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IPL: Bowlers, David Warner shine in Delhi Capitals' first win of season

ByTeam BB

Apr 21, 2023

NEW DELHI: It’s been a while since Ishant Sharma has bowled in a high-profile match. On Thursday night, as the steady drizzle stopped half an hour after scheduled start of play, Delhi Capitals decided to finally unveil him for the first time in the season after winning the toss against Kolkata Knight Riders. And when the second ball of the match pitched on a back of a length and left Jason Roy, Ishant turned back the clock. And that set the tone for his comeback spell of 2/19 and the beleaguered Capitals to choke and restrict KKR to 127/9 for their first win of the season.
That spell of probing of seam bowling along with Anrich Nortje (2/20) and Mukesh Kumar was enough for David Warner to rediscover his customary fluency with a 41-ball 57 in the chase even as the Capitals’ frail batting scrapped its way to a four-wicket win with four balls remaining and their in-form batter Axar Patel unbeaten on 19 off 22 balls.

With his home turf at the Ferozeshah Kotla offering a decent movement carry and movement, Ishant brought in his 16 years’ worth of international experience to keep the KKR top-order tied to the crease. Anrich Nortje, with his customary pace and zip off the pitch, ruffled the KKR batters while Mukesh Kumar finally found his rhythm supported Ishant and reduced to 32/3 inside the Powerplay.

As the KKR top-order hopped around like headless chickens, Ishant, Nortje and Mukesh were avenging what Capitals batters have suffered during the course of the IPL so far. Litton Das may be regretting the half-hearted pull off Mukesh’ half-tracker but Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana and Mandeep Singh’s brief stay exposed their frailties against top quality seam bowling.
As It Happened
As captain of KKR, Rana must have turned up at the Kotla to make a statement at the same cricket association which humiliated him by dropping from the Ranji Trophy team four months back. His perennial struggles against seam came to the fore and him falling to an Ishant Sharma who was struggling to catch his breath by his third over only validated the Delhi state team selectors’ call to sideline him.
The KKR innings never took off. Jason Roy, playing his first match for KKR, looked to hold one end up by presenting the full face of the bat for much of his 39-ball 43-run knock. That innings too met an abrupt end when he tried to sweep Kuldeep Yadav and holed out to deep backward square leg. That Ishant, who at best looked like a dragging himself to the bowling crease in his run-up, finished his spell and was subbed out inside 12 overs was more of a commentary on KKR’s poor technical ability to play out decent seam bowling. That negated KKR’s power player Andre Russell’s unbeaten near-nine-over stay at the crease for a 31-ball 38.

Russell waited for the sixth wicket to fall to come out to bat. He got going immediately by hammering one deep back into the mid-wicket stand but soon he was seen hanging his head in disappointment as wickets tumbled in hurry at the other end. For a brief while, it seemed KKR would not be able to bat out the overs at 96/9 in the 16th over. KKR’s only flourish came in the last over when Russell could hit out without inhibition and deposited Mukesh for three massive back-to-back sixes.

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