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32nd Match (N), Brabourne, April 20, 2022, Indian Premier League
(10.3/20 ov, T:116) 119/1

Capitals won by 9 wickets (with 57 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
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All-star bowling, big Warner-Shaw stand lead Capitals demolition of Kings

Capitals race to 81 inside powerplay, and past the target in 10.3 overs, after restricting Kings to 115, the lowest total this season

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
The Delhi Capitals players spent the last four days inside their hotel rooms, unsure if they would get to play this match. They even had a change of venues to facilitate the match, but till about an hour before the game, they didn't have the go-ahead to go to the ground, especially with a sixth member, Tim Seifert, testing positive for Covid-19 on the day. From the moment they were uncaged, almost everything went right: they won the toss, bowled Punjab Kings out for 115, and chased it down in 10.3 overs to earn some extra time off before they went back into their rooms.
Punjab Kings, who have now lost more tosses than any side this IPL, stayed true to their aggressive approach but didn't have the depth to match, especially with Odean Smith dropped for a specialist bowler, Nathan Ellis. Wickets kept falling - two each to Lalit Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Khaleel Ahmed - on what Axar called a sticky surface, although it didn't look too sticky when the Capitals batters ended the chase in a hurry.
Agarwal gets off to a flier
Mayank Agarwal, who missed the last game with injury, came back but that didn't make any difference to Kings' luck at the toss. Asked to bat first, Agarwal started off with intent. Staying beside the line of the ball he hit three boundaries in three overs before picking one off into the leg side last ball of the third as Shardul Thakur tried to cramp him for room. Kings were 27 for no loss in three overs with traditionally more expensive powerplay overs to come.
A wicket an over times four
Rishabh Pant played match-ups by bowling Lalit to Shikhar Dhawan and got a wicket immediately, although not conceivably in a planned manner. This was a long hop down the leg side, Dhawan tried to help it along to fine leg, but just didn't get there in time, and Pant took a special catch off the face of the bat. In the next over, Agarwal, trying to stay beside the line, ended up playing on to Mustafizur Rahman.
This wasn't going to slow Kings down in the last over of the powerplay. Liam Livingstone tried to take Axar down, but missed wildly and got stumped. In the next over, Jonny Bairstow nailed a flat pull off Khaleel, but found long leg with precision. Four wickets gone for 21 runs.
A new bunch of four
Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan stemmed the fall of wickets - Jitesh even managed a strike rate of about 140 - but their partnership ended at 31. Jitesh tried to sweep one of the most difficult bowlers to sweep - Axar - and paid the price with an lbw. In the one match that Kings didn't play Smith, they found themselves five down with the best part of eight overs to go.
Kuldeep then went through Kagiso Rabada and Ellis in the 14th over, Rabada with the wrong'un and Ellis with the conventional wristspin. When Shahrukh edged a Khaleel offcutter through to Pant in the next over, the last hope of a fighting total disappeared.
The last two wickets added 23 but not at a pace that would bother Capitals.
Shaw, Warner romp home
The target was never going to test the Capitals batters, but they were not going to stroll to it. Teams are aware how important net run-rate can be. Not that Prithvi Shaw needs any extra motivation to go from ball one, but David Warner, too, could play much more freely than he does as the experienced batter in the side.
Not surprisingly, it began with Shaw, first off an inside edge to a big inswinger from Vaibhav Arora, then more deliberately. Once Warner started going after Rabada, it was almost a hit-off between the two. If Warner hit two fours off Arora, Shaw responded with a six. Warner raised three fours off Rabada in the fourth. It took them to fifty in 3.3 overs, the fastest this season and the fifth-highest 3.3-over score in the history of the IPL.
Capitals ended the powerplay with 81, the highest for any Delhi-based team in the IPL. This was the highest percentage of a 100-plus target shaved off inside the powerplay in all IPL matches.
The powerplay failed to dim their intent. While Shaw fell for 41 off 20, trying to hit Rahul Chahar for a six in the seventh over, Warner went on to add to his record of fifty-plus scores in the IPL.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
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Over 11 • DC 119/1

Capitals won by 9 wickets (with 57 balls remaining)
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