The Delhi Capitals kept their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs of the 2024 Indian Premier League alive by beating the Lucknow Super Giants at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium on Friday.

Chasing 168 to win only their second match of the season, the Capitals rode on debutant Jake Fraser-McGurk’s half century and handy knocks from Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant to reach the target with six wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare.

Having opted to bat first, Lucknow got off to a decent start before two quick wickets hampered their powerplay. It went from bad to worse as Kuldeep Yadav struck in back-to-back overs to reduce Lucknow to 77/5 before the home side slipped to 94/7.

However, Ayush Badoni took charge scoring a 35-ball 55 as he put up an unbeaten 73-run stand with Arshad Khan for the eighth wicket to help Lucknow post 167/7.

Despite losing David Warner early on, Delhi began the chase strongly scoring 62/1 in the powerplay. After Shaw departed for a 22-ball 32, Fraser-McGurk and Pant stitched together a 77-run stand to put the Capitals on course for the win.

Turning point of the match

In their last match against the Gujarat Titans, Lucknow recovered from a slow start by being patient in the middle overs before taking off in the death overs.

It was a similar situation on Friday with Quinton de Kock and Devdutt Padikkal not lasting beyond the powerplay. It was down to KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis to rebuild the innings once again.

However, Delhi, led by Yadav, never let Lucknow get settled. Yadav, who was coming back from an injury, struck twice in his first over to get rid of Stoinis and Nicolas Pooran before dismissing Rahul in his second over.

Pacers Ishant Sharma and Mukesh Kumar chipped in with a wicket each to reduce the home side to 94/7 in 13 overs.

The Field’s Player of the Match

Badoni and Fraser-McGurk were key to their respective sides with the bat on the night, but it was the returning Kuldeep Yadav who was the game-changer.

Not only did he dismiss three of Lucknow’s best batters, he also conceded just 20 runs from his four overs. Not bad on his return from injury.

‘Need to think like champions’

For Delhi, it was a much needed win after a poor start to the season. Though they still face an uphill task to qualify for the play offs, Rishabh Pant and Co have shown that they can get the job done on their day.

“I am relieved because we wanted a win badly and that’s what we talked to the boys about. We need to think like champions and make it happen. Yes, things don’t go in our way but we keep fighting hard. There have been phases where we've not been upto the mark with the ball but some individuals have to take responsibility. We have to stick together as a team and look to improve things. There are some things you can control and some you cannot. Problem we had is so many injuries in the camp. But at the same time, we can either make excuses or learn.”

— Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant
Screenshot via Jio Cinema