Since dismissing the winner of the Super Over against Kings XI Punjab in their opening game, the Delhi Capitals have shown indomitable spirit. They are currently second in the points table with six wins from eight matches but their journey has been anything but smooth.
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Initially, his main spinner R Ashwin missed two matches after injuring his shoulder. Amit Mishra’s tournament then was short with a finger injury. Ishant Sharma played just one match before a tear in his stomach muscle. But the Capitals dealt with those blasts so effectively that the absence of such key players was never felt.
However, the latest road – an injured injury for Rishabh Pant – is proving to be a bit difficult to handle. With no other Indian wicketkeeper in the team, the Capitals have been forced to play Alex Carey, meaning there is no place for Shimron Hetmeyer on the side. His replacement, Ajinkya Rahane, went on to win 15 of 15 and 2 of 9 in the last two matches, with the Capitals losing in the first and somehow winning in the second.
On Saturday evening, they will face Chennai Super Kings, who have finally found their best XI after a series of combinations and combinations. The side that played in their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, had seven bowling options despite having no tail in the batting order.
His approach was also fresh and positive with Sam Curran opening the innings to take advantage of Powerplay and MS Dhoni coming in at number 5. The result – a third win in eight matches – ensured that they did not fall far behind. A win against the Capitals race would give their campaign more momentum.
In the news
Before the Royals play, Pant underwent a fitness test, but could not clear it. The Capitals, who are in a comfortable position at the point table, may not be in a hurry for their return.
Shreyas Iyer also got his shoulder injured against the Royals and was off the field for most of the fours. In the post-match presentation, Shikhar Dhawan said that although Iyer was in pain, he was able to move his shoulder. It is understood that he is likely to be available for Saturday’s game.
Prithvi Shaw scored 64 runs from 43 balls to put the Capitals on 175 runs. Kagiso Rabada then took 3 wickets for 26 runs. Capital bowlers held off the Super Kings for 131 for 7 to win by 44 runs.
Delhi capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Enrique Nortje
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Faf du Plessis, 2 Sam Curran, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Piyush Chawla, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Karn Sharma
Watson may or may not open for the Super Kings but hopes that the Capitals will give him a chance to win the match against Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner struck out Watson six times in eight T20 innings, while scoring only 44 runs off 43 balls.
Deepak Chahar struck out Shaw four times in five T20 innings, the most by any bowler. In those five knocks, Shaw scored just 38 from 37 balls against the seamer. Chahar also bowled out Ajinkya Rahane three times giving up just 19 runs from 16 balls in three innings. Even against Dhawan, he has an impressive number – 35 runs off 44 balls with one out. An interesting powerplay sets the fight.
Statistics that matter
The Super Kings have dominated the major-to-major competitions, winning 15 of the 22 matches between the two sides.
The teams batting first have won five of the seven matches played in Sharjah in this IPL.
The Super Kings have a scoring rate of 7.2 in the IPL 2020 Powerplay.
Seventeen wickets taken by the Capital spinners so far in the tournament are second only to the spin unit of Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have 18. Capital spinners have a combined average of 19.3 and an economy of 6.3. No other spin attack has an average economy of less than 25 or less than seven.
In the Capitals’ six wins, they have six different Player of the Match award winners – Marcus Stoinis, Shaw, Iyer, Patel, Ashwin and Enrique Narje. His five batsmen have scored over 150 runs in this IPL and four of his bowlers have taken more than seven wickets.
Rabada has 49 wickets in 26 matches in the IPL. The record for the fastest 50 wickets in the tournament is that of Sunil Narine, who reached there in 32 matches.