Aman Khan’s defiant 51 and inspired bowling helped Delhi Capitals edge out holders Gujarat Titans by five runs in a low-scoring Indian Premier League thriller on Tuesday.
Aman hit his maiden fifty to lift his team from a precarious 23-5 to 130-8 in a clash billed as David v Goliath between bottom-placed Delhi and table-toppers Gujarat in Ahmedabad.
Gujarat pace spearhead Mohammed Shami’s bowling figures of 4-11 – his IPL best – went in vain but was named man of the match.
Delhi bowlers led by left-arm quick Khaleel Ahmed and Ishant Sharma limited Gujarat to 125-6 despite an unbeaten 59 by skipper Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia’s seven-ball 20.
Ishant Sharma’s terrific last over was also a highlight.
“Our bowlers were absolutely amazing,” Delhi skipper David Warner said.
“Our bowlers were amazing. Our batters struggled but credit to the way Shami bowled. We just find ways to lose wickets in clumps, I don’t know what’s happening with our batting.”
The left-handed Tewatia, called “iceman” by Ian Bishop on air earlier this season for his ability to hit sixes in pressure situations, smashed Anrich Nortje for three straight hits over the fence in the 19th over but fell in the 20th.
Ishant returned figures of 2-23 and held his nerve in the final over with Gujarat needing 12 to win and falling short.
Gujarat, who had a fairytale IPL debut after they won the crown last season, remain strong to make the play-offs with six wins in nine matches.
Delhi, coached by Ricky Ponting, have registered their third win in nine matches to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.
It was Aman’s 44-ball knock that made Delhi fightback as he put on key partnerships including fifty-plus stands with Axar Patel (24) and Ripal Patel (23) to give his team a total, which ultimately made them win their third match in nine outings.
Aman smashed three fours and three sixes in his 44-ball knock before falling to Rashid Khan’s leg spin.
Shami got Phil Salt for a first ball duck and then Rilee Rossouw, for eight, in his two overs before a double strike in his third.
In reply, Khaleel struck in the first over and soon Gujarat were in deep trouble when South African big-hitter David Miller fell for a duck.
Pandya attempted to turn it around in a 62-run partnership with Abhinav Manohar, who made 26, but the effort was not enough as Delhi defended their lowest total ever.