Shreyas Iyer’s unbeaten 88 and DC bowlers deny Morgan and Tripathi to beat KKR in Sharjah run-fest

Shreyas Iyer’s 38-ball 88* played a crucial role in DC posting a mammoth 228.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

There was a chance of yet another highest successful chase in the IPL. Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi were really making it look possible hitting sixes literally at will. But it was Anrich Nortje’s night who sent back the former in the crucial penultimate over and help the team win by 18 runs defending 228. However, it was Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw earlier with the bat which propelled Delhi Capitals (DC) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to 228/4 in 20 overs.

DC’s approach was clear from the word go after being invited to bat first. Prithvi Shaw took the attack to the opposition from the first ball while Shikhar Dhawan also shut his wait and watch game. The latter got into the groove hitting two sixes off Sunil Narine but Varun Chakravarthy sent him to break the 56-run stand in the sixth over. At the other end, Prithvi Shaw was going great guns.

The DC skipper Shreyas Iyer came to bat at three and took his time to get going. He made sure Shaw played a lot of deliveries during the early part of the parnership. And the youngster scored quick runs getting to a quick-fire half-century. However, with the reputation the small ground in Sharjah has got, it seemed as if the duo was going slow.

Soon, Iyer started to hit some massive sixes and despite Shaw getting out in the 13th over after scoring 66 runs off 41 deliveries, he continued to take apart the opposition bowling. Rishabh Pant also had a lot of fun in the middle as the duo smashed the likes of Pat Cummins and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Iyer took a special liking to the latter who took the wicket of Shaw earlier in the innings.

The Delhi skipper got to his fifty in just 26 balls and raced to 88 in the next 12 deliveries. He could’ve easily scored a ton only for Iyer to not get strike in the final over. At one stage, it felt as if DC would end up scoring more than 240 runs, but Andre Russell bowled an exceptional final over conceding only 7 runs which is as good as a maiden on a flat pitch and small ground in Sharjah.

Russell ended with 2/29 in his four overs but the rest of the bowlers went for 198 in 16 overs as DC plundered 228 runs for the loss of four wickets after 20 overs.

No heroics for KKR in the chase

KKR’s obsession with sticking to Sunil Narine continued in the steep chase of 229 as well and the Caribbean disappointed yet again with Anrich Nortje castling him. Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill then stitched a partnership while also staying up with the required run-rate.

The duo added 64 runs in less than seven overs. But the introduction of wrist spin of Amit Mishra changed things dramatically. The leggie conceded only a couple of runs and then dismissed the in-form Gill. Andre Russell was sent at four then only for the ploy to fail. Shreyas Iyer brought back Kagiso Rabada into the attack to pick his wicket and the South African’s pace did the trick killing half the chase in the 10th over.

Dinesh Karthik’s poor form with the bat continued even as Nitish Rana batted well before getting out on 58 off 35 balls with four sixes and as many fours. In the pursuit of quick runs, KKR were reduced to 122/6 in the 14th over leaving Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi a lot to do.

However, the duo didn’t give up and opened up their arms like anything in the last four overs. The equation came down to 78 runs off the last four overs and Tripathi came to the party this time smashing Marcus Stoinis for three sixes and a four. Delhi’s confidence was shattered when their ace pacer Kagiso Rabada went for three sixes in a row courtesy Morgan.

The tables turned on its head suddenly with KKR needing only 31 runs off the last two overs. Anrich Nortje was handed over the crucial 19th over and Rabada’s fellow South African nipped out Eoin Morgan to stun the KKR camp. The England captain smashed 44 runs off just 18 balls and dealt with five sixes and a four during his dramatic stay in the middle.

However, Tripathi backed himself to finish the chase with 26 runs to get while Shreyas Iyer handed Stoinis the ball despite the Australian going for 23 runs in his previous over. And Stoinis nailed the much-needed yorker to kill the game effectively. Tripathi couldn’t get bat to ball only to see his stumps shattered. But the credit should go to him for scoring 36 off 16 balls and most importantly, stitching the partnership with Morgan and bringing the team back in the contest.

However, his wicket was the final nail in the coffin as KKR ended 18 runs short in Sharjah as it was yet another run-fest at the venue. Nortje and Harshal Patel were brilliant with the ball returning with the figures of 3/33 and 2/34 respectively.

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