catch.
RCB spinner Washington Sundar was once again impressive, giving just 20 runs in his four overs.
Saini, on the other hand, was not at his best. The fast-bowler delivered a dangerous beamer to Stoinis, just a couple of days after hitting Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia with a speedy beamer. That Saini did not immediately apologise to Stoinis is sure to raise eyebrows.