DC blew wide open both the race for the playoffs and that of the top two spots with a dominant victory over RR. The Capitals completely bossed the game even though they were without two of their main stars Prithvi Shaw and Khaleel Ahmed, who were unavailable for the game and potentially for the rest of the tournament as well.
Mitchell Marsh took the chase into his own hands, much like the 2021 T20 World Cup final, scoring a magnificent 89 to take the Capitals home. The Royals will definitely be disappointed with the loss, considering that a win would ensure their qualification, and the possibility of one of the top two spots would be firmly in their control. The loss, however, puts a spanner in the works. RR would now have to depend on other results for their qualification.
Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant won the toss and decided to bowl first, even as some experts felt that Tuesday’s game between the Gujarat Titans and the Lucknow Super Giants was an indication of what was to come further in the tournament. Nevertheless, it was a very disciplined performance from DC from the very start of the innings, with Jos Buttler sent packing by the talented youngster Chetan Sakariya.
Rajasthan then continued with their experiment of sending Ravichandran Ashwin up the order, and on this occasion, it certainly paid off. The all-rounder scored an excellent half-century and took on the bowlers as opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was unable to score freely, eventually falling for a run-a-ball 19.
Jaiswal’s dismissal brought Devdutt Padikkal to the crease, and the Karnataka man was quick to get off the blocks, scoring two maximums early on in his innings. Ashwin and Padikkal added 53 for the third wicket as the former departed, trying to get a move on, with the scoring rate coming down.
Sanju Samson, who came in at five, was not able to do much, drawing out a sensational catch from Shardul Thakur to head back to the pavilion. The duo of Chetan Sakariya and Kamlesh Nagarkoti bowled a superb spell at the death to restrict the Royals to 160.
Delhi’s decision to bowl first probably haunted them in the initial stages of their innings. Opener KS Bharat fell for a duck off the second delivery. With the fear of a collapse looming large, Marsh survived a rather lucky appeal for an LBW dismissal as an error from the umpire and the fielding side gave the all-rounder a second chance.
Much to the dismay of the Royals, the incident would go on to define the outcome of the game. Marsh and fellow Aussie David Warner took the game away from the Royals. Marsh was very much the aggressor as Warner took the backseat in the partnership. Marsh struck boundaries and sixes at will.
It is not often that Warner takes a backseat in any partnership, which only goes to show the kind of innings that Marsh played. The all-rounder was simply magnificent, smashing seven colossal sixes, bringing his side close to the finish line. Marsh fell for 89, but Pant scored two beautiful sixes over extra cover off Yuzvendra Chahal before half-centurion David Warner struck the winning runs to give the Delhi Capitals a superb eight-wicket victory.
Delhi Capitals 161 for 2 (Marsh 89, Warner 52*) beat Rajasthan Royals 160 for 6 (Ashwin 50, Padikkal 48, Sakariya 2-23, Marsh 2-25) by 8 wickets