IPL 2021 | DC vs RCB: Hits and Flops as captain Pant fails to get Delhi over the line

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Apr 27, 8:19 PM

PC- Twitter
PC- Twitter

Delhi Capitals seem to have made a habit of playing close games in this edition of the Indian Premier League. After a Super Over finish in their last game, the Capitals were in the mood to push this one close as well with the Delhi based franchise needing six off the last ball. However, captain Pant failed to clear the ropes in the final ball of the game resulting in a single run defeat for the young team.

It was once again a last-over thriller as chasing 172, the Capitals, after not so good start was almost running away with the game courtesy of a 23 ball fifty from Shimron Hetmyer. The West Indian got Delhi to as close as needing just 14 of the last over but unfortunately couldn’t get to play more than one ball in that over. With 10 needed from the last two balls, Pant, who till then had managed to get only 50 off 46 balls, got two fours off two uncontrolled shots, to finish with Delhi still needing one run. 

The match saw a lot of heroes and villains from both sides and they are covered under the segment called hits and Flops. 

Hits

AB de Villiers

If there was to be chosen just one man to trust, then without any doubt, all the fans of the red and gold brigade would choose this South African maestro above all.  Day in and day out he has proved that when the team is under immense pressure, one man would always come to the rescue and it is ABD. Today was also the same as after the fall of great batsmen like skipper Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and young gun Devdutt Padiakkal, de Villiers chose to resurrect the innings with his brilliant 42 balls 75. 

When the 37-year-old came to bat, Rajat Patidar, a young bloke was there to welcome him. After losing even him and Washington Sundar, de Villiers went into destruction mode, gathering his last 38 runs from just 14 balls, which also included the 22 runs he scored in the 20th over of the innings to push the RCB score to 171. 

For this performance of his, de Villiers or Mr. 360 degree as he is popularly known, was awarded Man of the match, his 25th of the League, the most for any player in the IPL so far. He also became only the second overseas player to cross the mark of 5000 runs in the IPL and overall only the sixth batsman to do so.

Shimron Hetmyer

If de Villiers’ innings was a masterclass, then what the pocket size dynamite from Guyana did was by no means a mean job either. Shimron Hetmyer came, he killed and almost conquered, but for the one run. The 24-year-old came in to bat when the Capitals were under all sorts of bother as their most trusted hitter in Marcus Stoinis was dismissed playing a rash shot of a Harshal Patel delivery. 

With 80 needed from 44 balls, there were only two ways that Delhi was going to get to the target, either skipper Pant, who was into some hole as far as connection of his shots was concerned, decided to wake up and go all guns blazing, or there was a Shimron Hetmyer show on display. The latter did happen as the left-hander targeted two of RCB’s better bowlers in Mohammed Siraj and Kyle Jamieson. 

In the 15th over he hit Siraj for 12 runs and then in the 18th over, he hit Jamieson, who till then had conceded only 11 runs in his previous three overs, for 21 runs to make the equation slide down from 46 off three overs to 25 from the last two overs. Unfortunately, though, he couldn’t get much of the strike when DC needed 14 off the last over and ended up on the losing side. 

Harshal Patel

If someone is having a dream run in this IPL, then Harshal Patel’s name would be top of that list. He goes for runs no doubt (certainly none after the 37 runs over against Jadeja) but always comes back in crucial situations to either hold up the runs or take important wickets. 

In this game too, Harshal was at his dangerous best, making the likes of in-form Prithvi Shaw and international star Stoinis commit similar mistakes of chasing a wide ball and edging it to the wicket-keeper. He not only got the two wickets, but when the team needed him to be tight, he showed that it can be achieved too. In the penultimate over, Patel gave away just 11 runs, nailing the wide yorkers against the two left-handers. The runs could have been less if Daniel Sams didn’t misfield at the deep square leg boundary to concede a four. 

In the 17th over too, Patel, 30, conceded only 10 runs with just one boundary going to Pant. Currently, the man from Gujarat sits on the top of the most wickets list and is the proud holder of the Purple Cap. 

What he did today is especially commendable because to come back after the beating that he got in the last games, takes gits and courage and Patel has shown that he has them both in abundant amount. 

Flops

Rishabh Pant

The measure of success in a T20 game is just about a few runs, to be precise only one run. It’s one run that makes a hero or a villain out of the same hero. Today DC skipper Pant was at the receiving end of things with his slow, snaily innings, which eventually led to the loss of the game for his team. 

Had Pant managed to hit a six off the last ball instead of just a four and got his team over the line, the same innings would have been held as a master class. But since he couldn’t get the win, the 48 balls 58 that he did, will be counted as nothing else than failure, mere numbers that would add up at the end of the career in his stats. 

Apart from his slow batting in which he could manage to hit only six fours and not a single six, Pant was laid back in his captaincy as well, failing to calculate the overs of his main bowlers and bowling a part-timer like Stoinis in the final over of the innings. This miscalculation of his led to DC getting a 23 run hammering in the last over, which eventually counted as the team lost by a solitary run. 

Marcus Stoinis

Stonis, who has been trusted with the responsibility to play the role of the main man in the team with the bat, has failed to deliver this entire season so far. In the five innings that he has been allowed to bat, the Western Australian has managed to squander it off, making only 65 runs at a dismal average of 13. 

In today’s innings too, after getting a great start, having scored 22 off 17 balls and built a partnership of 45 runs with the skipper, Stonis chose to hit a wide length ball for a four, in an over where already 11 runs had been accumulated. It is this approach of his alongside the 23 runs over that he bowled at the end of the innings that put him under the category of a flop. 

Both the teams will remain here at the Narendra Modi Stadium for their next encounters where the Capitals will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the second game of the doubleheader on April 29. The RCB will be up against a struggling Punjab Kings on April 30.

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