If Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant powered the Delhi Daredevils’ successful chase of 209 against the Gujarat Lions earlier in the tournament, it was Shreyas Iyer’s turn to shine under the night skies in Kanpur on Wednesday night. Needing 196 for a win at the Green Park, DD were in strife at 104-5, but Shreyas held his composure, played a lone hand and took his team to within striking distance. After he was dismissed in the final over, Amit Mishra struck boundaries off successive deliveries to lead Delhi Daredevils to a 2-wicket win; the visitors got over the line with two balls remaining to be bowled.
Delhi Daredevils’ chase was rocked right at the start when the two match-winners from the previous meeting – Samson and Pant – were dismissed in the second over. Karun Nair (30 from 15 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) had played a cameo, but after his dismissal, DD were reduced to 104-5 and then slipped further to 121-6.
Shreyas, who walked out to bat at the fall of the second wicket, showed plenty of urgency at the start as he struck five boundaries and raced to 25 from 17 balls before the powerplay was completed. He was brutal through the off-side; if the ball was pitched short, he was quick to rock back and cut through thirdman and point, and if it was pitched full, he drove fluently.
Shreyas was brutal on the quicks and took a special liking for James Faulkner in particular, of whom he scored 26 off 14 balls. He collected two boundaries off Faulkner in the tenth over, and got to his half-century in the eleventh over when he pierced the gap through point.
After collecting boundaries off successive deliveries from Sangwan in the fifteenth over, Shreyas got stuck into his state mate Dhawal Kulkarni and hit him for a hat-trick of fours. Faulkner was at the receiving end once again in the seventeenth as Shreyas straight-drove him for a six and then timed one down the ground.
Shreyas missed out on a well-deserved century when he attempted to flick the ball backward of square but only managed to drag Basil Thampi’s yorker back onto his stumps; he was dismissed for 96 – made from 57 balls and studded with 15 boundaries and two sixes – but he had done his job of taking the team to the brink. Mention should also be made of the timely support provided by Pat Cummins, who scored 24 from 13 balls batting at number eight, and his brisk 61-run partnership with Shreyas.
The Gujarat Lions bowlers had yet another forgettable outing – and failed to defend a score for the seventh time this season. There were three pieces of brilliance on the field though which deserve a mention; Suresh Raina’s awareness and his direct hit to run out Pant, and the two direct hits from Ravindra Jadeja from point that brought down the shutters on Marlon Samuels and Corey Anderson.
Earlier in the evening, Aaron Finch’s 69, and his 92-run with partnership with Dinesh Karthik helped the Gujarat Lions to 195-5. Put in to bat, the teenage opener Ishan Kishan scored a stroke-filled 34 before he was third man out as soon as the powerplay had ended. At 56-3, the Lions were at a spot of bother when Karthik and Finch, batting at numbers four and five respectively, came together. Karthik’s first two scoring strokes were boundaries – one each off Amit Mishra and Pat Cummins, before Finch caught up with him. The Australian got stuck into Mishra in the ninth over, hitting him for two huge sixes – one through midwicket and the other over long-off.
The pair kept the strike ticking over before they collected a boundary each off Corey Anderson in the thirteenth over. In the fourteenth, Karthik played perhaps the shot of the match – hitting Mohammed Shami for a straight driven six. In the sixteenth, Finch picked Zaheer Khan’s knuckle ball and deposited him into the stands at square-leg.
The partnership was broken at the start of the seventeenth over when Karthik’s lofted on-drive was pouched inches off the turf by a diving Anderson; the Lions wicketkeeper-batsman had made 40 from 28 balls and hit four boundaries and a six during his stay at the crease. GL 148-4.
Finch brought up his half-century immediately after Karthik’s dismissal when he deposited Carlos Brathwaite into the stands at long-on. He didn’t take his foot on the gas thereafter as he collected three consecutive boundaries – one off Brathwaite and two off Cummins. In the nineteenth over, he attempted one aggressive stoke too many – but didn’t make contact and had his stumps rattled by a straight delivery from Mohammed Shami; Finch’s 39-ball 69 included six boundaries and four sixes.
James Faulkner and Ravindra Jadeja contributed three boundaries between them and helped the Gujarat Lions to 195-5. The hosts had added 61 runs in the last five overs.
For the visitors, only skipper Zaheer Khan walked away with respectable figures; his four overs cost 30 runs, while the rest of the five bowlers used all went for more than nine runs per over. Shami, Cummins, Mishra and Brathwaite picked up a wicket each.
Man of the Match: Shreyas Iyer
Gujarat Lions: 195-5 (Aaron Finch 69, Dinesh Karthik 40, Ishan Kishan 34) lost to
Delhi Daredevils: 197-8 in 19.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 96, Karun Nair 30, James Faulkner 2-39) by 2 wickets.