Dinesh Karthik struck with authority in his unbeaten 34-ball 66 before bowlers staged a fine comeback as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Capitals by 16 runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday. Karthik flew away after Glenn Maxwell hit seven fours and two sixes in his 55-for-34 deliveries to take RCB to 189-for-five.
In response, the Capitals could only manage 173 in seven despite David Warner’s sensational 38-ball 66. It was RCB’s fourth win in six games and they are now third in the points table while Delhi have dropped to their third defeat in five outings.
Chasing 190, DC went for a flyer with Warner and youngster Prithvi Shaw (16) pushing the RCB bowlers into submission, with the pair racing to 50 before Mohammed Siraj fired the Indian. Warner was then joined by compatriot Mitchell March, who was playing his first game for the Capitals. The all-rounder, who just suffered a hip injury, looked rusty and struggled to hit the ball.
But that didn’t dampen Warner’s spirits as the southpaw continued to strike the ball with perfection as his family cheered from the stands. The 35-year-old had five sixes and four fours before his fiery shot was interrupted by Wanindu Hasaranga. The Aussie’s wicket signaled a change in momentum as RCB made a strong comeback with Delhi losing a flurry of wickets. First, Marsh’s laborious 14 out of 24 shot was ended thanks to a bizarre run. Josh Hazlewood (3/28), who was exceptional, then threw a brilliant 15th, dismissing Rovman Powell for a duck on the first ball and then counting Lalit Yadav (1).
Delhi’s hopes rested on the heavy hitter Pant (34), who hit a few vigorous shots but his lightning innings were cut short by a one-handed blinder from Virat Kohli. Shardul and Axar Patel managed to hit big shots but the RCB bowlers had other plans as DC fell short.
Earlier, the Capitals bowlers played as a well-oiled unit at the start with Shardul Thakur (1/27), Khaleel Ahmed (1/36), Axar Patel (1/29) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/46) carrying well but bleeding runs in slog overs as Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed (32 not out) added 74 in the last five. Karthik, who has reveled in his role as a finisher this season, hit five fours and as many sixes in his sensational shot.
DC made full use of the coin landing in their favor as they pressured RCB early on with a tight lineout and good bowling. The Delhi bowlers managed to trap two wickets in the overs on the power play while giving away 40 runs.
Thakur produced a magnificent inswinger that curled into Anju Rawat (0) to give Delhi the first breakthrough. Khaleel Ahmed then made two as he explained the dangerous Faf du Plessis. Lalit Yadav affected Virat Kohli’s run with a brilliant direct hit to compound RCB’s woes.
That’s when Maxwell took responsibility, hitting Kuldeep Yadav for 23 in the ninth. The all-rounder hit top gear as he knocked the ball against the fence twice and over it several times. His half century came soon after as he continued to hit Delhi bowlers all around the park.
However, Kuldeep got his revenge a few overs later when the ball caught the Australian’s bat toe and Lalit Yadav completed the regulation catch. With Maxwell gone, Karthik and Shahbaz joined forces. The wicketkeeper made the stick look effortless as he crossed four boundaries and two max off Mustafizur to plunder 28 runs in the 18th.