Tristan Stubbs and Ishant Sharma help Delhi Capitals beat Lucknow, result seals Rajasthan Royals' IPL 2024 playoff spot | Crickit
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Tristan Stubbs and Ishant Sharma help Delhi Capitals beat Lucknow, result seals Rajasthan Royals' IPL 2024 playoff spot

By, New Delhi
May 15, 2024 12:13 AM IST

Abhishek Porel and Tristan Stubbs hit fifties and Ishant Sharma took 3/34 to shine in the 19-run win in Delhi.

There was an end-of-season feel to Delhi Capitals’ final league game of this year’s IPL against Lucknow Super Giants on Tuesday. With a relatively thin crowd in attendance and neither team’s chances of making the playoffs particularly bright, the hosts proceeded to register a 19-run victory at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Delhi Capitals' bowlers Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel and Rasikh Salam appeal for a dismissal(IPL-X)
Delhi Capitals' bowlers Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel and Rasikh Salam appeal for a dismissal(IPL-X)

Delhi's win was set up by Abhishek Porel and Tristan Stubbs’ half-centuries, which helped them notch up 208/4 after being sent in. Lucknow finished on 189/9 as rapid fifties from Nicholas Pooran and Arshad Khan proved insufficient. Delhi are virtually out of the playoff race while Lucknow’s chances are also slim after this defeat. The result has helped Rajasthan Royals confirm their playoff spot.

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Lucknow’s response began disastrously as KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis and Deepak Hooda fell within the first five overs. Ishant Sharma inflicted the early damage with the new ball, claiming three wickets in a three-over opening spell that went for 23 runs. The task of reviving the chase fell singularly on Nicholas Pooran as a result. Coming in at 24/2 in the fourth over, the left-hand batter from Trinidad tore into Axar Patel instantly to knock off 20 runs off his first five deliveries, relishing the ball spinning into his hitting arc on the leg side.

With the asking rate climbing, Pooran managed to sustain that early momentum for a 20-ball half-century. Notable among them was a reverse sweep off Kuldeep Yadav that sailed over the extra cover boundary for six.

If only for the contest to stay alive, Pooran had to bat a lot longer though than the 12th over when his drive off Mukesh Kumar was caught sharply by Axar at cover.

For the fifth straight game in Delhi this season, the team batting first made 200-plus. Porel and Shai Hope made up for Jake Fraser-McGurk’s early dismissal by stitching together 92 runs for the second wicket in just 49 deliveries. Porel led the charge by racing to 50 off 21 balls. Twice in the same over by Naveen-ul-Haq, Porel pulled short balls over fine-leg for sixes, the ball sailing into the second tier on the second occasion.

Having taken a liking to Yudhvir Singh's medium-pace in a 16-run fourth over, Hope hit Ravi Bishnoi flat into the advertising hoarding at long-on for his second six. When he tried to go over cover in the same over, he only succeeded in finding Rahul.

The LSG spinners were able to slow the scoring rate once the field spread though. The mounting pressure seemed to tell on Porel when he tried to go after Naveen as soon as he was brought back in the 12th over. The ball was short and there to be hit even though the Afghan bowler had taken the pace off, but Porel didn't quite get hold of the pull this time and holed out to Pooran at deep midwicket.

From 73/1 in six overs to 136/3 in 15, Delhi didn’t quite capitalise on the power-packed beginning. Having taken nine balls to get to seven, Stubbs decided to get going in the back five. Clearly more at home against pace than spin, Stubbs took down left-arm pacer Arshad Khan for a six and two fours. While a length ball was clobbered over long-on for six, a fuller ball was reverse ramped between the wicketkeeper and short third for a four.

Stubbs ensured that Delhi crossed 200 while showing off his incredible range. Naveen bore the brunt in a 21-run 19th over that had at least three shots worthy of going into Stubbs’ highlights reel for the season. The first was a Federer-like forehand that raced to the right of the long-on fielder for four. Next was a pull for six over long-on, the ball seeming to kiss the night sky before settling in the stands, and then came another six with an inside-out drive that also brought up his half-century.

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