Our boys suffered a setback despite fighting till the very end. We went down to Delhi Capitals (DC) by 15 runs in our penultimate league match of TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala, on May 17.

Gabbar Wins Toss:

Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and opted to field first. Three changes were made with Atharva Taide, Kagiso Rabada and Nathan Ellis added to our starting XI.

A Challenging Start:

Our bowlers were off to a tough start as DC openers David Warner and Prithvi Shaw brought the team fifty in 4.4 overs.

The duo continued their partnership to add 94 runs before Sam Curran provided us with the much-needed breakthrough. Our left-arm pacer dismissed Warner (46) courtesy of a stunning catch by Dhawan in the 11th over.

Sam Curran Puts Pressure:

DC rode on Prithvi Shaw and Rilee Rossouw to put pressure on our bowlers. Shaw and Rossouw forged a 54-run stand for the second wicket.

However, Curran bagged the wicket of Shaw (54) with the help of a fine catch taken by Atharva Taide at the fine leg. Curran finished his spell with figures of 4-0-36-2.

Visitors Post Big Total:

While our bowlers toiled hard, the DC batters continued their good run with the bat. Rilee Rossouw scored an unbeaten 82 off 37 balls and Philip Salt’s 14-ball 26 powered  DC to 213/2 in their 20 overs. 

Prabhsimran-Atharva Lead Fightback:

Ahead of the chase, we brought Prabhsimran Singh as our impact player replacing Nathan Ellis.

Chasing 214, we suffered an early blow as captain Dhawan departed in the second over.

On the other end, Prabhsimran showcased his instant impact as he slammed Ishant Sharma for three consecutive fours.

Atharva Taide later clobbered Anrich Nortje for a boundary and followed it with a huge six. In the final over of the powerplay, Taide continued his attacking approach as he smacked Mukesh Kumar for a four and a six to keep us in the hunt.

Prabhsimran and Taide stitched a crucial 50-run partnership before the former fell to Axar Patel.

Taide-Livingstone Stitch Partnership:

Liam Livingstone joined Taide in the middle. Livingstone hammered Kuldeep Yadav for a maximum in the 10th over. He later hit Mukesh Kumar for another six to keep our momentum going.

Atharva Taide’s Brilliant Fifty:

Taide smashed Axar for three successive fours to bring our hundred in the 12th over. In the process, the 23-year-old notched up his scintillating fifty off 38 balls.

Taide and Livingstone stitched a crucial 78-run stand for the third wicket before Taide retired out for a 42-ball 55.

Loss Of Momentum:

With the required rate mounting with every over, we lost back-to-back wickets. Our middle-order stars, Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan, departed in a span of five deliveries.

Livi-Storm Kept Hopes Alive:

Despite losing wickets on the other hand, Livingstone continued his magnificent knock as he brought up his second fifty of the season.

Livingstone later accumulated 20 runs off Khaleel Ahmed’s over to keep our hopes alive. 

Curran and Livingstone continued our late surge as they smashed Mukesh Kumar for 21 runs in the 18th over.

Disappointing Finish:

With 38 runs needed off the final two overs, Curran sliced Nortje for a boundary. However, the South African pacer bounced back to clean up Curran.

We soon lost Harpreet Brar’s wicket after an unfortunate run-out. Nortje conceded five runs in the penultimate over as we still needed 33 runs.

Defending 33 runs, Ishant managed a dot ball on the first ball of the 20th over. Livingstone fought valiantly as he hit the Indian pacer for a six and a four to reduce the deficit to 23 runs.

Ishant later bowled a no-ball but bounced back with consecutive dot balls.

Livingstone fell in the final delivery for his 48-ball 94 as DC registered a 15-run victory.

We hope to bounce back in our final league match on May 19.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 213/2 in 20 overs (Rilee Rossouw 82*, Prithvi Shaw 54; Sam Curran 2/36) beat Punjab Kings 198/8 in 20 overs (Liam Livingstone 94, Atharva Taide 55; Anrich Nortje 2/36) by 15 runs.

Player of the Match: Rilee Rossouw.