We traveled to Delhi to face the Delhi Daredevils in our 5th match of this season. Captain Zaheer Khan won the toss and Daredevils elected to bat first. We made one change as Nathan Coulter-Nile replaced Trent Boult for this match.
Runs leak in a lightening quick outfield
The Feroz Shah Kotla outfield is very fast as the ball raced away to the boundary in no time. The opening batsmen just needed good timing and placement to add four runs to their kitty. At the end of 3 overs, they were 36 for 0 with Samson scoring 27 off 12 balls and Billings on 9. The brilliant batting continued with DD scoring 53 runs in the Powerplay at a healthy run-rate of 8.83. But we struck on the first ball after Powerplay as Nathan Coulter-Nile removed Sam Billings. Umesh Yadav struck in the next over when Sanju Samson edged one straight to Robin Uthappa. Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer resurrected the innings as the scoreboard read 83/2 after 10 overs.
See-saw battle between the bat and the ball
Batsmen continued with the good run-rate but were not able to get the boundaries at regular intervals. As the pressure kept on increasing, they looked to convert the singles into doubles and lost Shreyas Iyer. A rocket throw from Colin de Grandhomme from mid-wicket caught Iyer short of his crease. In came Rishabh Pant! The talented youngster has been in tremendous form and has attracted many eyeballs. While Nair struggled at the other end and was dismissed for 21 off 27 balls to Coulter-Nile, the young left-hander was about to take off. Pant took the attack to Umesh, smashing him for 26 runs in the 18th over. Narine knocked off Mathews with a genuine off-spinner. Pant was finally dismissed on 38 (off 16 balls) as he missed a low full-toss and gave a simple catch to Gambhir at point. Morris hit some lusty blows in the end to propel DD to 7/168 n their 20 overs.
Rocky start from the Knights
Our chase didn’t had the best of starts with new opener, Colin de Grandhomme, giving away his wicket in the first over itself. One-down Robin Uthappa played a beautiful pull shot for a four off his first ball to get off the mark but lost his wicket to the next ball as he edged one to Rishabh Pant off Cummins. Things got worse when captain Gautam Gambhir tried to clear the in-field but lost his balance and handed a simple catch to Mathews. Pandey and Pathan then steadied our ship with a good partnership with the two taking calculated risks. At the end of 10 overs, we were 88/3 and needed 81 runs off 10 overs.
Pandey plays a gem of a knock
The in-form batting pair of Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan took their time to settle. But once that was done, they dispatched the DD bowlers with ease. In the middle overs, the duo ran effectively and applied pressure on the fielders. The big hits increased with every over as Yusuf Pathan came to his usual-self. After hitting two sixes and six fours, Pathan finally succumbed to Morris. He made 59 in 39 balls and gave us a good chance to win the match. After Pathan’s departure, the onus was on Pandey and the in-form batsman didn’t disappoint. He took Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes and Sunil Narine with him to finish off things for us. We needed 9 runs in the last over and with just one run off the first three balls, the pressure was right back on Pandey. He picked the quicker ball from Mishra and dispatched it for a six. With 2 runs needed off 2 balls, Pandey calmly placed the ball in the covers region and they ran two runs to win the match. With that win, we get back to the top of the IPL table!