IPL: Delhi Capitals rout Gujarat Titans for 89

Delhi Capitals 92 for 4 (Fraser-McGurk 20, Warrier 2-40) beat Gujarat Titans 89 all out (Rashid 31, Mukesh 3-14) by six wickets


At the start of the fourth over, Gujarat Titans were projected to reach 169. By the start of the sixth over, they were trending much lower, to 120.

In the end, they were bowled out for double-digits, 89.

It was their lowest-ever IPL total, having been brought into the tournament in 2022.

Four of the six bowlers Delhi Capitals used returned economy rates of 4.5 or less, setting up the batters to go out there and do their thing.

The chase was done in 53 balls, with six wickets to spare, and that mattered. Capitals are now in sixth place, above Titans on the points table, because their net run-rate rose from -0.975 to -0.074.

How the Titans fell

A slow, low, and turning pitch had the home team spiralling all through their innings. Shubman Gill tried to get ahead of it by going hard at everything.

He hit two cuh-risp fours in five balls and in going for another he got caught at cover. Eventually it became clear why he was so desperate for early boundaries.

The ball began holding in the pitch. Wriddhiman Saha went after it but was too early into the pull and dragged it onto his stumps.

It began spinning. Tristan Stubbs, who had bowled only 177 balls in his 79-match T20 career, helped himself to two wickets in an over with his offbreaks. Four of the top six with single-digit scores.

Rahul Tewatia batting in the powerplay. Sacrificing the option of R Sai Kishore as an Impact Player against the right-hander-heavy Capitals line-up to send in Shahrukh Khan. He was meant to firefight.

He was there in case of an emergency break glass option. He returned with a duck. Out stumped even though the wicketkeeper didn’t collect the ball cleanly. It was that kind of day.

Pant is a joy

Right at the start, a giggle was caught on the mic. It sounded very Rishabh Pant-y. He and Gill were just staring at each other and everybody else was stuck waiting as the Capitals skipper tried to remember what the plan was after winning the toss. “I think we’re going to bowl,” he said.

Later, when Kuldeep Yadav was unhappy with a wayward throw, acting like he had suffered a mortal wound, Pant ran over to the bowler, put one hand around his shoulders and used the other one to stroke his chest. There there. Don’t worry. Be happy.

Finally, the stumpings. Especially the one that almost didn’t happen. Pant had seen that Shahrukh’s back foot was nowhere near where it needed to be.

Mukesh Kumar was the most effective of the Delhi Capitals bowlers with figures of 2.3-0-14-3•Apr 17, 2024•BCCI

He was beyond excited. That might have played a part in how he grabbed for the ball, hard-handed, and therefore couldn’t collect it cleanly.

But it didn’t matter because the ball just bounced off his gloves straight onto the wicket prompting child-like glee at how a mistake he’d made actually turned out okay.

This is why the world needs Rishabh Pant. A lot of his fans – and India fans – must be thrilled that he’s back playing cricket again because he is a game-changer.

But really, he’s so much more than that. He reminds people to smile. To enjoy themselves. To have fun. Just by smiling and having fun himself.

He had a good game as captain too, bringing back Khaleel Ahmed for a third over inside the powerplay to see if he could sneak a fifth Titans wicket.

That wasn’t possible but a maiden was. For some reason he bowled Stubbs ahead of Axar Patel which turned a score of 47 for 4 to 48 for 6. Pant spent the rest of the innings chirping away behind the stumps. It was like he was never even away. (ESPNcricinfo) 

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