IPL: Delhi Capitals beat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs
Cricket, irrespective of the format, has always extended some advantage to the captain who wins the flip of the coin before the start of a match. But in the UAE, that seems to have gone for a toss.
Captains of almost all the IPL teams this year have struggled to take the correct decision on winning the toss. Virat Kohli too erred on Monday and as a result, his team, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, suffered a 59-run defeat against the Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium.
Captain Kohli felt that the pitch would remain batsmen-friendly even during the second half of the game and so invited Shreyas Iyer’s Capitals to bat first. But the wicket became a tad slower as the game progressed. So while the Capitals posted a formidable 196/4 in 20 overs, in reply the Royal Challengers could manage just 137/9.
Capitals’ fourth win in IPL 2020 helped them leapfrog Mumbai Indians to the top spot in the standings with eight points.
Marcus Stoinis (53 not out off 26 balls) batted brilliantly at the death, after openers Prithvi Shaw (42) and Shikhar Dhawan (32) laid the foundation, to boost Capitals’ total.
The target for Royal Challengers could have been lesser had Yuzvendra Chahal, who also went wicketless in his three overs, not spilled an easy catch in the deep that let Stoinis off. The Australia all-rounder was on 30 then.
It was not simply the day for Royal Challengers. Skipper Kohli inadvertently applying saliva on the ball while fielding and then apologising immediately to the umpire perhaps summed up the story for them aptly.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who didn’t Mankad Aaron Finch even though the RCB opener was miles away from the crease, struck early for the Capitals when he dismissed Devdutt Padikkal in the last ball of the third over. The scratchy-looking Finch then perished off Axar Patel (2/18), who bowled within his limitations. AB de Villiers too fell cheaply during the Powerplay.
Axar deserves a lot of credit for making good use of the conditions. Shreyas Iyer too was spot-on with his calculative captaincy as he kept his strike bowlers Kagiso Rabada (4/24) and Anrich Nortje (2/22) for the death overs. But more baffling was Kohli and Moeen Ali’s strategy during their fourth-wicket partnership of 32, which took up six overs.
With his team having outperformed RCB, Shreyas was all praise for the temperament his teammates had shown.