Prithvi Shaw shines as Delhi Capitals pips Kolkata Knight Riders in super-over

For once, Andre Russell’s pyrotechnics were not enough as Knight Riders tumbled to its first defeat of the competition.

Shaw is elated after Rabada's Super Over heroics which helped Delhi Capitals earn two points.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Two different but entertaining innings – from Andre Russell (62, 28b, 4X4, 6X6) and Prithvi Shaw (99, 55b, 12X4, 3X6) – lighted up the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Saturday in a thrilling contest that had to be decided via a super-over, the first of the competition so far. Eventually, Delhi Capitals pipped Kolkata Knight Riders to the post, thanks to the accurate over bowled by fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, full of yorker length deliveries that made run-scoring difficult. Needing 11 runs to win in the super-over, Knight Riders lost the mini-contest by three runs.

For much of the business end of the contest, however, it seemed Shaw had made the decisive intervention for what could have been a comfortable win. Able to hit through the line of the ball on a track more suitable to boundary-hitting, and with the ball coming on to the bat more nicely than on the previous occasion earlier this week, Shaw played his flicks and pulls with precision to lay the foundation.

SCORECARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

Capitals started its chase of 186 with a sense of urgency, eager to collect boundaries from the start. The advantage of maximising run-making in the PowerPlay overs – underlined by head coach Ricky Ponting after the defeat against Chennai Super Kings - was perhaps a consideration.

It was Shaw’s opening partner – the more established Shikhar Dhawan – who set the tone for the chase, hitting seamer Lockie Ferguson for a couple of boundaries in the second over. In the next over, off leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, he came down the track to get a four through the off-side, and then a six off a sweep. Rushing down the track once again in the over, he drilled his drive straight to the hands of Russell at mid-off.

Shaw's 99 led the way for Delhi Capitals in its chase of 186. PHOTO: AFP

Shreyas Iyer, the captain, joined hands with the set Shaw and the duo laid the foundation. Shaw was perceptive enough to pounce on the loose deliveries on offer – especially those that were pitched full. The innings gained momentum at the halfway mark, as Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm chinaman bowler, and Russell, gave away 20 and 14 runs respectively in their overs. There were sweeps and lofted drives from both batsmen.

In the over by Russell, Iyer was dropped at deep midwicket by Shubman Gill positioned at the boundary, and soon after, was caught by the same fielder at the same position. Shaw continued serely on, however, and hitting five fours in the 16th and 17th overs, appeared to hand his side the game.

DC vs KKR: AS IT HAPPENED

But more drama was in store. For once, Pant didn’t make headlines and departed for a 15-ball 11, and soon after, Ferguson had Shaw top-edging when on 99. Shaw attempted the pull, and was caught out for 99 by Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper.

With six balls needed off six deliveries, Capitals imploded, unable to get Kuldeep away. Colin Ingram and Hanuma Vihari managed to run four runs off the first four deliveries, before Gill took his second catch at deep midwicket to get rid of Vihari. Ingram played the sweep on the final ball, and the batsmen couldn’t complete two runs, compelling the teams to contest the super-over.

Russell shines again

If not for Russell, though, the Capitals may have clinched the contest rather more easily. Russell was present to single-handedly change the complexion of Knight Riders’ once faltering innings with his repeated muscular hits down the ground or towards leg, off fast bowlers as well as spinners. The pitch did appear to be slow initially but not enough to rattle him; a hit on the arm by a beamer from fast bowler – Harshal Patel – did not impede him either. The result? Knight Riders scored 121 runs in the last 10 overs to make up for a rather shaky start; by the 10th over, it had lost five wickets already.

Until then, its batsmen appeared to be struggling to tackle the possible slowness of the pitch. All of the top-order batsmen – perhaps barring Nitish Rana – failed to time the ball well.

Nikhil Naik, opening the innings alongside Chris Lynn, scratched around for a 16-ball 7, sweating profusely in his short stay at the crease. Leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane brought out his googly in the fourth over, and Naik was trapped in front. Lynn struck three fours but as he tried to cut loose to make up for a slow start, he was caught behind by the acrobatic Rishabh Pant, who dived behind him to have the ball stick on to his outstretched left palm.

Russell's middle stump is floored by Rabada in the Super Over. PHOTO: SANDEEP SAXENA

 

Patel dismissed the in-form batsmen – Robin Uthappa and Rana – before they could settle in.

Knight Riders was further unsettled by a run-out that ended Gill’s short stay at the crease. Dinesh Karthik, the captain, wanted a third run after Gill played Lamichhane to point; however, Gill was slow to turn around after his second, and realising Karthik was halfway through for the third, took off, too. He found himself considerably short of his crease and went back shaking his head.

The scenario turned quickly, as Russell started hitting clean, long sixes. Suddenly, there seemed nothing wrong with the pitch any more as Russell toyed around with the bowling. He hit three sixes in two overs before being floored by Patel in the 14th over. He was in pain, but decided to play through it after receiving medical attention.

He continued his six-hitting spree, reserving Patel for special treatment. He faced three balls and struck two long sixes in the last over of Patel’s spell – both through long-on, high and long. One went up to the second tied, and the other, the third tier, as Patel went for 20.

He was eventually dismissed by Morris; as he attempted a mighty pull, he got an edge and was caught in the area between fine-leg and short fine-leg.

Karthik, at the other end, played smartly too, managing to carve out boundaries every now and then. He played second fiddle in the partnership of 95, managing a fairly healthy strike-rate of 138.88 in his knock of 50 (36b, 5X4, 2X6). Eventually, he was dismissed against the run of play, caught behind off Mishra in the penultimate over.

The contest had tilted decisively in Knight Riders’ favour, but it wasn’t enough.