With Tim Seifert becoming the sixth member in three days from the Capitals contingent testing positive for Covid-19 in the morning, the players waited in their hotel rooms till the last hour, uncertain if the match would go ahead while their opponents were already at the venue.
As it happened | Scorecard | Points Table
As the remaining members returned negative, just 15 players and a handful of support staff were allowed to go to Brabourne stadium. Languishing at eighth spot in the points table, confined to hotel rooms and the team engulfed in uncertainty, coach Ricky Ponting and captain Rishabh Pant turned up at the venue, delivered strong speeches revolving around ‘control the controllable’ and galvanized the team. The team had found its purpose.
Capitals may have been the wounded team when they reached the venue but when they left the stadium, they had brutally scarred Punjab Kings. They dismissed Punjab for a paltry 115 and then chased down the target in 10.3 overs with nine wickets to spare.
After electing to bowl first, Pant’s bowlers literally delivered the match as a souvenir of the team’s character. The Capitals bowlers, led by the guile of Axar Patel, were so accurate that It never appeared this one was the same pitch on which over 400 runs were scored a couple of nights ago.
What a way to return to winning ways! 👏 👏@DelhiCapitals put up a dominant show & sealed a clinical 9⃣-wicket win… https://t.co/RxYjljPRmB
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1650474044000
However, openers David Warner and Prithvi Shaw – fast becoming the most ominous opening partnership in this IPL – did show why so many runs were scored the other night as they put on 83 in 6.3 overs. Shaw fell for a 20-ball 41 while slog-sweeping Rahul Chahar but not before the duo had hammered 81 runs in the first six overs making a mockery of a bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada.
Warner, with his third half-century on the trot, remained unbeaten on 60 off 30 balls as he finished the game with Sarfaraz Khan not out on 12 off 13 at the other end.
Every bowler played his part, bowled to captain Pant’s plans, took the obscenely short boundary on one side out of the game and choked the reckless Punjab batting lineup. There were no war cries or over-the-top celebration throughout the match, but the intent was unmistakable. The ruthlessness in their game on Wednesday may just be the trigger they needed to get on a roll in the tournament.
🔝 bowling effort ✅🔥 chase ✅Simply clinical stuff from the DC boys as we registered the biggest win in the histor… https://t.co/yGUw9P4J5d
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1650473969000
The tone was set by a brilliant piece of glovework behind the stumps by Pant to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan caught behind down the leg side off off-spinner Lalit Yadav in the fourth over. And once Mustafizur Rahman knocked over Punjab Kings skipper Mayank Agarwal for a 15-ball 24 in the next over, the collapse looked imminent.
Axar Patel came inside the powerplay, made use of the sticky pitch, got the in-form hard-hitting Liam Livingstone stumped and applied the choke. He finished the spell with figures of 2/10 in four overs, setting up the base for Kuldeep Yadav to come in and weave his magic who finished with figures of 2/24.