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IPL 2023: Delhi Capitals Defend 130-Runs To Defeat Table Topper Gujarat Titans

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Ahmedabad: Fiery spells from Ishant Sharma and Khaleel Ahmed helped Delhi Capitals (DC) successfully defend 130 to register a narrow five-run win over the table-toppers Gujarat Titans in a low-scoring thriller.

Ishant and Ahmed picked two wickets apiece for Delhi in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match held at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Tuesday.

GT captain Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 59 and Mohammed Shami’s four-wicket haul went in vain.

From 23 for 5 after five overs, the Capitals pull off a brilliant comeback victory against Gujarat Titans.

A fantastic collective bowling performance from the DC bowlers, led by Ishant (2/23), saw the away team defend the score. Ishant held his nerve to defend 12 of the last over in yet another thriller after GT pacer Mohd. Shami produced a swing bowling masterclass with his best IPL figures (4-0-11-4).

Chasing 131, Gujarat Titans were dealt with an early blow as Wriddhiman Saha was caught behind off Khaleel who bowled a fantastic wicket maiden. Khaleel beat Saha’s outside edge multiple times before finally getting him to edge one to the keeper via terrific swing bowling.

Hardik Pandya went on the counter-attack in the third over from Khaleel, thumping three fours but GT found themselves two down in the next over as Anrich Nortje had Gill (6 off 7) caught at covers off an uppish drive.

Ishant Sharma then produced a beautiful Knuckleball to the castle in-form Vijay Shankar and reduce GT to 26/3. GT stuttered to 31/3 at the end of the Powerplay. Kuldeep Yadav came into the attack and didn’t take time to strike as he cleaned up David Miller (0 off 3) who shuffled across for a sweep but missed it completely.

Pandya and Abhinav Manohar started the rebuilding process but DC kept things largely tight as the required run rate crept over 10 per over with five overs to go. Hardik brought up the 50-run stand with a powerful pull for a four off Nortje. The skipper then brought up his half-century off 44 balls. Kuldeep bowled another excellent over, giving just five to complete an excellent spell of 4-0-15-1.

With 37 needed off 18, Khaleel returned and struck the first ball to remove Manohar (26 off 33), who was caught at long-on. Khaleel completed an excellent over to give away just four as the equation read 33 needed off 12 balls.

Nortje started off the penultimate over well, nailing his yorkers and giving away just three off the first three balls. But he missed his marker as Rahul Tewatia came into his own to swing the next three balls across the line for three sixes in a row to bring the equation down to 12 needed off the last over.

Warner handed the ball to Ishant for the final over and the experienced veteran answered his captain’s call with a fantastic over. Ishant started off brilliantly and gave away just three off the first three balls and then got Tewatia (20 off 7), caught at extra cover as the equation came to 9 needed of 2 balls. Rashid Khan smashed the next one to cover the point where Rossouw stopped it. With 7 needed off the last ball, Ishant bowled a full toss which Rashid sliced over backward point for just two as the DC players erupted in wild celebrations.

Earlier, Delhi Capitals captain David Warner won the toss and elected to bat. They made two changes to the starting XI as Rilee Rossouw and Aman Khan replaced Mitchell Marsh and Mukesh Kumar. Khaleel Ahmed, Lalit Yadav, Yash Dhull, Pravin Dubey and Abishek Porel made it to the home team’s substitutes list.

Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, went unchanged. They named Shubman Gill, Sai Kishore, KS Bharat, Sai Sudharsan and Shivam Mavi as their substitutes.

GT pacer Mohammed Shami got off to a brilliant start as he ripped through the Gujarat top and middle order to take four wickets inside the Powerplay. He struck off the first ball of the match to remove Phil Salt who hit one powerfully but straight to David Miller at short extra cover. DC received a huge blow in the next over, bowled by Hardik Pandya, as a miscommunication between Priyam Garg and David Warner saw the DC captain stranded mid-way and run out. Garg clipped it to mid-wicket and Warner set off for a non-existent single. He kept going as Garg stopped. Rashid Khan, who fielded the ball, had a good presence of mind to run over to the non-striker’s end and dislodge the bails rather than throwing the ball as there was no one backing up. Rilee Rossouw released some pressure as he cracked consecutive fours off the same over.

Shami made it three wickets in three overs for GT as he head Rossouw caught behind with a beautiful outswinger. He returned to scalp two more in his third over as he unleashed a couple more deadly outswingers to have Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg caught behind. Pandey was brilliantly caught by Wriddhiman Saha, who dived full length to his right, to grab a wonderful catch.

Aman Khan hit a rare four, off Josh Little, to end the Powerplay as DC hobbled to 28/5 at the end of the first six overs. Shami bowled four overs straight up and finished with superb figures of 4-0-11-4.

Aman Khan and Axar Patel then got together, mixed caution and aggression to steady the ship and take DC to 54/5 at the halfway mark and then bring up the 50-run stand off 54 balls.

Hardik Pandya then brought Mohit Sharma into the attack and the in-form struck in his first over to break the partnership by having Axar (27 off 30) caught at long off, off a mistimed loft. Aman Khan and Ripa Patel then injected the much-needed momentum as Aman hit a four and a six off Mohit Sharma and the duo hit three fours in the next over from Josh Little to make it 29 from two overs. Aman cracked a huge six off Mohit and then brought up his maiden IPL fifty off 41 balls as he got a standing ovation from the DC dugout.

Aman Khan started off the penultimate over well, thumping a six over deep mid-wicket off the first ball from Rashid Khan and in process bringing up the 50-run stand off just 26 balls. Rashid though bounced back to have Aman (51 off 44) caught at deep mid-wicket two balls later. He gave away just eight in the over and then Mohit bowled a superb last over to concede just three runs and scalp the wicket of Ripal Patel to restrict DC to 130/8. It was however a good recovery for the away side to post a respectable total after being reduced to 23/5 inside five overs.

GT introduced Shubman Gill, who strode out to open the batting, as their Impact Player, replacing Mohit Sharma while DC brought on Khaleel Ahmed, who opened the bowling, as their Impact Player, replacing Priyam Garg.

(With ANI inputs)

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