de kock
Quinton de Kock, after a sedate start, played some exquisite shots against Anrich Nortje. Image Credit: Courtesy: BCCI

Dubai: Lucknow Super Giants opener Quinton de Kock used all his experience to score a composed knock on a tricky wicket that was never easy for fresh batters to find their rhythm and guide his team to a six-wicket win over Delhi Capitals at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.

The mental strength was the difference between de Kock and Prithvi Shaw, who was dominating the Lucknow attack. But his untimely dismissal pulled Delhi back from running away to a big score while, on the other hand, de Kock ensured that Lucknow did not give no such opening until the 16th over with a crucial knock of 80.

However, after the South African wicketkeeper’s exit, there was plenty of drama before Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni finished the game with two balls to spare and record their third win of their debut season.

It was a wicket that is far from the traditional T20 wicket, where the bowlers tend to bowl short of length or short balls. But here the length should have been more up front, almost stump to stump to gain some advantage.

Most bowlers erred in length, especially pacers from both teams, but Nortje was the biggest culprit. Bowling two full tosses over the waist length, one going to six and second resulting in a catch at covers off Hooda, only to be taken out of the attack. A night to forget for the South African pacer.

Lucknow spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Krishnappa Gawtham pulled their team back with a tight spell of eight overs and spun a web around the Delhi batters, who went into a shell after the twin loss of Shaw and David Warner, who was playing his first game this season.

Had Delhi scored another 10-15 runs, they would have won the contest comfortably. Either Rishabh Pant, who showed plenty of maturity to score an unbeaten 39, or Sarfaraz Khan should have attacked a bit early as Shardul Thakur is not a bunny with the bat. However, the low scores were always interesting to watch and once again there were plenty of twists and turns before Lucknow sneaked home with two balls to spare.

Wicket in final over

Krunal Pandya’s assault on the experienced Mustafizur ensured that Lucknow need five runs off the last over. Will Shardul bowl another 5-run over. Of course a good start with the wicket of Hooda off the first ball. This game also lives up to the current season’s edge-of the seat thrillers.

Lucknow batters under pressure

The wicket of de Kock has made the contest closer with Lucknow’s Hooda and Krunal Pandya needing another 19 runs in 12 balls. But boundaries are hard to come by and the pressure mounts on Lucknow batters, especially after a brilliant over by Shardul Thakur, who only conceded 5 runs off the 18th over. Game on

De Kock’s wicket comes a bit late for Delhi

South African speedster Nortje’s much-awaited debut in India turned into a nightmare with the pacer bowling two beamers and had to be taken out of the attack for the match. But it has come in as a blessing in disguise as the chinaman bowler Kuldeep, who replaced him, got the prized wicket of de Kock after conceding two fours in the over. The much-needed wicket of de Kock finally came in, however a bit late for Delhi. Lucknow are 122/3 after 16 overs after the left-hander made a composed 80.

Nortje’s having a difficult game

The wicket of Evin Lewis doesn’t have any impact on Lucknow’s chase as Nortje continues leak runs. After a disastrous first over, the South African pacer returns for the second spell, only to bowl a beamer over the shoulders of de Kock, who guided it to third man six. De Kock and Hooda are inching their way towards the target at 104/2 after 14 overs.

De Kock crosses half-century as Lucknow in control

De Kock is proving a thorn in Delhi’s flesh. The South African left-hander is in no mood to leave the job unfinished, especially after losing his skipper Rahul. De Kock moves to 53 and takes Super Giants to 86/1 in 12 overs. Lucknow require 64 off 48 balls. Delhi need the left-hander’s wicket to win the contest and put pressure on the newcomers.

Rahul’s wicket gives Delhi the hope

Skipper Rahul’s needless aggression, stepping out to Kuldeep and holing out at mid-off, has given Delhi the much-needed the breakthrough, apart from giving Kuldeep the confidence. Lucknow are 74/1 at half-way stage, swinging the momentum slightly back towards Delhi.

Lucknow marching towards the target

Lucknow marching on nicely towards the target with de Kock being the aggressor and Rahul playing the supporting role to ensure that Delhi don’t get a toe-hold into the game. With a required run-rate of under 8 an over, there’s no pressure on Lucknow batters. After 9 overs, Super Giants are 70/0 with de Kock on 45. The need of the hour is a common sense approach, without any undue risks.

Delhi desperately in search of wickets

Delhi are in search of the wickets as the Lucknow openers stood solid in their chase of 150. Pant, after the strategic timeout, changed his strategy to bring back his spinner Axar Patel, who immediately found some turn and bounce. In hindsight, Pant could have continued with Mustafizur during the poweplay as the one Nortje over has released the pressure put in by the other bowlers. After 7, Lucknow are 51/0 with de Kock on 37 and Rahul 12, needing another 99 runs off 78 balls.

De Kock feasts on Nortje in first over

Pace bowlers are becoming an easy target on this wicket, especially during the powerplay overs. After some smart captaincy, Pant erred by bringing in Anrich Nortje in the last over when the field restrictions are in force and paid the price. Quinton de Kock was severe on his fellow South African pacer, hitting him to 19 runs off his first over, that included three 4s and a six. Lucknow are 45/0 after six overs.

Cautious start by Lucknow openers

Lucknow openers are slowly getting into the groove after taking time to assess the pace of the wicket. A perfect way to start the chase. Though they might not have scored plenty of runs, it is important to protect the wicket since a new batter will take plenty of time to get settled on this wicket. After four overs, Lucknow are 26/0.

Slow start for Lucknow

Rishabh Pant has showed that he has not only matured as a player but also a skipper by employing spinner Lalit Yadav and Mustafizur Rahman to cut the early runs during powerplay against Lucknow. After two overs, Lucknow are 8/0. Game on.

Spinners hold the key for Delhi

Prithvi Shaw’s immense talent made it to look like the wicket had nothing on it when other batters struggled on a spin-friendly pitch to take Delhi Capitals to 149 for 3 after 20 overs with some useful late contributions from skipper Rishabh Pant and Sarfaraz Khan.

After Shaw exit, playing some breathtaking shots en route to a 61 from 34 balls, the spinners got plenty of purchase from the wicket. The patch of grass let the ball come on to the bat nicely, which made it easier for the batters to punish the pacers, but on the contrary, Ravi Bishnoi and Krishnappa Gowtham, who also received some stick from Shaw, bounced back to keep Delhi on a tight leash during their eight-over spell.

Barring Shaw, none of the batters could get their timing and it took a while for Pant and Khan to get the boundaries, precisely after the return of the pacers during the final overs. Pant remained unbeaten on 39 and Khan 36, putting on a 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Delhi seem to be at least 10-15 runs short of the par score, which they could compensate by tight bowling in the first six overs as it becomes difficult to time the ball once it loses its shine. Delhi certainly have the bowling as spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel could prove a handful.

KL Rahul is one who likes to play a long innings and if he hopes to get his team across the line, then he needs to do it again today. But advantage Delhi.

Matured knock by Pant

Pant showed a lot of maturity to take his time, including playing out a maiden over, before launching into the attack after the spinners completed their quota of overs. Matching him and proving a perfect ally is Sarfaraz Khan, who also punished Avesh Khan with two fours in over No 17, which fetched 13 runs for Delhi. Capitals are now 130/3.

Pacers letting the grip slip for Lucknow

Rahul faces a big headache now. With both spinners, Bishnoi and Gowtham, completing their overs after keeping the Delhi batters in check and refusing to give an inch after the exit of Shaw. However, the pacers will have maintain that momentum should they hope to keep Pant quiet. Looks like that won’t be the case. Tye was welcomed back with the over costing 18 runs, including two sixes. The last seven deliveries have produced 22 runs. After 16 overs, Delhi are 117/3 with Pant on 28 and Sarfraz 17.

Lucknow tightening the screws

The new batters are finding it difficult and the boundaries have dried up. That’s the nature of the game, it can turn on its head in a couple of overs. Sarfaraz has been the aggressor and rightly so. Pant is now playing with a cool head and hopefully continue till the end even though he survived a close run out call. After 14 overs, Delhi are 90/3.

