Match Report

Match Report: M42 - DD vs GL

MoM DD vs GL.jpg

Two young lads – one 22 years old and the other 19 years old – shredded the Gujarat Lions bowling attack and led the Delhi Daredevils to a resounding win at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday night. The two youngsters played fearless cricket, helped themselves to half-centuries, added 143-runs in a memorable partnership, and set the platform for their team’s chase of 209. After the breathtaking stroke-play of the two young lads, DD went on to win the match by 7 wickets.

At the start of the chase, the odds were stacked against the Delhi Daredevils. It is said youth knows no boundaries and can accomplish the impossible. Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant proved how much truth there is in that statement when they came out aiming for what appeared impossible at the start of the chase and played perhaps their most-satisfying T20 innings.

Both batsmen meant business from the moment they walked out to bat. In the second over, Samson hit Pradeep Sangwan for a six, while Pant opened his account with a terrific stroke – hitting Basil Thampi for a six over cover. In the same over, Samson flicked a full delivery on his pads and sent the ball sailing into the stands at square-leg. Those two strokes were only a taste of what was to come. What followed was carnage.

In the fifth over, Pant feasted on Sangwan, hitting the left-armer for 6, 6, 4; the first was a flick off the pads, the second was a lofted hit over long-on, and the third was an upper cut to send the ball into the thirdman boundary.

DD were 63-1 after six overs. Both batsmen continued to accumulate runs thereafter – ticking the scoreboard over consistently, while keeping the focus on collecting boundaries and sixes. In the ninth over, Suresh Raina brought himself on in an attempt to slip in a few quiet overs, but that did not work as Pant collected a four and a six – that second of those strokes taking him to his half-century.

Samson got into the act in the tenth over, taking full toll of two poor deliveries bowled by the leg-spinner Ankit Soni. In the eleventh, it was Pant’s turn to find the boundary; he feasted on James Faulkner’s slower deliveries and collected three sixes and a boundary – in an over that perhaps decisively swung the momentum in favour of DD. Samson continued the destruction as Jadeja was welcomed into the attack with two sixes – the second of them taking him to his half-century.

The stunning 143-run partnership was broken in the fourteenth over when Samson’s lofted drive was pouched by Faulkner; the Daredevils opener had made 61 from 31 balls, which contained no fours but seven sixes.

Pant continued to pummel the Lions bowlers as he hit Jadeja for a six and a four that took him into the nineties. However, anxiety perhaps got the better of him and the youngster threw his bat at a wide delivery from Basil Thampi, only managing an outside edge which was snapped by Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps. Pant made 97 and hit six boundaries and nine sixes in his 43-ball knock.

There was a stark difference in the way the two youngsters butchered the Lions bowlers; if Samson was relied on timing and held his shape, Pant was all aggression and muscled the ball. If Samson’s innings was all about connection, Pant’s innings was the cleanest striking one has seen in the competition.

After both the youngsters were dismissed, Shreyas Iyer (14 not out) and Corey Anderson (18 not out) polished off the run-chase. The Daredevils got across the line in the 18th over.

In the evening, the Lions recovered from a poor start – when they lost both openers in the second over – to post 208-7. Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik wrested back the initiative from their opponents with a counter-attacking partnership. Both batsmen were in imperious hitting form and did not let go any error in line or length unpunished.

Raina was his usual self – using his feet well, driving the ball through the off-side and working the ball off his pads comfortably. Karthik on the other hand was quick to rock back and played the cut and the pull effortlessly. The Lions third wicket pair had added 133 – the team’s highest partnership – and looked good for many more. Both batsmen were unstoppable, and it needed something special to dismiss them. And Rabada came up with that special performance when he fired in a throw from the off-side and hit bullseye at the non-striker’s end catching the Lions skipper short of his ground; Raina, who was dropped on 2 and 40, made 77 (43 balls, 5 fours, 4 sixes) before his dismissal in the fourteenth over.

Karthik was dismissed in the following over, but it needed a sensational catch – perhaps the best of the tournament – to send him back on his way; he attempted to drive Pat Cummins over the mid-off fielder, but Corey Anderson timed his leap brilliantly to take grab the ball while being fully air-borne. It was a catch that was ‘pulled out of thin air’ – literally. Karthik made 65 from 34 balls, and hit five fours and as many sixes.

Aaron Finch (27 from 19 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (18 not out, 7 balls, 2 sixes) flourished at the end to take the Lions past the 200-run mark and eventually to 208-7.

Rabada and Cummins were the best of the seven bowlers used by the Daredevils; not only did the two overseas quicks collect two wickets each, but they were also extremely economical.

Brief Scores

Gujarat Lions:208-7 (Suresh Raina 77, Dinesh Karthik 65, Kagiso Rabada 2-28, Pat Cummins 2-30) lost to Delhi Daredevils: 214-3 in 17.3 overs (Rishabh Pant 97, Sanju Samson 61)

Man of the Match: Rishabh Pant

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