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An impressive show by bowlers followed by skipper David Warner's vital fifty (57 off 41) guided Delhi Capitals their first win of the season, beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by four wickets in a rain delayed IPL 2023 match at Arun Jaitley Stadium, here on Thursday.
On the back of Axar Patel (2/13), Kuldeep Yadav (2/15) Ishant Sharma (2/19) and Anrich Nortje' (2/20) superb show, DC bowled out KKR for paltry 127 in 20 overs. Jason Roy's gritty innings of 43 off 39 and Andre Russell's 38 not out off 31 were the saving grace for KKR, who lost wickets at regular intervals.
In reply, Warner gave DC a brilliant start, then KKR spinners turned the tables in the middle overs but eventually the hosts sealed the win with three balls to spare to open their account.
Chasing 128, Delhi were off to a strong start with skipper David Warner hitting 10 boundaries out of 12 in the powerplay. Varun Chakravarthy drew the first blood for KKR in the fifth over, trapping Prithvi Shaw for 13. Thanks to Warner's hits, DC posted 61/1 in the powerplay.
After a strong start, DC suffered a slump in run-rate as they scored 43 runs for the loss of three wickets in the middle overs. After Anukul Roy's economical over with just one run coming off the seventh over, KKR captain Nitish Rana removed Mitchell Marsh cheaply for 2 in the next over. Roy then joined the party as he dismissed Philip Salt for 5 in the ninth over.
Meanwhile, Warner brought up his fourth fifty of the season with a boundary off the bowling of Roy in the 11th over. A couple of overs later, Chakaravarthy bowled a maiden 14th over with a big wicket of set batter Warner, bringing an end to his 57-run innings.
Axar Patel and Manish Pandey smashed two boundaries, taking 11 runs off the 15th over and brought the equation to 30 off the last four overs.Then, DC lost two wickets in quick succession and the momentum shifted a little bit towards KKR.
Roy came into the attack in the 16th over, after a couple of wides, and a single, he claimed his second as he sent Pandey back to the hut for 21. Then, Rana cleaned up Aman Hakim Khan for a duck.
When 15 needed off 18, Axar survived an lbw twice against Chakravarthy, who gave away just three runs in the 18 over and the equation reached 12 off 12. Axar got lucky for the third time as survived a stumping from Liton Das in the penultimate over as he danced down and missed the line. The keeper whipped the bails off but he was back.
With 7 needed to win, Axar started the final over with a double. On the next ball he got two more on a no-ball. Axar then lofted between long-on and deep midwicket and collected two runs to seal the win for Delhi with three balls to spare.
Earlier, put into bat first, KKR lost three wickets within the powerplay. Ishant Sharma began the attack well, giving away just five runs off the opening over.
After conceding two boundaries to Jason Roy in the second over, Mukesh Kumar ended the over with a wicket of Liton Das, who went for a hook but got top edge towards the square leg and the fielder pouched it with ease.
An over later, Anrich Nortje sent last-match centurion Venkatesh Iyer back to the pavilion early for a duck. Then, Ishant dismissed skipper Nitish Rana cheaply for four and KKR ended the powerplay at 33/3, the lowest score in the first six overs this season.
After Marsh missed a caught bold opportunity in the eight over to dismiss Jason Roy, Axar Patel got Mandeep Singh in the next over. Halfway through the innings, KKR was 64/4.
Axar struck again In the 11 over as he claimed the big wicket of in-form batter Rinku Singh, who swept towards the deep square leg where Lalit Yadav did the rest. Ishant continued to pile the miseries as he dismissed Sunil Narine for 4, leaving KKR to 70-6 in 12 overs.
The wickets fell at regular intervals and pressure kept building on KKR with dot bowls, but Jason Roy stood firm to provide some pace to the innings before he fell to Kuldeep Yadav in the 15th over for 43. Kuldeep picked up his second on the very next ball, trapping impact player Anukul Roy in his googly. Then, Nortje got Umesh Yadav in the 16th over, reducing KKR to 96-9.
Meanwhile, Russell smashed straight onto Nortje's ankle in the 18th over and the pacer seemed in pain. He was attended by the physios on the ground and completed his over.
Andre Russell hit back-to-back sixes in the last over bowled by Mukesh and got a few extra for KKR to fight. Russell went for a double in the last ball of the innings but Varun Chakravarthy got run out as KKR were bowled out for 127/10.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 127/10 in 20 over (Jason Roy 43 off 39, Andre Russell 38 not out off 31; Axar Patel (2/13), Kuldeep Yadav (2/15) Ishant Sharma (2/19) against Delhi Capitals
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 128-6 in 19.3 overs (David Warner 57, Manish Pandey 21; Varun Chakravarthy 2/16, Anukul Roy 2/19, Nitish Rana 2/17) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 127/10 in 20 overs (Jason Roy 43 off 39, Andre Russell 38 not out off 31; Axar Patel 2/13, Kuldeep Yadav 2/15, Ishant Sharma (2/19) by 4 wickets.