33rd Match (N), Dubai (DSC), September 22, 2021, Indian Premier League
(17.5/20 ov, T:135) 139/2

Capitals won by 8 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)


Nortje & Co help Delhi Capitals reclaim top spot

Sunrisers Hyderabad on the brink of elimination after losing seven from eight

Delhi Capitals 139 for 2 (Iyer 47*, Dhawan 42, Pant 35*) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 134 for 9 (Samad 28, Rashid 22, Rabada 3-37, Nortje 2-12) by eight wickets
The South African pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada were too hot to handle for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday evening in Dubai.
A pair of blistering spells from the duo produced a total of five wickets. This tied down Sunrisers to set up a simple chase for Delhi Capitals as they prevailed by eight wickets with 13 balls to spare. This helped Capitals move two points clear of Chennai Super Kings at the top of the table, while Sunrisers were staring at elimination, having lost seven out of their eight games so far.
Sunrisers struggled mightily after choosing to bat first, with no one making it past Abdul Samad's 28 in a total of 134 for 9. By contrast, Capitals coasted across the line thanks to a pair of half-century stands, first a 52-run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer before Iyer and Rishabh Pant sealed victory with an unbroken 67-run third-wicket partnership.
Nortje and Rabada blowing heat
Outside of a lone slower ball at 128 kph, Nortje's other 23 deliveries all clocked above 140 kph. Five of those breached the 150kph mark too. David Warner was the first one to feel his wrath, dismissed for a third-ball duck as a leading edge ballooned over point to Axar Patel.
There was no respite at the opposite end as Rabada too was relentless in his hostility. Digging it in short to Wriddhiman Saha, the wicketkeeper-batter was late on the pull and skied a catch to Dhawan for the second wicket in the Powerplay.
Rabada was then brought back in the 11th and he'd put himself on a hat-trick as he claimed a skier tracking back behind the non-striker to dismiss Manish Pandey. That came two balls after Kane Williamsson had driven Axar loosely to extra cover as Sunrisers slipped from 60 for 2 to 61 for 4.
Nortje got back into action in the 13th over to zing Kedar Jadhav in the pads with a 147 kph thunderbolt to win an lbw appeal for the fifth wicket. Samad had worked hard to prop up the Sunrisers innings after coming in at No. 6, but Rabada snuffed him out as he top-edged to the wicketkeeper. Two run-outs in the final over capped a sorry display by Sunrisers.
Dhawan reclaims the orange cap
After a brief hiccup in the Powerplay when Prithvi Shaw fell to a superb catch by Williamson at mid-on, Capitals were untroubled for much of the next 90 minutes. Dhawan struck six fours and a six during his 42 and in the process achieved two milestones.
With Dhawan's very first run of the day he broke a deadlock with KL Rahul to move back atop the seasons run aggregate charts. Second, he passed 400 runs in a season for the eighth time in his IPL career. Only Suresh Raina has done it more, completing the feat on nine occasions.
Ex and current captain Capitals tag-team
Dhawan fell caught on the boundary trying to slog sweep Rashid Khan over square leg. It was the last misstep of the day for the Capitals a Iyer and Pant provided contrasting but equally efficient styles to take Capitals to victory.
Pant took his time initially to get set, scoring just 9 off his first 11 balls. But a pull over square leg for six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 16th finally got him unstuck. He meted out more punishment to Khaleel Ahmed in the next over, ending the frame with a four flicked through fine leg and another six blasted over the leg side.
Barring a brief burst of consecutive boundaries in the 14th over off Sandeep Sharma, Iyer was content to knock singles around with the required run rate well under control. But after Pant's power-hitting was unleashed, Iyer flexed his muscle for the final victory blow, heaving Jason Holder over midwicket and into the second tier for an emphatic end the match.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna

Win Probability
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Over 18 • DC 139/2

Capitals won by 8 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
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