Going along with the all round exploits of Mitchell Marsh, Delhi Capitals narrowly got their act together to beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets and keep their hopes of IPL play-offs alive in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday. After their bowlers limited the RR to 160 for six, Marsh’s 62-ball 89 and David Warner’s unbeaten 52 from 41 balls helped the Capitals complete the task with 11 balls left for their sixth win of the season, which saw the team win both on and off the field. off the field, including multiple COVID-19 cases in his camp. With the ball, Marsh had taken the two important wickets of Yashasvi Jaiswal (19) and Ravichandran Ashwin (50). Then he hit seven sixes and five fours to emerge as the hero of the night.
DC lost Srikar Bharat only in the second ball of their innings to Trent Boult, who gave up only one run in the first over. That was followed by a maiden over from Prasidh Krishna and then the Kiwi speedster threw another frugal over as DC struggled early on to force the pace and hit five for one in three overs.
The introduction of Ashwin saw Marsh launch the off spinner over long off for a six. Marsh did the same to Prasidh, hitting him all the way over the fine-leg to give the much-needed boost to the DC innings.
There was more to Marsh’s willow when he crushed Kuldeep Sen for two sixes and Ashwin got a similar treatment when, despite Jos Buttler’s effort in the deep end, the ball sailed over for maximum long and the Australian all-rounder is fifty.
By the time the 143-run tie was broken by Yuzvendra Chahal with Marsh’s wicket, the game was almost in DC’s bag.
Previously, Prime Minister Ashwin, who outscored most of the best hitters, hit his first half-century in T20 cricket. Ashwin made a 38-ball 50, while Devdutt Padikkal hit 48 in 30 pitches after RR was asked to hit first.
The Capitals got off to a good start when left arm Chetan Sakariya (2/23) playing the game to be won instead of Khaleel Ahmed cheaply sent RR’s best hitter Jos Buttler (7) off in the third over.
Buttler wanted to play it across the infield and hit a fairly full pitch straight to Shardul Thakur.
With Buttler out early, DC was on top, trying to assert their dominance at the DY Patel Sports Complex. They gave very little away and kept RR at 43 for one in the six power playovers.
This was after DC skipper Rishabh Pant decided to oppose a review despite a strong appeal from Sakariya for a deficit in the first over. Replays confirmed that Pant was right in not opting for a review.
Coming off his glowing half-century in the previous match, Yashasvi Jaiswal produced a superb on-drive on Anrich Nortje (2/39) then crushed the South African pacesetter for a six over third man.
Jaiswal (19) impressed again, but not for long when Mitchell Marsh (2/25) cramped him in front of a bouncer room, clearing the way for southpaw Devdutt Padikkal to join Ashwin in the middle.
Ashwin looked confident after hitting a few limits, including two maxima and a ramp shot over keeper Pant, and he coped well, making his half-century in 38 balls.
However, the main off-spinner got out quickly after reaching the landmark, with Marsh coming back on the charge to give DC the breakthrough.
Meanwhile, Padikkal crushed Axar Patel for two sixes – one over deep backyard and another over long – as RR tried to force the pace.
Padikkal then scored two consecutive fours off Marsh, even when Nortje had RR skipper Sanju Samson (6) caught by Shardul Thakur halfway through the wicket. As the DC players rejoiced, Kuldeep Yadav was seen walking off the ground clutching his left shoulder after injuring himself on a flyout in the previous over.
Riyan Parag hit Nortje for a massive six before Sakariya cut short his short stay in the middle, and Padikkal followed too, thanks to a brilliant catch run from substitute fielder Kamlesh Nagarkoti.