Ahead of their match against table-toppers Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals assistant coach Pravin Amre had sounded optimistic, stating ‘any team can beat any side, that’s the beauty of IPL!’ And his words were spot on as the bottom-placed side overcame a tough situation to hand the defending champions a stunning five-run defeat.
While the credit for the win goes to the Delhi bowlers, Aman Hakim Khan’s maiden IPL half-century played a key role as the Capitals kept their hopes -- even though slim-- alive in the ongoing season.
The visitors entered their must-win game as the underdogs. While the Capitals were placed at the bottom of the 10-team table, hosts Titans were placed on top of the pile. Though the standings remain unchanged, the win was a big morale-booster for the struggling Capitals.
Prior to the match, the David Warner-led side had won just two from the eight matches played so far, as opposed to Titans, who had won six out of their eight matches. Furthermore, DC were without the services of Mitchell Marsh, who had put up a stunning all-round show in their previous match.
With the odds stacked against them, Warner’s side put up a show for the ages. Let’s take a look at the top performers of the Gujarat Titans vs Delhi Capitals IPL match.
Aman Hakim Khan
Though it was the bowlers who put up the match-winning performance, Aman Hakim Khan’s knock saw the Capitals pile on the crucial runs.
After electing to bat first, DC got off to a horrid start as they were reduced to 23/5 after five overs. Mohammed Shami’s four-wicket haul toppled the Capitals line-up. Shami put up a scintillating display with the ball, which earned him the player-of-the-match award, but his spell went in vain.
Posting just 28 with five wickets down in the Powerplay, the game looked lost for the Capitals. But Aman Khan came to the visitor’s rescue. After putting up a 50 off 54 partnership for the sixth wicket with Axar Patel, Khan added 53 off 27 for the seventh wicket with Ripal Patel to take DC to 130/8.
Khan’s maiden IPL 50 came at the crucial time as he gave the DC bowlers something to defend.
One would have thought with just 131 needed to win, it would be a walk in the park for the reigning champions, who entered the match on the back of three wins on the trot.
But DC’s Impact Player Khaleel Ahmed gave the visitors the perfect start, bowling a wicket maiden in the first over of the chase. While for GT it was Shami who bowled an exceptional spell, the Capitals bowlers stepped up as a unit to defend the paltry total.
While Khaleel and veteran Ishant Sharma picked up two wickets each, Anriche Nortje and Kuldeep Yadav returned with a wicket each to keep the Gujarat line-up quiet.
After restricting the Titans to 31/3 in the Powerplay, the DC bowlers put up a strong show to keep the Titans batters in check.
Despite Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya remaining unbeaten till the end, Warner marshalled his troops to perfection to contain the defending champions and walk away with a stunning win.