Delhi Capitals sunk Rajasthan Royals on a sluggish Feroz Shah Kotla wicket in the afternoon game on Saturday. Opting to bat first, Rajasthan had a top-order slump and though young Riyan Parag lifted them to a total of 115 with a fine half-century, it wasn't enough to beat Delhi Capitals, led by Rishabh Pant's fifty.
At Chinnaswamy, Royal Challengers Bangalore gunned down a target of 176 even after being reduced to 20/3 in the first three overs. Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann combined in a 144-run partnership to change the course of the match.
Here are some of the key moments from the matches on Saturday:
Ishant's slower balls and fiery start
At Kotla, Ishant Sharma got Delhi Capitals off to a terrific start by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone and Mahipal Lomror in quick succession. The lanky Indian seamer read the pitch perfectly and varied his pace cleverly right from the word go.
He had Rahane top-edging a slower length ball to deep square leg and then cleaned up Livingstone with a slow off-cutter. Lomror then edged Ishant's delivery angled across the off-stump to the keeper. Ishant finished the Powerplay with figures of 3-0-20-3 and Rajasthan Royals were left reeling at 30/4.
Ish Sodhi gets two in two
Ish Sodhi has had rare chances for Rajasthan Royals this season but with the surface at Delhi a dust bowl with cracks, the Kiwi leg-spinner was a great option to have and proved as much when he began his spell by dismissing the openers off successive balls.
Dhawan danced down the track to loft Sodhi off the first ball he bowled in the match but miscued the shot to mid-on to depart in the fourth over. Sodhi wasn't done, though, and had Dhawan's partner, Prithvi Shaw, chopping a top-spinner back onto his stumps the very next ball. The Kiwi spinner later dismissed Colin Ingram to finish with figures of 3/26 in the match.
Almost another hat-trick for Mishra
Amit Mishra has three hat-tricks in IPL – one each in 2008, 2011 and 2013. He nearly completed a fourth one on Saturday but was let down by his fielders. In the 12th over of the Royals' innings, Mishra broke a resistant stand between Shreyas Gopal and Riyan Parag by dismissing the former. Gopal stepped out to smash Mishra but missed the leg-break to be stumped by Pant.
Mishra then removed Stuart Binny for a first-ball duck with a sharp leg-break that took the edge of the bat and went to Pant behind the stumps. Krishnappa Gowtham walked out to face the hat-trick ball and the veteran leg-spinner dished out a wrong 'un to the left-hander.
Gowtham looked to take him on and top-edged the slog but Trent Boult and Sherfane Rutherford were confused as to which of them would go for the catch and eventually it was too late for either. Boult, who was closer, was put off by Rutherford also calling for the catch and eventually had to jump backwards to take the catch. Mishra, however, sent Gowtham back next over but missed out on a fourth IPL hat-trick.
Umesh Yadav's tryst with the final over
Umesh Yadav's terrible form during final overs continued on Saturday against Sunrisers Hyderabad when Virat Kohli, yet again, entrusted the seamer with the last over of the innings. 28 runs came off it as Sunrisers went from a very ordinary 147 to a competitive 175 in one over. Here's how it unfolded.
Over 19.1 - Umesh to Williamson - SIX! - A length ball outside off-stump. Williamson shuffles across and gets underneath the ball to muscle it over long-off for a maximum.
Over 19.2 - Umesh to Williamson - FOUR! - A full toss outside the off-stump and Williamson once again powers it over mid-off but doesn't get enough timing to clear the ropes.
Over 19.3 - Umesh to Williamson - SIX! - An off-cutter angled into Williamson at length. The batsman swings his willow across the line and heaves the ball over mid-wicket for six.
Over 19.4 - Umesh to Williamson - FOUR! - Another full toss on the stumps and Williamson makes room to carve it over cover for four.
Over 19.6 - Umesh to Bhuvneshwar - FOUR! - A fiery short ball at pace and Bhuvneshwar swivells and pulls. He gets a top edge that races away through fine-leg for four.
Surprisingly, Umesh's clash with the final over wasn't done for the night. In the run-chase, he walked in to bat in the penultimate over and was on strike for the final over when RCB needed six to win. Umesh kept his cool and smashed Mohammad Nabi for back-to-back boundaries to win his side the game. Redemption.
Yusuf's costly drop
Yusuf Pathan has done little with the bat this IPL season for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He made another single-digit score on Saturday and to top that off, he gifted Shimron Hetmyer a life with Royal Challengers Bangalore coming back strong in the run-chase post the wickets of Kohli, de Villiers and Patel.
Hetmyer had just completed his half-century and celebrated it by taking Bhuvneshwar Kumar on for a six in the 13th over. Next ball, Hetmyer sliced a slower delivery to point where Yusuf was stationed but he shelled a very straightforward catch. RCB needed 62 to win from 44 at the time and the Gurkeerat Singh Mann-Shimron Hetmyer stand was flourishing. Hetmyer went on to add 15 more runs in quick time and RCB edged home in the final over.
Hetmyer vs Rashid
Hetmyer's attritional battle with the Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan made for some viewing. RCB were reduced to 20/3 within the first three overs and needed a big knock from the West Indian who was returning to the starting XI. He smashed Rashid for a six off the fifth over of the innings, the first over that Rashid bowled in the game.
When the leggie came back into the attack in the eleventh over, Hetmyer was on 38 off 29 balls and well settled at the crease. He pumped Rashid for two more sixes in the over to race to a maiden IPL half-century. Hetmyer hit another four and a fourth six off Rashid in the subsequent overs but eventually fell to the leg-spinner while looking to tonk him over mid-off.
Hetmyer faced 15 balls from Rashid in the innings and made 32 runs off them with four sixes and a four.
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