Lucknow spinning a web around Delhi

Ravi Bishnoi foxed Powell with a googly and pushed Delhi further on the backfoot. Now skipper Rishabh Pant had to eschew his attacking skills and should play till the end if the Capitals hope of getting a good score. After 12 overs, Delhi are 80/3 with Gowtham sending down a maiden over. Lucknow spinners continue to spin a web round Delhi.

Run rate slows down

With the ball losing its shine, it is gripping more while also skidding due to the slight grass cover on the pitch, making strokeplay difficult. So if one takes a cue from the batting, it’s easier to face the new ball and need to score maximum runs in the first six overs. It doesn’t end here. The set batter needs to continue for long. After 10 overs, Delhi are 74/2.

Lucknow claw their way back with twin strike

Two wickets in two overs will help Lucknow skipper Rahul breathe a bit easy after Delhi racing ahead in the first eight overs. Warner’s lack of runs in IPL continue after the Australian opener’s stay at the crease ends after he cut straight into the hands of Badoni at backward point off Bishnoi. Delhi’s fortunes now depend on Rowman Powell and skipper Rishabh Pant and how they will tackle the Lucknow spinners. After 9 overs, Delhi are 70/2.

Shaw’s dismissal to give Lucknow bowlers some respite

Finally some respite for Lucknow. Shaw, who was threatening to take the match away from their rivals, played one too many shots and was out caught behind after chasing a widish delivery. It’s not something expected of someone who has played so much cricket, that too after scoring a six and a four off the first two balls of Gowtham. May he wanted to give a return gift! After 8 overs, Delhi are 68/1 with Shaw out for 61.

Shaw scores half-century to take Delhi ahead

Prithvi Shaw kept getting the gifts and he kept collecting them to score a half-century off 30 balls and take Delhi Capitals to 57/0 at the end of seven overs. Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi and Australian pacer Andrew Tye were both dispatched to the point fence. With the field spreading now after the powerplay overs, Lucknow bowlers hope to pull back Shaw and stop Capitals from going further ahead. Warner is batting on 4.

Lucknow bowlers erring in length

Lucknow bowlers have not done their homework right. Shaw, who has a back and across trigger movement, was gifted with several short-pitch or short of length deliveries. The diminutive opener grabbed the freebies to Delhi to 40/0 after four overs with the Avesh Khan first over costing him 13 runs. Shaw moves to 35 off 17 balls, keeping the experienced Warner as mute spectator.

Shaw shifting to top gear

You can’t keep the Delhi openers, Prithvi Shaw and David Warner quite for long. After assessing the wicket in the first over, which produced only 4 runs, the young Shaw went straight into the top gear to punish both Krishnappa Gowtham and Jason Holder to take Delhi to 27 for no loss after three overs with the Indian doing bulk of the damage with 22. The wicket plays true and one can expect a high-scoring contest.

Lucknow elects to bowl first

Lucknow skipper KL Rahul wins the toss and rightly elects to bowl on a surface that is likely to assist the bowlers. Krishnappa Gowtham comes in place of Manish Pandey, while David Warner and Anriche Nortje have made their much-awaited return to Delhi Captials squad. Sarfraz Khan also finds a place in Delhi, replacing Mandeep while Tim Seifert and Khaleel Ahmed also miss out.

Contest for bragging rights

Dubai: Lucknow Super Giants have been a surprise package so far as the Indian Premier League newcomers have scored two wins in three games, but today skipper KL Rahul will face a big test against a full-strength Delhi Capitals squad at the DY Patil Stadium.

The sub-plot in the contest is the bragging rights between Rahul and Rishabh Pant for the Indian whitball captaincy rights, if and when Rohit Sharma decides to call it quits. But coming to today’s game, Delhi, who have been constantly improving over the last few seasons under the guidance of former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, will start as favourites after the return of the dangerous opener David Warner and Anrich Nortje, which would bolster their chances in the coming matches and move them up towards the top of the table.

Delhi have a variety in their attack and can bat deep down the order. The return to form of Kuldeep Yadav must have been a pleasing news for Delhi, especially with the wickets now assisting the bowlers due to the constant use of the turf.

Rahul has proved his mettle as a batter in the last few seasons, however, how he will make his team perform to their potential is what matters the most. All eyes will be on the young Ayush Badoni and how he handles the quality Delhi attack.