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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

IPL 2024: Win over Lucknow Super Giants keeps Delhi Capitals in race but only with slim hopes

Tuesday's result meant Rajasthan Royals are the second team to have confirmed playoffs berth after Kolkata Knight Riders

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 15.05.24, 09:52 AM
Delhi Capitals’ Abishek Porel tries to play a pull during his explosive innings of 58 of 33 balls against Lucknow Super Giants in New Delhi on Tuesday

Delhi Capitals’ Abishek Porel tries to play a pull during his explosive innings of 58 of 33 balls against Lucknow Super Giants in New Delhi on Tuesday PTI

Ishant Sharma, the Impact Player, ripped through Lucknow Super Giants’ batting as Delhi Capitals posted a 19-run victory at the Kotla in Delhi on Tuesday.

The victory kept the Capitals mathematically alive in the race for the playoffs, but realistically speaking their chances are too thin. So is the case for Lucknow, who have a game left. Both the teams have their net run rate in the negatives.

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Tuesday's result meant Rajasthan Royals are the second team to have a confirmed playoffs berth after Kolkata Knight Riders. For the two remaining spots in the last-four, it's a three-way fight between Chennai Super Kings (14 points), Sunrisers Hyderabad (14) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (12 points). Sunrisers have two games in hand, the other two have one each. All three have positive net run rates.

Coming back to Tuesday's match, veteran pacer Ishant has been in fine form in IPL 2024. Having taken the wicket of Virat Kohli in their previous game, he removed Lucknow’s big guns — KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock and Deepak Hooda — in his first three overs to leave LSG reeling at 44/4 in the fifth over.

Nicholas Pooran set the stage for the recovery in their chase of 209 with a counter-attacking 61 off 27 balls. He hit Axar Patel for two boundaries and two sixes just after the left-arm spinner had removed Marcus Stoinis off his first ball. Pooran didn’t stop there, smashing three more fours and two more sixes.

Just when it looked that Lucknow had lost the plot, Arshad Khan — coming in at No.8 — ramped up a 25-ball fifty before remaining unbeaten 58 off 33 balls with three boundaries and five sixes.

Arshad had brought down the equation to 29 off 12 balls, but superb bowling by Mukesh Kumar and Rasikh Salam in the last two overs restricted his big-hitting ways.

Earlier, the Capitals built their innings on the back of a 92-run second-wicket partnership between Abhishek Porel and Shai Hope. But it was Tristan Stubbs’ 57 not out off 25 balls in the closing stages which provided the momentum to the innings as they reached 208/4.

Porel (58 off 33 balls) raced to his half-century off 21 balls, but hit only eight runs off the next 12 balls as the Lucknow spinners dried up the runs in the middle overs. They had reached 73/1 in the Powerplay overs.

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