IPL 2021, KKR vs DC | ‘Shawstopper’ Prithvi scorches Knight Riders in blazing innings

Opener smashes 82 off 41 balls, including six successive fours in chase’s first over, to power Capitals to seven-wicket win with 3.3 overs to spare

Prithvi Shaw’s 41-ball 82 (11×4, 3×6) guided Delhi Capitals to a seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The fastest fifty of the season (18 balls) so far, packed with classical cricketing shots, was straight out of a coaching manual.

Electing to bowl, DC had restricted KKR to 154 for six. During the chase, Shaw hit top gear in the first over, smashing 24 runs off Shivam Mavi after a first-ball wide. Shaw unlocked his catalogue — the loft over the bowler’s head, the flick over mid-wicket, the exquisite cover drive — as he struck six successive fours.

Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 47) rotated the strike and encouraged the youngster to attack the bowlers.

KKR may have erred by not bowling Pat Cummins (three for 24) up front. The Australian maintained an economy of six while his colleagues went for plenty. Eventually, he was the only bowler to dismiss the three DC batsmen — Dhawan, Shaw and Rishabh Pant (16 off 8 balls). Dhawan was trapped in front while Nitish Rana caught Shaw at backward-point. Pant was caught by Mavi at long-on.

Earlier, KKR made a steady start in the PowerPlay (45 for one) before Lalit Yadav’s twin strike choked the runs. The opening pair of Shubman Gill (43) and Nitish Rana (15) added only 25.

Rana was the first one to fall after hitting a six off a switch-hit. The left-hander charged down the track a little too early and missed the straighter one from Axar Patel pitched outside off; Pant took the bails off in a flash.

Gill registered his best score of the season but the strike-rate of 113.15 did not help matters. However, the slog-swept six over deep mid-wicket off Axar was one of the shots of the day.

Speedster Avesh Khan cut short Rahul Tripathi’s (19) stay but his partnership of 44 off 35 with Gill rescued KKR from rough waters.

Then, off-spinner Lalit removed southpaws Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine in the 11th over to turn the tide. Lalit’s two for 13 and Axar’s two for 32 ensured that despite Andre Russell’s hustle at the death — the big man smashed four sixes and two fours in an unbeaten 45 off 27 — the chase was always within DC’s reach.

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