Capitals increase from 23 for 5 to stun Titans

Ishant Sharma held a wild Rahul Tewatia at bay in a sensational final over

Capitals of Delhi Beat 130 for 8 (Aman 51, Shami 4-11, Mohit 2-33). Gujarat Titans 125 for 6 (Hardik 59*, Ishant 2-23, Khaleel 2-24) through five runs

In a game of twists and turns of epic proportions, the tenth-placed Delhi Capitals overtook leaders Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad to win in dramatic fashion by five runs.

The game’s pendulum swung numerous times, beginning with Mohammed Shami saving four wickets on the power play to reduce capitals to 23 for 5. But Aman Hakim Khan’s first T20-50 and contributions from Axar Patel and Ripal Patel pulled the Capitals to 130 for 8.

Capitals then gained the upper hand as Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav left the Titans 32-4. Although Hardik Pandya stabilized the pursuit with half a century, the momentum was as Capitals went into the final two overs.

Just as the game seemed lost, Rahul Tewatia scored a six-point hat-trick ahead of Anrich Nortje in the 19th over to put the Titans within reach of victory. But Ishant kept his nerve in the final, conceding just six goals against Hardik, Tewatia and Rashid Khan to seal the deal for Capitals.

Tewatia prepares an exciting finish

With the Titans going 42 of the last four overs, the game could have gone either way. But quiet overs by Kuldeep and Khaleel to end their respective spells made Equation 33 out of the final two overs.

When Nortje started the 19th over with three pinpoint Yorkers, the game was in the hands of the Capitals only for Tewatia, who brought the home crowd back to life with three consecutive leg-side sixes. When Ishant ran into the bowl on the 20th, momentum was with the Titans, but Hardik and Tewatia couldn’t find the early boundary in the over. Ishant then had Tewatia in cover and when Rashid Khan needed a six from the last ball to force a super over, he conceded just a single hit to finish with numbers of 2 for 23.

The Indian players of the Capitals stand up

Warner, who had gone out, Phil Salt and Rilee Rossouw all failed with the bat and were the first three men to walk out after Capitals opted to bat on the throw. When Shami also grabbed Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg, there was a chance Capitals would fold on a score below 100.

But Aman and Axar bet 50-of-54 balls for the sixth wicket to revive the innings. The pitch wasn’t very difficult, but the early shots forced the pair on the defensive. As their partnership grew, their scoring rate went up, but Capitals suffered another setback when Axar fell wide at the end of the 14th and Mohit Sharma took a deep dive. However, Aman assumed command after Axar’s sacking and reached his half-century. He teamed with Ripal to help Capitals hit 41 runs from overs 16 to 18, a game passage that allowed them to lead Titans 131 to victory.

Then it was Khaleel, Kuldeep, Axar and Ishant who injured the titans in pursuit. Khaleel threw a first over girl which contained Wriddhiman Saha’s wicket. Khaleel returned to the team after a long hamstring injury and hit Saha’s edge three times from his first three deliveries and then found the edge to the goalkeeper from the last ball of the over.

Two overs later, Shubman Gill was out at Nortje and found cover with a drive, but the body punches came as Ishant rattled Vijay Shankar’s stumps with a knuckleball and Kuldeep interfered with David Miller’s bars. That faltered the Titans at 32-4, a situation almost as bad as the Capitals’ 23-5.

Hardik and Abhinav Manohar struggled away, betting on a 62-run fifth-wicket partnership, but they consumed 63 balls, steadily increasing the required rate. Axar conceded just 24 in four wicketless overs while Kuldeep finished with a frugal 1 for 15, including a 17th over in five runs. Khaleel and Ishant then rolled terrific overs either side of Nortje’s expensive 19th to make it a day to celebrate for Capitals.

Shami’s super spell

Shami’s first ball wicket was a lucky hit, a slot-delivery hit put right in by Salt, but it took skill after that. He delivered four overs right after picking up the new ball and finished with numbers of 4 for 11, with 19 points in 24 balls. He operated at good length and had Rossouw edge a delivery to Saha in his second over.

In his third over, he stayed at a similar length with a more noticeable upright seam as right-handers Pandey and Garg, and both batters were caught behind fishing on outside deliveries. Shami, who received Player of the Match honors, extended his lead at the top of the IPL 2023 list for most power play wickets. Stuck between Shami’s first two wickets was Warner’s sending off, who ran out after being mixed up with Garg at the end of the non-striker.

After Shami’s spell ended, the table didn’t turn much for Noor Ahmad or Rashid Khan. Mohit and Josh Little didn’t find much footing with their cutters either. The two sewers eventually ended up with relatively expensive figures due to their inability to control the flow of barrels upon death. Capitals had 52 points in the last five overs, fueled by Ripal’s undefeated 13-ball 23 and Aman’s 44-ball 51, which proved to be the difference in the end.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

#Capitals #increase #stun #Titans

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