Delhi Capitals and reigning champions Mumbai Indians notched identical seven-wicket victories in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Delhi’s clinical win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Ahmedabad lifted it to 10 points to share lead at the top of the table with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kolkata, after losing five of its seven games, is fifth with four points.
Mumbai pushed themselves into the top four with a resounding win over Rajasthan Royals at New Delhi. Mumbai, coming off two consecutive losses, is now fourth while struggling Rajasthan has dropped three of its past four games to sit seventh.
Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw’s six fours in the opening over of the run-chase helped Delhi cruise to 156-3 in 16.3 overs as the right-hander made a blistering 82 off 41 balls.
Kolkata’s batsmen continued to struggle before Andre Russell’s quickfire 45 off 27 balls lifted his team’s total to 154-6. Off-spinner Lalit Yadav dented Kolkata’s hopes when he dismissed captain Eoin Morgan and hard-hitting batsman Sunil Narine both without scoring in the 11th over and left-arm spinner Axar Patel also grabbed 2-32.
Shaw gave Delhi an electrifying start when he hit fast bowler Shivam Mavi for six boundaries in the first over. By the time Morgan turned towards the experience of Pat Cummins in the sixth over, Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan had piled 66 runs in five overs and had taken the game well under Delhi’s grasp.
Cummins picked up 3-24, but not before Shaw and Dhawan had raised a 132-run stand -- their second century stand in this season’s IPL.
Cummins also had Dhawan lbw off a low full toss and then dismissed Shaw and captain Rishabh Pant in his last over. Shaw hit 11 fours and three sixes before he spliced a catch at point while Pant holed out at long-on boundary while going for a winning boundary.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (1-15) was brilliant, with both the new and old ball, to restrict Rajasthan at 171-4 after Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field at Delhi.
Chris Morris, Rajasthan’s multimillion-dollar signing, picked up 2-33, but Quinton de Kock (70 not out) was always in control to take Mumbai to 172-3 with nine balls to spare.
De Kock, who had struggled for runs in the first leg of the tournament in Chennai, finally found his batting form with a fine half century.
De Kock’s 15th half century in the IPL featured six fours and two sixes as the South African left-hander drove and pulled well against the fast bowlers.
“We needed that win badly after a couple of losses,” Sharma said. “We did everything right today, right from ball one … very happy with Quinny’s knock, we know how good he can be. Not to forget Krunal’s innings as well.”
Krunal Pandya (39) added 63 runs with de Kock for the third-wicket stand before he was bowled by Mustafizur Rahman in the 17th over. But de Kock sealed the game with two boundaries against the Bangladesh left-arm fast bowler in the penultimate over.
Earlier, Jos Buttler posted 41 runs off 32 balls and had given Rajasthan a platform, but Trent Boult clean bowled captain Sanju Samson (42) in the 18th over before Bumrah had Shivam Dube (35) caught off his own bowling off a low full toss.
“We were a few runs short, 20-25 short,” Samson said. “We built it up nicely and didn’t capitalize. I think they had a very decent bowling lineup … it’s just about our batters performing a little more and I’m sure we’ll do it.”