As anticipated, the Delhi Capitals’ lack of preparedness stood exposed. A settled Lucknow Super Giants made light of the presence of Capitals’ opener David Warner and pace spearhead Anrich Nortje to etch out a six-wicket victory with two deliveries to spare.
For the record, a third victory in four matches saw the debutant join Kolkata Knight Riders at six points. Capitals stayed at two points after the second defeat in three outings.
On the D. Y. Patil Stadium pitch that assisted bounce before the onset of heavy dew made it difficult for the bowlers, Super Giants spinners did the job before Quinton de Kock took over. The left-hander made light of Capitals’ 149/3 with a match-winning 52-ball 80.
Though the chase went into the last over, Super Giants stayed in control.
Nortje, one of Capitals’ retention before the mega auction, suffered at the hands of de Kock. Facing Nortje’s first IPL over in India, de Kock hit the fellow South African a hat-trick of fours and a six to collect 19 runs. He went on to score his 18th IPL half-century.
Nortje, back for the second over, started with a beamer to de Kock that ended up as a six over third man despite the batter's evasive action. Later, Nortje was taken off after the third delivery of his third over. Another over-the-waist no-ball, this time to Deepak Hooda, saw Shaw taking the catch but once the umpires were convinced about the height of the delivery, Nortje could not continue.
Earlier, though K. L. Rahul fell for an almost run-a-ball 24 after a 73-run opening stand and Evin Lewis (5) followed, there was no respite for Capitals. The domination of de Kock continued until he miscued a heave, Krunal’s six off Musafizur Rahman kept the team ahead. With five runs required off the last over, Hooda fell to Thakur, but Ayush Badoni hit a four and a six to put the finishing touches.
Asked to bat, the Capitals scored briskly at the start mainly due to Shaw’s 34-ball 61, which was dotted with two sixes and nine fours. He contributed 47 of the 52 runs scored in the PowerPlay before reaching his half-century off just 30 balls.
Soon Shaw, a struggling Warner (4 off 12 balls) and Rovman Powell (3 off 10) departed in the space of three overs and seven runs. Such was the pressure that Sarfaraz Khan - the third change in the team after Warner and Nortje - and Rishabh Pant struggled more than they flourished. With just 19 runs coming off the last 18 deliveries, the momentum tilted in favour and Super Giants made it count.