Mumbai, April 10: At 176/5 in 18 overs, Delhi Capitals were in danger of missing out on a chance to reach a score of over 200. Axar Patel was on nine for 10 while teammate Shardul Thakur, who surprisingly got ahead of a specialist batsman in Sarfaraz Khan was on three of three balls.
After David Warner and Prithvi Shaw had a starting position of 93 in just 8.4 overs followed by Rishabh Pant’s dazzling cameo of 27, Delhi suffered a mini-collapse, falling to 166/5 in 16.4 overs. To get past 200, Delhi needed a special finishing touch from Thakur and Patel.
Much-needed acceleration began when Thakur hit Umesh Yadav for two sixes, stopped mid-wicket, then soared over deep cover. Patel joined when he hit a long six over and finished the 19th with an extra four coverage over Yadav leaked 23 runs.
Thakur then started the 20th by hitting Pat Cummins down the middle for four and ended the innings hitting a six-cow corner as 39 runs came out of the final two overs. Thakur went undefeated on 29 from 11 balls while Patel was unconquered on 22 from 14. The partnership was worth 49 from just 20 balls as Delhi finished with a whopping 215/5, also the highest score in the tournament.
“The pitch was really good for batting. There was one over (18) that was tricky for us when we were both new to the crease. In that over, it was necessary to save our wickets and bat carefully. In the last two-three overs, You have to try to get the big hits.” “With the way the pitch was, we played really good shots (in the last two overs). The talk was to save our wicket for an over and then go for the big shots,” Thakur explained in the post-match virtual press conference. . about his talk with Patel in the last two overs.
It was a match where Thakur managed to contribute in all departments of the game. On the field, he took an excellent catch from Ajinkya Rahane, forcing him to run back from the middle as he kept his eyes on the ball and hung on to the catch after fumbled several times. Although he was hit by runs early on, Thakur came back in the final to take the last two wickets from Kolkata and give Delhi a 44-run win.
“In T20 cricket, it’s always the impact performances. Wherever you make an impact, you’ll make the difference, whether it’s on the pitch, bowling and batting. I like to give my best in all three departments whenever I’m on the pitch. So I’m happy with my game and whatever goes well on that particular day, I’m happy with that,” Thakur said.
Thakur’s role in Delhi, in his own words, has been to take on extra responsibility with the bat and be flexible on the ball. “In batting, (I) have an additional responsibility. When it comes to bowling, in terms of bowling spells, all players need to be dynamic as we don’t follow a set pattern, like Shardul will bowl. new ball or bowling the sixth over of the power play or bowling to death. “During the time-out, the captain and the coach read the game situation and decide who will throw where and then they discuss the general plan on what can be thrown against a particular pitcher. They also talk about what the field is like, what it will be like “. behave. But the basic rule is that when you play 22 yards, you have to do your best. The coach has told us one thing: no matter what the situation is, you always have to give your best.” In terms of giving his best, his teammate Kuldeep Yadav has been doing exactly that in this tournament, selecting 4/35, including three scalps at 16, to effectively seal Delhi’s game against his former team and take his wicket tally to ten at IPL 2022.
“I think he has a point to prove himself. First of all, I don’t know about KKR, but whatever game he’s been playing, he’s brilliant and the way he bowls, he’s getting wickets for us and keeping its execution rate under control. So everything is falling into place right now,” Thakur observed.
Many had questioned Sarfaraz staying behind when Thakur joined Patel at crease, but with the superlative finish provided by the duo in the last two overs, all such doubts were put to rest.
“No injury concerns. He (Sarfaraz) was ready to hit from number three, but it was just a tactical move as the game was so intense. Personally, I didn’t care what was happening or not. Rishabh told me that you’re next to bat and I came in to bat,” Thakur concluded.