Delhi survive Morgan mayhem to go on top with thrilling victory over Kolkata - GulfToday

Delhi survive Morgan mayhem to go on top with thrilling victory over Kolkata


DCs’ captain Shreyas Iyer plays a shot against KKR during their IPL match in Sharjah on Saturday. Courtesy: Twitter

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Delhi Capitals’ captain Shreyas Iyer smacked a blitzkrieg 38-ball 88 to help set up an 18-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Saturday.

After posting a mammoth total of 228/4, Delhi restricted Kolkata to 210 to bounce back from the disappointing loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Delhi survived a scare after a late charge by England captain Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi saw Kolkata closing in on the mammoth total.

Morgan lit up the Sharjah Cricket Stadium with some fireworks and rekindled hopes of a Kolkata victory after they were effectively written off, having lost six wickets with 107 runs still needed off just seven overs.

But Morgan had different plans. He refused to give up without giving it a tough fight. A lurking Morgan planned his ambush meticulously, attacking the best bowler in Delhi’s line-up to mount pressure on the rest.

He changed his gears in the 16th over and hit Kagiso Rabada for 14 runs with the help of a six and four. Tripathi also got charged-up and collected 24 runs off the next over bowled by Australia’s Marcus Stoinis with the help of three sixes and one four.

In the 18th over, Morgan collected 23 runs off Rabada, again, hitting the South African pacer for three huge consecutive sixes as Kolkata raced to 198/6 from 151/6 within a space of just 12 balls.

Nortje had him caught by Hetmyer at the boundary to all but end Kolkata’s hopes of a come-from-behind win. He hit five sixes and a boundary. After Morgan’s dismissal, Tripathi was clean bowled by Stoinis in the next over as Kolkata could manage to muster 210/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

Earlier, with their third victory, Delhi consolidated their position on the top of the standings with a better run rate than that of Bangalore, who defeated Rajasthan earlier in the day.

Capitalising on the platform given by their openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan (26), Iyer tore apart  Kolkata’s six-pronged bowling attack.

Iyer started cutting loose in the 10th over with a six off Sunil Narine after starting a little cautiously. After that there was no stopping as he exploited the conditions to help Delhi swell to a big total.

He along with Shaw, ran riot on a placid Sharjah pitch. Making full use of a batting-friendly turf and smaller boundaries, the Delhi captain heaped unending misery on the toothless Kolkata bowling.

He also shared two big partnerships, adding 73 and 72 runs for the second and third wickets with Prithvi and Pant respectively.

His innings was studded with seven fours and six sixes while Shaw’s 66 came off 41 deliveries with the help of four boundaries and as many over the fence.

Nagarkoti got rid of Shaw to bring some temporary respite to the Kolkata camp. He holed out to Gill as the ball took the leading edge and went up in the air.

After the departure of Shaw, Iyer and Pant continued the bloodshed with a dominating batting display. Pant scored 38 off 17 deliveries, hitting five fours and one six.

Earlier, Delhi got off to a fiery start as both Shaw and Dhawan added 56 runs for the first wicket in just 5.5 overs to make their intentions clear.

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