Harshal Patel’s six-blitz in the final over of the Daredevils’ innings proved decisive in a dead rubber match that ended up providing plenty of intrigue and excitement.
Propping up the bottom of the table with nine losses from their 12 matches in IPL 2018, DD entered the match with only pride and individual honours to play for, and this was perhaps reflected in an innings that progressed in fits and starts.
The Daredevils failed to get a handle on the CSK bowlers, and entered the final over with their score on a miserable 136-5, with Rishabh Pant’s 38 off 26 balls being the only contribution of substance.
Dwayne Bravo bowled the last over to Patel, and the Indian batsman took full advantage of some diabolical bowling. Patel (36 runs off 16 balls, S/R 225.00) hammered the West Indian for three sixes, and Vijay Shankar (36 runs off 28 balls) added an additional six in the final over to take DD to a defendable 162-5.
Bravo’s first three overs went for a creditable 26 runs but his fourth over was smashed for 26 runs, leaving his figures in disarray. South African Lungi Ngidi, playing his fourth game of the season, bowled superbly for 2-14 (economy 4.66) off his three overs, and Ravindra Jadeja returned 1-19 off his four overs (economy 4.75).
Lying second on the log – and already assured of a playoff spot – CSK would have been licking their lips in anticipation of stealing the top spot away from Sunrisers Hyderabad, but only Ambati Rayudu managed to get on top of the DD bowling.
Rayudu batted superbly, with 80% of his 50 runs coming in boundaries (four fours, four sixes) at a strike rate of 172.41, and Ravindra Jadeja gave it some stick in the closing overs to finish 27 not out off 18 balls (S/R 150.00), but it wasn’t enough as CSK fell an embarrassing 34 runs short of their target.
The DD bowlers were quite remarkable in quieting the CSK batsmen, with Trent Boult (2-20, S/R 5.00), Amit Mishra (2-20, S/R 5.00), Patel (1-23, S/R 5.75) and the ever-impressive young Nepalese leggie Sandeep Lamichhane (1-21, S/R 5.25) choking the life out of the powerful opposition lineup.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was kept uncharacteristically quiet, scoring a relatively glacial 17 off 23 balls (S/R 73.91) as the Daredevils pulled off a surprise but well-deserved victory.
Dhoni offered the post-match explanation that the wicket had become more difficult in the second half. ‘Nobody was middling it, and the bowlers bowled well. Difficult to predict how this pitch will behave. You have to be very practical about why something went wrong. We know the reasons. It’s important not to look at the points table.’
One of the key players in the DD win was Lamichhane who, sadly, won’t feature in the playoffs, but he will be seen again soon playing for the ICC World XI in a T20I match against the West Indies at Lord’s on 31 May.
‘It was slightly skiddy, but the way every player contributed, it helped me. They were well set, and I was trying to bowl my best balls,’ said Lamichhane, who has entered the world of international cricket with something of a bang and is a young man that spectators (and especially opposition batsmen) will need to keep an eye on.
Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI