Ahmedabad (Gujarat) : Delhi Capitals held their nerves and walked off with a crucial 5-run win in the 2023 IPL in what was a last-over thriller against the Gujarat Titans on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.
The Capitals got off to a rough start with the bat but saw Aman Hakim Khan score 51 runs (44b, 3×4, 3×6). Mohammed Shami ran through the Delhi top order and they were struggling at 23-5 before the lower middle order helped them put up a competent total of 130-8. The Titans struggled as well with the bat and failed to chase the total down despite Hardik Pandya scoring 59 runs (53b, 7×4).
Rahul Tewatia ensured some fireworks as he hit Anrich Nortje for three back-to-back sixes in the penultimate over and brought Gujarat back into the game. However, the experienced campaigner Ishant Sharma kept his calm with a stellar final over that ensured Gujarat couldn’t steal the win in the Narendra Modi International Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The Titans had this match in their hands after restricting Delhi to just 130 runs in the first innings but passive play from captain Hardik Pandya hurt them, as former India cricketer Parthiv Patel lamented Pandya not playing more aggressively in the loss, ‘The game went deep because he (Hardik) played low-risk cricket. If he took a few risks, they could’ve ended the game an over or two earlier chasing a target of 130 runs. When you are 59 not out in 53 balls chasing 130, you expect your team to win. He made almost half the runs and all the boundaries we saw were hit on the back foot. He was waiting for things to happen, the saying ‘we need to make things happen’, he wasn’t doing that.’
Ishant Sharma had a sensational evening, picking up two wickets including a crucial one to dismiss Rahul Tewatia in the final over of the match. The Titans needed just 12 runs in that over to win and Sharma restricted them to just six.
Former India Test captain Anil Kumble praised the execution seen from Sharma to earn the win, ‘What was really impressive was his defence of the last 12 runs. Especially against two set batters. Tewatia was batting really well. He had batted only 5 balls but had scored 20. The execution of those and clarity of thought, saying ‘Okay, I’m going to bowl these wide yorkers and execute them perfectly’ and the next ball was a slower ball. That slower ball is something I am seeing Ishant Sharma doing for the first time in terms of the knuckleball, very late in his delivery stride, he changes that to a knuckleball and the execution is just perfect. He got Vijay Shankar out and then Tewatia. The last over, to defend 12 runs, against these kinds of batters is exceptional.’
Former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha praised the DC bowling attack and hailed this win as a momentum-swinging one for the Capitals on JioCinema, ‘I said in the pre-show that this is a massive game for Delhi because if they can beat a top team at home, it not only helps their confidence but sends a message to all other teams that they’re here to play. The biggest thing that I believe was a mistake was the decision to bat after winning the toss but the way the players responded was exceptional. When you make just 130 runs, the morale of the team goes down. But the way the bowlers handled it, the way they ran the game and supported their captain, it was brilliant. They may have lost the game in the first innings, but in the second innings, the bowlers played exceptionally.’