Delhi Capitals 213 for 2 (Rossouw 82*, Shaw 54, Curran 2-36) beat Punjab Kings 198 for 8 (Livingstone 94, Taide 55, Nortje 2-36, Ishant 2-36) by 15 runs
Warner, Shaw flick the switch on
Rossouw’s fifty takes it up a notch
Rahul Chahar wasn’t having a good day. Soon after he was put away for three fours in his first two overs by Shaw, he dropped a tough chance to give Warner a life on 39. Warner continued to attack because Capitals had all ten wickets in hand at the halfway mark. But when he skied one more, Shikhar Dhawan completed a spectacular catch at mid-off to remove him for 46 off 31.
Capitals kept the left-right combination by sending out Rossouw at No. 3, and he attacked literally from ball one. That he pulled his first ball for four and drove his third for four more showed how good the pitch was for batting. The range he showed in the 13th over off Rabada epitomised his innings; a length ball hit straight for six, another length ball placed just wide of short third for four, and yet another length ball dispatched over square leg with a lovely pick-up shot for six in a 17-run over. Not long after Rossouw also punished Chahar and Curran for sixes, Shaw holed out for 54 in the 15th over.
Kings trust Brar for death overs
For the final over, Dhawan once again trusted Brar instead of the designated death bowler Arshdeep, who had been expensive in his first two. Rossouw mercilessly muscled Brar, who also gifted two wides, for two sixes and a four on the leg side. A misfield on the last ball from Rabada at fine leg gave Capitals their first 200-plus total of the season.
Kings also start slow
Livingstone stands tall but alone
As soon as Prabhsimran holed out to long-on off Axar Patel, it was all a Livingstone show. It started with Livingstone getting a life on 3 off Kuldeep Yadav when Anrich Nortje put him down at deep midwicket, and Taide too got dropped off Kuldeep in his next over. Taide, however, could not score freely as he struggled to find the gaps or go over the fielders.
Livingstone, meanwhile, made use of his big bat swings for plenty of hits in the ‘V’ down the ground when the bowlers missed their lengths even marginally. He hit a boundary nearly every over and was only beaten by Kuldeep a couple of times. In the 15th over, he dispatched two full tosses from Mukesh Kumar for fours but Taide was labouring at the other end and he retired out when Kings needed a stiff 86 from 30 with their hitters Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan and Curran yet to come.
Despite the firepower in the dugout, the heavy lifting was left for Livingstone. Jitesh holed out to long leg for a duck in the 16th and Shahrukh found long-on in the 17th. Meanwhile, Livingstone blasted two sixes and a four off Khaleel, and three sixes came off Mukesh in the 18th to make it 38 required from 12. Nortje then rattled Curran’s leg stump with a yorker and when 33 were left from the last six balls, Ishant started with a dot to all but seal it. His no-ball was thwarted for six, but he finished the game with three dots and send Kings’ hopes crashing.
Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo