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Match summary: Delhi Capitals shake off the blues

Kolkata: Delhi Capitals managed to shake off their blues – on and off the field – to return to winning ways when they opened the second leg of their IPL 2022 campaign with a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders this evening.

The rising Covid cases in their camp last week, including that of two players Mitchell Marsh and Tim Seifert, had thrown their campaign in jeopardy. The narrow defeat in their last highscoring game against Rajasthan Royals, where the last-over drama earned them penalties and a one-match ban for assistant coach Pravin Amre, also did not help.

However, a disciplined show by their bowlers – aided by the magical spell of Kuldeep Yadav (3/14) against his old franchise - never let the Knights’ innings flourish. It was strange to see Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant bowling him one over short though, which could have possibly yielded a fifer for the in-form Chinaman bowler.

Chasing a below-par target of 147 for win, Delhi were off to a rocky start when Umesh Yadav sent back Prithvi Shaw off the first delivery of the innings. The senior Indian paceman continued his resurgence in this IPL by taking out the wickets of Shaw (0), topscorer David Warner (42 off 26 balls) and Pant (2), but Rovman Powell and Shardul Thakur eventually took them over the line.

Umesh, Narine strike

Mid-innings blues for Delhi again as they seem to be lacking a batsman who can play the waiting game. Lalit Yadav, the allrounder, was clueless to this one from Narine after being kept quiet and then captain Rishabh Pant was forced to nick at a Umesh Yadav delivery which straightened up after pitching and was caught behind. KKR have clawed their way back in the game but Rovman Powell and Axar Patel are perfectly capable of meeting the challenge.

Warner falls

Umesh Yadav, brought back to break the growing partnership, strikes with a short one. Warner instinctively tries for a pull without being control and is snapped up at fine leg for an easy catch. This brings in skipper Rishabh Pant and it's an interesting point in the chase. 

KKR missing Chakravarthy?

Warner, Lalit Yadav steady their chase with a 50-run partnership and seem to have it in control because of the modest asking rate. However, with KKR benching an off-colour Varun Chakravarthy today, they are using part-timer Nitish Rana as the fifth over and he goes for 14 runs in his first over. 

Ominous Marsh exits

Soon after Prithvi Shaw fell in a golden duck (caught & bowled by Umesh Yadav), debutant Harshit Rana removes the dangerous Mitchell Marsh. Back in the squad after an isolation period after tasting positive, the Aussie started making use of the field restriction but a heave from him ends in the hands of Venkatesh in square leg. Match on...

Mid-match summary: Rana, Shreyas only bright spots 

Kolkata: Kuldeep Yadav was once again in song against his former team as Kolkata Knight Riders survived his four-wicket haul to manage a total of 146 for nine against Delhi Capitals this evening.

Nitish Rana ( 57 off 34 balls) starred in a critical 62-run run partnership with Rinku Singh (23 off 16) to steer them to a total which is below-par but gives their bowlers something to bowl at. This looked improbable at one stage when the Knights were reduced to 35 to four before skipper Shreyas Iyer (42 off 37) and Rana were involved in 48-run stand.

Putting KKR into bat, the Delhi opened with a double left-arm seam attack of Mustafizur Rehman and Chetan Sakariya and the latter stood out by removing a hasty Aaron Finch in the second over the day.

Kuldeep (4/14) was supremely confident this evening and struck two telling blows in one over by removing captain Iyer and Andre Russell.

Crucial 50-plus partnership

Rinku Singh, a domestic player from UP who had been a part of KKR set-up for a while, repaid their faith as he kept company with Nitish Rana for an extremely critical 50-stand in seventh wicket. 

Rana's lone battle

Rana, a young veteran of IPL, picks up Lalit Yadav to attack and picks up two big sixes in the 17th over. Knights' plight this evening is largely due to some indisciplined batting performance, though skipper Shreyas' dismissal was someone a freak one after a nice anchoring effort. How much more can KKR get from here?

Sensational Kuldeep

Kuldeep continues to torment the KKR batting when in his third over, he first drags out Shreyas Iyer to try and play square off the wicket to a wide one which was also keeping low. Pant completes a fortuitous catch and soon after, Russell steps out to Kuldeep and is caught well short of his crease as he is stumped. 

Can Nitish, Shreyas do it?

Captain Shreyas & Nitish Rana try to shore up the KKR innings, but at 61/4 after 11 overs, they would really need to play catch-up from here. Andre Russell is still to come and he should definitely come ahead of Rinku Singh to be able to face more balls to give their bowlers something to bowl at.  

Knights in major trouble

Kuldeep Yadav just loves to rip through his former franchise, it seems. After playing on the patience of Baba Indrajith for a catch in the deep, the Chinaman bowler catches Sunil Narine in front of the wicket. A shellshocked KKR camp ask for a review but possibly knew there wasn't much hope. At 35/4, skipper Shreyas and Nitish Rana have a job on their hands.

Sakariya make his mark in Delhi colours promptly.

Ugly heave from Finch

The Australian white ball skipper, dropped earlier in the over, goes for a pre-determined heave to a delivery from Chetan Sakariya shaping to come in a bit - misses the line and is bowled. For all the talk of fearless cricket, he should have done better.  A good start for the talented Sakariya in Delhi colours.

Finch back, Venkatesh opens

An impressive first over from Fizz, where he caught Finch in front of the stumps but the ruling is not out. Good to see Finch back and Venkatesh Iyer, who did so well for KKR as an opener in the UAE leg last season, back up the order.

Delhi elect to field

Welcome to Match 41 of the season. Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant wins the toss and not surprisingly, elects to field. A first use of the Wankhede wicket makes sense while the dew factor makes chasing easy. Can they turn a new leaf from here?

Kolkata: Delhi Capitals will look to turn a new leaf as they begin the second leg of their campaign in IPL 2022 against Kolkata Knight Riders, another inconsistent franchise, in the 41st match of the season this evening.

The Rishabh Pant-led team, now in seventh position of the points table, have failed to do justice to their reputation so far which made them one of the most improved teams over the last three seasons. The petulance of their dugout over the no-ball claims in the final over of their last game against Rajasthan Royals left a sour taste – but Head Coach Ricky Ponting will be back after a precautionary isolation (after one of his family members tested positive for Covid-19) to keep control over things.

Their new-ball attack has looked thin so far after the impact both Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje made in 2020-21, and it will make a lot of difference if the latter makes a comeback on the Wankhede strip which offers bounce and carry.

The Knights, whose playing XI wears an unsettled look, is likely to have the experienced Aaron Finch back at the top of the order. While Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are the obvious choices for overseas players, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod among Pat Cummins and Tim Southee.