That the encounter went into a one-over eliminator was all down to Kuldeep Yadav's brilliance who after going for 33 runs in his first two overs redeemed himself in some style at the death. With Delhi Capitals needing only 18 runs to win in 18 balls, chasing 186 with eight wickets in hand, the wrist-spinner first bowled an excellent 18th over conceding just three runs and then defended six runs in the last to push the contest into a Super Over.
Prasidh Krishna then did well to restrict Delhi to 10/1 also picking up the wicket of Shreyas Iyer. Russell, in the form he showed earlier would certainly have fancied his chances but Rabada was at his ferocious best on the day. He conceded a four first ball but nailed his yorkers the next two deliveries which included Russell's wicket. Eventually, all Kolkata could manage was 7/1 and Delhi claimed their second win of the season. In all, this was the eighth Super Over in the IPL. Kolkata have been in such a situation three times in the past and incidentally have lost all three one-over eliminators. Delhi have have played two Super Overs, winning one (this game) and losing one in (2013).
Earlier, Prithvi Shaw missed out on a maiden IPL century by a run but took his team to the doorsteps of a win. But Kuldeep turned the game on its head in the dying stages of the game at Ferozeshah Kotla.
Delhi were on top very early in the game after winning the toss, reducing Kolkata to 61/5 at one stage. Russell and Dinesh Karthik then forged a stunning comeback through a 95-run stand for the sixth wicket to take Kolkata to 185/8. Iyer and Shaw then laid a solid foundation as Delhi seemed to be cruising in the chase. But an implosion in the end combined by some intelligent bowling by Kolkata saw the contest end in a tie.
Sent in to bat, Kolkata got off to a flyer with Chris Lynn and debutant Nikhil Naik scoring 12 runs off the first over from Rabada. However, the hosts soon pulled things back and were rewarded with the wicket of Naik. Sandeep Lamicchane playing his first game of the season made an immediate impact when he trapped the opener in front of the wicket with a wrong'un for 7 (16).
Robin Uthappa (11) struck a four off Harshal Patel but the bowler had his revenge the very next ball as he trapped the Kolkata No.3 plumb in front of the wicket with an off-pace delivery. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when in the next over Rabada got rid of Lynn (20) while two balls later Patel struck for the second time in the day with the wicket of Nitish Rana to leave KKR tottering at 44/4. That became 61/5 when a brilliant piece of fielding at the sweeper cover boundary by Rabada saw Shubman Gill (4) run out leaving KKR in a massive hole in the tenth over.
Karthik and Russell then carefully resurrected the innings by combining defence with controlled aggression. Russell, who has been exemplary this IPL, got going with a massive six off Amit Mishra before depositing Lamichhane for two more half a dozens to get the innings back on track. Karthik also got into the groove quickly and the duo took Kolkata past the 100-run mark in the 14th over.
Once set, it is hard to dislodge Russell on any ground in the world and Delhi learnt it the hard way. Morris first bore the brunt of the Jamaican's onslaught when he was slammed for two fours and a six in his third over. Russell then clobbered Patel for two more sixes reaching his half-century off just 22 balls.
Kolkata cruised past the 150-mark in the 18th over but lost Russell soon after. Morris got a bouncer on point catching the batsman off guard and the top-edge was pouched safely by Rahul Tewatia despite a collision with Rabada at the fine leg region. Russel fell for a 28-ball 62, his innings laced with four fours and six sixes.
Karthik (50) though carried on his merry ways and got to his half-century with a six over fine leg in the penultimate over. The final flourish to the innings was provided by Piyush Chawla (12 in 5) and Kuldeep (10* in 5) as the visitors recovered with some style to post a daunting total.
Delhi's chase got off on a positive note with Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan taking the attack to the opposition. The latter struck a four and a six in Chawla's first over but the bowler had the last laugh when the opener went for one shot too many only to be caught at mid-off for an 8-ball 16.
Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, however, played the chase intelligently. Shaw, the aggressor of the duo, gave Russell a taste of his own medicine slamming him for a four and six as Delhi scored 45 runs in the Powerplay for the loss of one wicket.
Shaw reached his half-century - his first of this season - off just 30 balls which also brought up Delhi's 100 in the 11th over.
Russell then created some magic with the ball as well getting rid of Iyer for 43 and ending the 89-run partnership for the second wicket. But Shaw carried on unperturbed carting the Kolata bowlers to all corners of the park. Not one bowler was spared as Delhi hared towards the target.
Shaw looked set for his first IPL ton but fell to a bouncer off Lockie Ferguson with Karthik completing a neat catch running back. His 99 came in 55 balls and was studded with 12 fours and three sixes.
Delhi still looked on course for an easy win but regular strikes meant they were restricted to 185/6.
First Published: March 31, 2019, 12:56 AM IST