Powerful cameos from the bat of Jason Roy and Rishabh Pant and a fine, all-round display with the ball from the bowlers ensured that Delhi strolled to a comfortable 23-run over the Knight Riders. It was a sorrow showing from the Trinbago side, who slumped to their third straight defeat of this SRL.
Winning the toss and batting first, Delhi got off to the worst start imaginable, losing veteran Dhawan in the very first over, but the mood in the Capitals’ dugout was uplifted by a sizzling Jason Roy cameo, which saw the Englishman score a startling 35-ball 53. Skipper Shreyas Iyer provided able support for the destructive Roy and, despite losing a flurry of wickets, a powerful cameo from pocket rocket Rishabh Pant ensured that the Iyer-led side posted a first-innings total of 184.
In response, despite not losing early wickets, the duo of Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine started off extremely slow, meaning that the required Run Rate jumped up to 10 an over by the end of the powerplay. This would continue to be the pattern in the rest of the TKR innings as underwhelming knocks from the bat of Colin Munro - who scored a run-a-ball 27 - and Lendl Simmons - who scored an extremely slow fifty - meant that by the time the death overs beckoned, the required rate got out of their hands. Eventually, TKR slumped to a 23-run defeat, rounding off a drab chase.
You can check out the scorecard and Match Tracker here.
The lifeless passage of play in TKR’s chase, post the powerplay, ended up in their undoing as after getting off to a somewhat decent start, the batsmen failed to put the Delhi bowlers under pressure. The Caribbean side ended up scoring just 27 runs in the five overs that followed the powerplay and that eventually ended up taking the required rate beyond reach.
Highs and Lows
Rishabh Pant might be a novice when he plays for India, but he sure becomes a certified pro whenever he dons the Delhi colours. In an astonishing display of power hitting, the youngster smashed the TKR bowlers all over the park - a 25-ball 43, to be precise - and gave DC just the push they needed towards the end of their innings. If only he could replicate it whilst playing for India. Argh!
Not long ago, Suryakumar Yadav, for MI, played a knock which was a contender for the most useless innings of SRL, but Lendl Simmons’ soulless display today ended up edging the Indian. Chasing 185, TKR needed their top-order batters to show intent and cut loose, but Simmons’ knock was filled with a flabbergasting lack of intent as he eventually ended up with a SR of 116 - after facing 59 balls. Inexcusable in a high-octane T20 encounter.
Powerplay exploitation: Delhi 8.5/10 and TKR 7/10
There were ominous signs for Delhi after losing Dhawan on just the third ball of the match, but alas, Jason Roy’s brilliance made up for it and, in fact, ended up blowing TKR out of the park for a while. Such was the positivity that Roy injected into Delhi that after scoring just 4 runs off the first over, the Indian side ended up scoring 24 in the next two, using counter-punching as their mantra. Eventually, they ended up with 56 at the end of the powerplay.
Statistically, TKR’s powerplay was not bad at all - they scored 45 runs for the loss of just one wicket and still had their main man Simmons at the crease. But there was evident lack of intent in the way they approached their innings and that they hit just five fours in the first six overs serves as a testament to the same. Given the magnitude of the target they were chasing, all three of Narine, Simmons and Munro could definitely have done better.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: Delhi 8/10 and TKR 5/10
While Delhi’s middle-over phase was not as “SMACK SMACK BANG BANG” as many would have expected it to be, the Indian side still ensured that they did not get bogged down by the TKR spinners. In fact, DC’s approach against the TKR spinners is what stood out in the middle overs - they took the spinners Narine, Prasanna and Pierre for a ride, striking at over 10 an over.. Eventually, 78 is what they managed in that phase, thanks to some neat hits from Roy and Iyer.
That TKR just scored 57 runs in the 54 balls they faced in the middle overs should tell you everything you need to know. It was a dull, underwhelming, display of batsmanship from the duo of Simmons and Munro that lacked urgency, and the two batters completely let the DC bowlers control the game. Just four boundaries were hit in the entirety of the middle overs, at a time when their required run rate had jumped to 10.
Death bowling: TKR 5/10 and Delhi 7/10
TKR’s display at the death was, in fact, not so bad. Yes, they allowed Pant to tee off, but eventually, they did a pretty good job of not getting things out of hand, as they conceded exactly 50 runs off the last 5. The highlight in this phase was of course the 19th over from young Mohammad Hasnain, who just conceded 7 runs in that over, despite bowling to a well-set Rishabh Pant.
It is fair to say that Delhi sealed the contest even before the death overs beckoned - at the start of the 16th over, TKR needed 83 off 30 balls. And of course, an excruciatingly slow knock from Lendl Simmons helped their cause too. Albeit conceding 59 runs at the death, in the end, the bowlers did the job that was asked of them, which was to ensure that DC won the match. And they did the same convincingly, by a 23-run margin. A pretty professional display.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Average
The game started off with plenty of promise, especially thanks to the Roy and Pant blitz, but Lendl Simmons’ knock ended up acting as a mood-killer. As early as the 7th over of the TKR innings, it became evident that DC were going to win the match, and the game died a slow, painful death. Not a great advert for T20 cricket, that’s for sure.