IPL: Daredevils beat RPS to complicate playoff qualification


SUMMARY: Delhi Daredevils: 168-8 (Karun Nair 64, Rishabh Pant 36, Jaydev Unadkat 2-29, Ben Stokes 2-31) beat Rising Pune Supergiant: 161-7 (Manoj Tiwary 60, Steven Smith 38, Ben Stokes 33, Zaheer Khan 2-25, Mohammed Shami 2-37) by 7 runs.

Delhi Daredevils ensured there was interest in the qualification scenarios of VIVO IPL 2017 after they defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by seven runs on Friday evening. After batting first and posting 168-8 at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi, DD restricted the visitors to 161-7.

The result means that four teams – Kolkata Knight Riders, RPS, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab – will continue to contest for three playoff spots with four league games remaining in the season. In the evening, DD, after opting to bat, rode on Karun Nair’s half-century and useful contributions from Rishabh Pant and Marlon Samuels to post 168-8. The hosts lost the talented Sanju Samson in the first over and Shreyas Iyer in the third over, but recovered through a 74-run partnership between Karun and Pant.

In the fourth over, Karun picked up consecutive boundaries off the off-spinner Washington Sundar, while Pant deposited one into the stands at square-leg. In the following over, Ben Stokes was at the receiving end, with Nair collecting three boundaries. In the sixth, Pant got stuck into Shardul Thakur, hitting him for three boundaries – one straight down the ground and two through fine-leg.

At the end of the powerplay period, DD had recovered to 54-2. After the fielding restrictions were relaxed, Karun and Pant continued to pick up boundaries regularly, before the leg-spinner Adam Zampa struck; Pant attempted to pull a short delivery, but didn’t get sufficiently under the ball and holed out to long-on. Pant made 36 and hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 22-ball outing.

The scoring rate dropped a tad over the next few overs before Marlon Samuels broke the shackles with consecutive sixes off Thakur in the twelfth over. But he was dismissed at the end of the fourteenth over when MS Dhoni pulled off a brilliant catch; Dan Christian the beneficiary.

Karun reached his half-century in the sixteenth over – getting there off 37 balls and carried on to make 64 before he miscued one and was caught at fine-leg; before his dismissal in the nineteenth over, Karun had consumed 45 balls and had hit nine boundaries. While Karun, who opened the innings, held one end up, DD lost wickets at the other end, and eventually finished at 168-8.

The hosts scored 69 in the middle nine overs and could only add a further 45 runs in the final five. For RPS, Jaydev Unadkat and Ben Stokes picked up two wickets each; while Undakat returned figures of 2/29, Stokes picked up the wickets of Karun and Pat Cummins and finished with figures of 2/31.

Stokes was brilliant on the field too; the English all-rounder scored a direct-hit to run out Samson in the first over and then pulled off a sensational catch at the midwicket boundary in the final over to dismiss Mohammed Shami. RPS’ run-chase began on poor note, with Zaheer Khan bowling Ajinkya Rahane though the gate first ball of the chase. The other opener, the prolific Rahul Tripathi, feathered an off-cutter from Zaheer through to the wicket-keeper.

Steven Smith’s 38 (32 balls), Manoj Tiwary’ 60 (45 balls) and Ben Stokes’ 33 (25 balls) kept RPS in the contest despite the openers falling cheaply. Smith and Tiwary added 38 runs in five overs before the former missed a straight delivery from Shahbaz Nadeem and was trapped leg before wicket. Stokes added 51 in Tiwary’s company; the RPS number five, after hitting Mohammed Shami for a six over square-leg, miscued a full-toss and holed out to long-off.

When he was dismissed at 125 in the sixteenth over, RPS were still in the chase, with Tiwary set and having MS Dhoni for company. But after a direct hit from Shami caught Dhoni unawares and brought about his run out at the non-striker’s end, the contest was nearly killed.

Despite Tiwary’s final over blitz – in which he put away Pat Cummins for sixes off the first two deliveries of the final over – RPS still finished eight runs short. Zaheer Khan was outstanding – as captain and with the ball; the DD skipper returned excellent figures of 2/25. Shami too picked up two wickets, while Nadeem and Cummins chipped in with a wicket each. (IPLT20)

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