New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils beat Rising Pune Supergiant by seven run and anxious wait for a win to qualify for the playoffs.
Delhi Daredevils clinched yet another win at home, and even though they were knocked out of the contention long ago, the Zaheer Khan-led team continued to play with a lot of fervour.
After setting a formidable target of 169 for Rising Pune Supergiant to win, Delhi brought down the equation from 52 needed off the last 5 overs with 7 wickets in hand to 25 needed off the last over. For Rising Pune Supergiant, Manoj Tiwary scored 60 off 45 balls, but his effort went in vain.
Chasing 169 to win, Rising Pune Supergiant managed a mere 161 for 7 in 20 overs.
Rising Pune Supergiant were jolted on the very first ball of their innings, when Zaheer Khan got one through the gap between bat and pads of Ajinkya Rahane. The ball came in to the batsman, whose middle stump was knocked down. With this wicket, Zaheer completed his 100 dismissals in IPL history, becoming overall the 10th bowler to do so and only the second left-arm pacer after Ashish Nehra.
Tiwary added 38 runs with Smith for the third wicket, but their partnership was broken in the 10th over of the chase by Nadeem. The bowler dropped a delivery short to Smith, who looked to swat it on the leg side. Smith missed to connect, and was trapped leg-before for a fluent 38 off 32 balls with 4 boundaries and 1 six.
Stokes combined with Tiwary to take Rising Pune Supergiant ahead. He began with a four in the over in which Smith was dismissed, and a thick edge off Amit Mishra flew over the first slip for another four.
Stokes smashed a six off Mohammed Shami in the 16th over, but perished two balls later. Stokes scored 33 off 25 balls with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Mohammed Shami did the unthinkable when he ran out none other than MS Dhoni. Fielding at short fine leg, Shami threw at the non-striker’s as Dhoni was late to make a sprint. Dhoni was caught short of his crease, and RPS soon landed in a position of trouble. Off the last 12 balls, RPS needed as many as 33 runs.
Earlier, Karun Nair struck a fine half-century to power DD to a formidable total 168 for 8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Nair faced 45 balls and cracked 9 fours to score 64, while Rishabh Pant (36) and Marlon Samuels (27) made vital contributions to put pressure on their opposition, who desperately need a win on Friday night to keep hopes of going to the next round alive.
Pune made an early breakthrough when Sanju Samson was run out off the final ball of the first over.
Having put a sweeper cover in place, RPS had forced the Delhi Daredevils’ batsmen to remain content with singles. Off the final ball, Nair played a stroke late and started off for a run. It turned out to be a horrible call as Samson did not even have the option of putting in a dive, and a direct hit from Ben Stokes ended his innings early
Nair, who had slowed down since the dismissal of Pant, finally completed his half-century, in the 16th over of the innings. He completed his first fifty across formats since that 303 not out against England late last year.
Towards the end of the innings, Delhi had a few of their tailenders connecting the ball well, but none of them contributed heavily. Amit Mishra punched a ball extremely well to send it flying over the bowler’s head for six, while Pat Cummins swung the bat to whack the ball over deep midwicket before being cleaned up by Stokes.
Stokes also claimed a terrific catch at the boundary ropes when it looked like Mohammed Shami had connected the ball well for a six. Stokes jumped to take the ball over his head, sent it back in the playing area and came inside to complete the catch
Delhi Daredevils - 168 for 8 (Nair 64, Pant 36, Unadkat 2-29, Stokes 2-31)
Rising Pune Supergiant - 161 for 7 (Tiwary 60, Smith 38, Stokes 33, Zaheer 2-25, Shami 2-37)
Result - Delhi Daredevils won by 7 runs