Warner says ‘awesome’ as Delhi register first IPL season win

Delhi Capitals' David Warner plays a shot during the Indian Premier League match between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on 20 April 2023AFP

Skipper David Warner hit a fluent 57 as Delhi Capitals edged Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match on Thursday for their first victory this season.

In the first match of the day, Royal Challengers Bangalore got back to winning ways after Faf du Plessis’s 84 and four wickets by Mohammed Siraj led them to a comfortable 24-run win over Punjab Kings.

But the second match was not that easy after returning fast bowler Ishant Sharma, playing his first IPL match since 2021, returned figures of 2-19 to help bowl out Kolkata for 127 in New Delhi.

Bangladesh's Liton Das made his IPL debut against Delhi Capitals, made only four runs

Delhi made tough work of their modest chase and despite Warner’s fourth half-century of the season achieved their target with four balls to spare in a rain-delayed match that went past midnight.

“It’s awesome. We are really proud of the bowling unit. We asked for wickets in the powerplay, and they did that,” said Warner.

Delhi’s director of cricket and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said, “I was thinking it was like my first Test – happy to get off the mark.

“We have bowled well this season. These are good pitches and fast outfields, but the problem is the batting. We need to go back and look at ourselves as to how we can do better.”

Delhi, who are still hunting for their maiden IPL title, remain bottom of the 10-team table with just one win in six matches.

The left-handed Warner started strongly with a few boundaries but Delhi stuttered after they lost Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Phil Salt in quick succession.

Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy sent back Warner lbw for his second wicket and Manish Pandey became impact player Anukul Roy’s second scalp to raise Kolkata’s hopes.

Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel (R) and Lalit Yadav celebrate after the win

Axar Patel (19) and Lalit Yadav (4) stayed calm to steer Delhi home.

“Credit to the bowlers that if we can fight with this total then the coming matches should be good,” Kolkata skipper Nitish Rana said after his team’s third straight loss.

“They batted well in the powerplay and we came back well, but we were 15-20 runs short.”

Du Plessis, Kohli star

The match started an hour late due to evening rains in the national capital and the home team elected to field before picking up an early wicket in Bangladesh’s Liton Das.

Ishant stood out with key wickets of Rana and Sunil Narine before being substituted under the new impact player rule.

Others joined in as pace bowler Anrich Nortje, spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets each to bundle out the opposition on the final ball of the innings.

England opener Jason Roy hit a valiant 43 in his first outing this season and Andre Russell overcame a slow start to smack an unbeaten 38 with three successive sixes in the final over.

In the opening match, Du Plessis and Virat Kohli, who made 59, put together an opening stand of 137 to lay the foundations of Bangalore’s 174-4 at Mohali.

Siraj then returned impressive figures of 4-21 and forced a run out to dismiss Punjab for 150 in 18.2 overs for Bangalore’s third victory in six matches.

Kohli stood in as captain for du Plessis, who made the team as a batsman, due to a rib injury he picked in the previous match and was later substituted under the new impact player rule.

The South African had lived up to the designation with a 56-ball knock laced with five sixes. He tops the tournament’s batting chart with 343 runs, including four half-centuries.

Warner comes in second with 285 runs and Kohli third with 279.