Delhi Capitals were 144/3 in the 17th over chasing a target of 167. What followed after that was the kind of capitulation that you think would be possible only in the world of video games. Delhi lost seven wickets for eight runs in the next 17 balls to end up being 152 with 20-year-old Sam Curran picking up a hat-trick. KXIP won the match by 14 runs.
Toss: KXIP batted first with the hosts missing Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye from their lineup. Delhi, on the other hand, brought Avesh Khan in place of Amit Mishra.
First innings: Sam Curran came to open the innings with KL Rahul in the absence of the injured Chris Gayle. Save David Miller (43 off 30 balls) and Sarfaraz Khan (39 off 29 balls), other batsmen didn’t have a good day against the trio of Chris Morris *(3/30), Kagiso Rabada (2/32) and young Sandeep Lamichhane (2/27 in 4 overs). Morris struggled with his line and length in the early overs but made a comeback later to end up becoming the highest wicket taker with three scalps.
Sam Curran (20, 10 balls) promoted up the order did hit a couple of lusty blows but Lamichhane got him with a flipper. Mayank Agarwal went for a non-existent single and couldn’t beat Shikar Dhawan’s direct throw at the non-striker’s end.
Miller and Sarfaraz however didn’t get bogged down as they added 62 in 6.4 overs carrying out a recovery process from 58 for three. While Miller attacked Lamichhane hitting him for a six over long-on, Sarfaraz played his now patent “closed eyes scoop shot” over keeper’s head. But Lamicchhane had the last laugh as he edged one to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps while Miller offered the Capitals skipper an easy skier trying to hit Morris out of the park. In the end, Mandeep Singh (29 no off 21 balls) took the team past 160-run mark.
Second innings: Prithvi Shaw, who scored 99 in Delhi’s previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, was dismissed off the very first ball of the innings by KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin. But Shreyas Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan combined to stabilise the Capitals’ chase. They put up 61 runs for the second wicket with both going for a safety-first approach.
Hardus Viljoen got his first IPL wicket in the form of Shreyas Iyer to provide his team the breakthrough. Shikhar Dhawan fell to Ashwin soon but Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram then seemingly closed the gap that had been opened up. They put up 62 runs for the fourth wicket and Pant’s dismissal looked like a consolation at the time.
Gamechanger- Sam Curran. His was a name that haunted India during the Test series in England last year and it will now haunt Delhi Capitals’ fans for a considerable amount of time. Curran had also been highly effective during KXIP’s win over Rajasthan Royals last week when he dismissed Sanju Samson and Steve Smith but his over and whatever else happened in the match was overshadowed by Ashwin’s Mankad act. This match however, belongs to him and he has taken arguably the most lethal hat-trick in IPL history.
Shreyas Iyer: “Really disappointing. We didn’t play smart cricket. They outplayed us in all departments. They were really cool and calm in that situation. I’m speechless. Losing such games is not going to help us at the end. It was really difficult to even see from outside, the batsmen not taking initiative. It’s good that it happened early in the season, so we can learn from this. To be honest, we didn’t bowl that well. They came really hard at us in the Powerplay. We defended really well after that. Mentally we need to train ourselves – we are getting good starts, need to finish better.”
Ravichandran Ashwin: “Not many times you defend that equation. We’ve seen Avesh bat before, Lamichhane bat before, so we just needed to hang on. We were 25 short. We backed ourselves to defend that with three spinners. But we lost too many wickets in the end. The dew came in, the outfield was quick, but we held on. We were going to bat first even if we’d won the toss. We wanted to give Sam the license to go out and bat. We thought there was a bit of grip in this pitch, but it didn’t turn out. We’ll see what happens. We’re a team with youngsters and experience. We’re having fun. And with some of the coaching staff, we have a good atmosphere. All credit to the fans – we couldn’t even hear ourselves at the end.”