Rishabh Pant leads from the front; DC break duck with 20-run win

Pant made an impactful performance for the Capitals. Source (X)

Delhi Capitals got their campaign back on track with a comfortable 20-run win over Chennai Super Kings at their home away from home in Visakhapatnam. Khaleel Ahmed and Mukesh Kumar shared five wickets between them while David Warner, Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant played valuable hands. The crowd was also able to witness MS Dhoni turning the clock back with an unbeaten 37 off 16.

Rishabh Pant showcases flashes of brilliance 

There has been a lot of talk surrounding Pant’s (51 runs) comeback. After a couple of failures, Pant gave a glimpse of his pyrotechnics by tonking Matheesha Pathirana and Mustafizur Rahman for three boundaries and two sixes in the slog overs. Pant’s movements also were agile. At one point of time, he was on 23 off 23 deliveries but picked up his scoring rate to finish with a healthy strike rate 159.38.

Shaw-Warner duet at the top

Shaw, who was picked for this game, played an array of shots at the top of the order and finished with a 27-ball 43. Warner also played his part with a brisk 35-ball 53. Mustafizur was the bowler who came in for some severe punishment; smashed for four boundaries in a single over. Shaw, in particular, took a heavy toll on the left-arm bowler by essaying three boundaries in a row in that over. Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar also couldn’t escape from getting punished. The duo’s 93-run stand clearly set the platform for the home side.

The Pathirana magic

Even though Pant cracked a few shots off the Sri Lankan seamer, Pathirana had his share of success. In the 15th over, he bowled at around 150 kph and castled both Mitchell Marsh and Tristan Stubbs. The latter was done in by a full and straight delivery while the former was cleaned up by a splendid yorker. Pathirana’s bowling mechanics are such that he could have some off days. But when on song, he creates magic with the ball in hand. 

DC’s pacers provide the perfect start

In Vizag, the ball does move around a bit, and DC clearly utilised the conditions to good effect. Khaleel found just enough away movement to trouble Rachin Ravindra and Ruturaj Gaikwad and dismissed both of them. DC came out with a clear plan to bowl around short of a length and move the ball away from the left-handed Ravindra. The Kiwi finally succumbed to the plan, by hoicking one towards mid-on. Incidentally, this writer had talked about the same strategy in an editorial during the 2023 World Cup. 

By the time Daryl Mitchell lost his wicket in the 11th over, DC were well and truly on top. At the fag end of the innings, Dhoni took a jog down the memory by clonking a few fours and sixes. But by then the result of the match was more or less a foregone conclusion. 


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