Shreyas sizzles as Delhi Daredevils dazzles

Delhi again came out victorious as Shreyas Iyer finally came to the party with his highest T20 score ever to ensure a narrow two-wicket win with two balls to spare that saw the two bottom-half teams exchange their positions on the leaderboard.

Shreyas Iyer scored 98 — his highest T20 score ever.   -  PTI

The last time Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils came face-to-face, DD had made a mockery of the opposition's 209-run target riding on two young talents. On Wednesday, Delhi again came out victorious as Shreyas Iyer finally came to the party with his highest T20 score ever to ensure a narrow two-wicket win with two balls to spare that saw the two bottom-half teams exchange their positions on the leaderboard.

Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The result also extended Gujarat's poor record defending totals – it has won only one of 13 so far. Delhi also avenged its one-run defeat last year and that narrow loss must have been playing on Rahul Dravid's mind as the Delhi coach refused to celebrate till Amit Mishra finally nicked Basil Thampi's slow full toss to the fine leg boundary for the winning runs.

Chasing 196, Delhi needed to bat well for a pride-salvaging win. But its inexperience came to the fore as its batsmen kept taking risks and losing wickets. That is, till Iyer's classy yet aggressive 96-run knock that came in just 57 balls and included two huge sixes – straight and over midwicket – and 15 fours. The runs flowed all across the ground, with an affinity for the offside, and off every bowler.

With the ball occasionally staying low and skidding to the stumps, it needed patient but skillful aggression to score. Delhi had the last two but hurried a bit too much. Three run outs – all direct, two by Ravindra Jadeja from point and one by Suresh Raina from slips – only added to the misery. The two are considered among the best fielders in the world and taking them on backfired.

Sanju Samson dragged a short ball from Pradeep Sangwan to the stumps in the second over. Rishabh Pant sauntered out of crease nonchalantly after tapping the ball to Suresh Raina in the slips, only to see the bails dislodged from a direct hit two balls later. Marlon Samuels and Corey Anderson both fell to Jadeja's agility and accuracy. But by the time Iyer was cleaned up by Pradeep Sangwan in the final over, it had all been eclipsed by the youngster's brilliance.

Earlier, Aaron Finch and Dinesh Karthik took Gujarat to the above-par total as sloppy fielding and poor bowling allowed the Gujarat batsmen to relieve pressure and garner extra runs. The partnership added 92 runs in just under 10 overs to steady the host's innings in the middle and provide an impetus as GL managed 195 for five wickets. Punishing bad balls and fending off the good ones, Finch's four sixes were all class, including the one that saw him bring up his half century in quick-time with a nonchalant hit over long-on.

The partnership was crucial given that the two came together when GL had lost quick wickets of Suresh Raina and Ishan Kishan early on. Finch was bowled in the penultimate over and even though the total looked enough, Iyer made sure it wasn't.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos