Delhi Capitals 198 for 4 (Dhawan 92, Shaw 32, Richardson 2-41) beat Punjab Kings 195 for 4 (Agarwal 69, Rahul 61, Meriwala 1-32) by six wickets
After being sent in, Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul gave the Kings a blazing start of 122 in 12.4 overs. Agarwal was the aggressor, hitting seven fours and four sixes in his 36-ball 69, while Rahul played second fiddle with 61 off 51 deliveries.
The Kings posted a formidable 195 for 4 but Dhawan and Shaw laid the platform for the Capitals’ chase with a start of 59 in 5.3 overs.
After that it was the Dhawan show. Targeting primarily the leg side, the opener struck 13 fours and two sixes and kept the Capitals on par with the required rate. For the second time in three games he had a chance to score a hundred. He failed once again but his knock had put the Capitals ahead. So much that when Marcus Stoinis hit the winning boundary, there were still ten balls left.
Agarwal, Rahul provide dream start
Chris Woakes conceded only five in the opening over but a 20-run second over opened the floodgates for the Kings. That over, left-arm seamer Lukman Meriwala’s first in the IPL, featured a dropped catch, a misfield, a no-ball, three fours and a six. By the end of the fifth over, Agarwal and Rahul had added 50, of which the latter’s contribution was a run-a-ball 18.
Kagiso Rabada was introduced into the attack in the sixth over; Rahul greeted him with a four through point but largely looked subdued. Agarwal, meanwhile, was batting on a different plane. With a four off Avesh Khan, he raced away to his fifty in just 25 balls.
The harshest punishment was perhaps meted out to arguably the best bowlers in the Capitals’ side. On the first ball of the 11th over, Agarwal cleared his front leg and launched Rabada over long-off. Rabada responded with a bouncer but erred down the leg side. Agarwal swivelled and pulled it over fine leg for another six. A ball later, Rahul too joined in with a six over deep square leg.
Meriwala eventually broke the stand when Agarwal holed out to sweeper cover trying to reach out for a wide delivery.
Gifts aplenty for birthday boy Rahul
It was Rahul’s 29th birthday and it looked like the Capitals’ fielders didn’t want to spoil his day. Smith dropped him in the second over, Shaw failed to hold on to a screamer in the 12th and Stoinis grassed a regulation chance in the 15th. Rahul was on 9, 42, and 50 respectively; Meriwala the unlucky bowler on the first occasion, Avesh on the next two.
Stoinis eventually made amends when he caught him off Rabada in the 16th over.
Hooda, Shahrukh take Kings close to 200
Deepak Hooda continued his good form with an unbeaten 22 not out off 13 balls. Coming in at No. 4, he smashed Rabada for six off the first ball he faced. Later, he went down on one knee to carve Avesh over the extra-cover boundary for another.
Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran fell in search of quick runs, leaving the Kings 179 for 4 after 19 overs. Shahrukh Khan, though, muscled Woakes for two fours and a six in the final over to take the side close to 200.
Chasing 196, Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw didn’t waste any time and gave their side an even better start than the Kings had got. Rahul tried four different bowlers in the first four overs – Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Jalaj Saxena, and Jhye Richardson – and each one of them went for at least ten in their respective overs.
When Shami returned in the fifth over, Dhawan creamed him for three fours. By the end of the fifth over, the Capitals were for 57 for no loss.
Dhawan continues the carnage
The Capitals openers were running away with the game, just like they had done against the Chennai Super Kings while chasing 189, but Shaw ended up miscuing a pull against Arshdeep and fell for a 17-ball 32. Steven Smith laboured for a 12-ball 9 before his ugly swat against Riley Meredith was caught at third man.
Dhawan, though, kept batting in the same vein. Having reached his fifty in 31 balls, he stepped out against Shami and hit him for a six over long-on.
But it was the 14th over, bowled by Meredith, that turned the game decisively in the Capitals’ favour. Dhawan started the over by hitting the first three balls for fours. The next delivery went for five wides down the leg side. By the time the over ended, Dhawan had moved into the 90s and the Capitals needed 53 off 36 balls with eight wickets in hand.
Stoinis sees the Capitals home
Dhawan fell eight short of a hundred when he was bowled while trying to swipe Jhye Richardson fine. From the other end, Arshdeep bowled a quiet over to make it 36 needed from 24 balls. But Stoinis quelled any hopes the Kings may have developed by hitting two fours and a six off Shami in 17th over. He also hit the winning runs, dispatching Meredith to the midwicket boundary for four to finish with an unbeaten 27 off 13 balls.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Bangladesh cricket – Former BCB president Kamal Ziaul Islam dies aged 86
During his term – 1983 to 1987 – he made the important contribution of introducing Bangladesh’s first school-cricket competition
Former BCB president Kamal Ziaul Islam, popularly known as KZ Islam, has died in Dhaka. He was 86.
Islam was the president of the board, then known as the BCCB, between 1983 and 1987. During his term, he made the important contribution of introducing the country’s first school-cricket competition. He funded the tournament through his company, Nirman International Ltd, which gave it its name: the Nirman School Cricket Tournament.
The competition moulded many top-class cricketers – Habibul Bashar, Khaled Mahmud and Javed Omar emerged from its first batch. Islam also set up the Nirman XI cricket team in the Dhaka league, which was promoted up to the List A Dhaka Premier League in the early 1990s. At one time, Islam hired Northamptonshire’s Alan Fordham as player-coach of the Nirman side, and even arranged a private England tour for the team’s young players.
For many generations since the mid-1980s, the Nirman school competition regularly produced cricketers who would progress to the Dhaka leagues, and later the national team. Even Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim played this school cricket, though they came through the BCB’s system. The Nirman tournament is the precursor to the BCB’s game development programme.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan praised Islam for his vision at a time when cricket wasn’t even a professional sport in the country. “He was a pioneer and Bangladesh cricket will forever be grateful to him for his vision and belief,” Hassan said.
“He patronised and encouraged age-group cricket with the Nirman school tournament during a period when the game was far from being a professional sport. Because of resourceful personalities like him so many budding players could dream of becoming cricketers and cricket reached every corner of the country.”
As a mark of respect, the BCB flag will fly at half-mast on Tuesday.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
The Hundred – BCCI grants NOCs to four India players
ESPNcricinfo understands that the Indian board has already sent ECB the NOCs
The BCCI has granted four India Women players No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for their participation in the inaugural Hundred, the eight-team tournament which starts on July 21.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the Indian board has already sent the ECB the NOCs and the official announcement regarding the four contracted players comprising the Indian contingent is likely to made by the franchises soon.
The Indian players with the Hundred contracts will extend their stay in the UK following the completion of India’s multi multi-format assignment against hosts England which begins with a one-off Test on Bristol on June 16 and concludes with the third and final T20I on July 15. A three-match ODI series is also slotted in between.
Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, and Deepti Sharma made up the Indian contingent at the now-defunct Kia Super League (KSL), the ECB’s domestic T20 tournament that made way for the Women’s Hundred.
During India’s home series against South Africa in March, India T20I vice-captain Mandhana, who represented the Western Storm in the 2018 and 2019 seasons of the KSL, had confirmed that the ECB and the BCCI had been in touch regarding the NOCs.
The Hundred, which was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will kick off with the women’s match between the Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals in London before their respective men’s sides meet the following day.
With no player draft for the women, teams are selected by their respective head coaches. Players with contracts for 2020 were given the option to roll them over to 2021 at the same salary band, or to negotiate with other teams. Teams can sign a maximum of three players with England central contracts, and have until June 2021 to finalise their squads.
Some of the big names in the tournament include Sophie Devine (Birmingham Phoenix), Deandra Dottin (London Spirit), Marizanne Kapp (Oval Invincibles), Meg Lanning (Welsh Fire).
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha
IPL 2021 – Amid Covid concern, IPL may shift entirely to Mumbai
BCCI is believed to be working on a plan that will minimize risks, especially in travel
As Covid-19 cases emerge within the IPL, ESPNcricinfo understands the BCCI is looking at minimising risks and moving the rest of the tournament to Mumbai. If the plan is executed, the IPL could be shifted to Mumbai as early as this weekend.
This will necessitate a rejigged tournament schedule, with multiple double headers. There is also a likelihood of the IPL final being moved from May 30 to early June.
The biggest challenge for the BCCI in making its Mumbai plan work is to create the IPL bubble, which mainly entails finding hotels for the eight teams to be housed in and preparing the stadia. Luckily, in terms of match fitness, all the three key grounds in Mumbai – Wankhede, DY Patil and Brabourne – were utilised during the first leg of the IPL in April.
While the Wankhede hosted 10 IPL matches, the other two grounds, and the Mumbai Cricket Association’s ground in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, were used by various teams for training purposes.
It is understood that the BCCI team made calls on Monday to various big hotels in Mumbai to verify if they were capable of satisfying the various SOPs needed to create a team bubble. No BCCI and IPL official was available for a comment. Franchises, too, have not heard of the plan formally, but some say they will not be surprised if the Mumbai plan was acted on.
It would mean ditching the two-venue caravan model and reverting to the BCCI’s original plan, when it was working out the IPL schedule, of having Mumbai as the hub. The schedule eventually released, on March 7, had six venues – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Chennai and Mumbai hosted the first leg while the second leg is being played currently in Ahmedabad and Delhi.
The IPL’s next stage is meant to be in Bengaluru and Kolkata, from next week. However, with India being enveloped by a second wave of the pandemic and the first cases emerging of the IPL bubble being breached, franchises, players and even some within the BCCI remain concerned about the pitfalls involved in travelling.
When the IPL began, Mumbai was the worst-affected metro in India, with almost 10,000 new cases every day. It is now acknowledged that a corner has been turned in this respect – Monday’s case count was 2,662, the lowest daily tally since March 17. It was a steep drop from a month ago – 11,163 covid-19 cases on April 4, the highest-ever number in the pandemic.
The impact on the WTC final
If the IPL is stretched beyond May 30, it is bound to potentially have an impact on the World Test Championship final, between India and New Zealand in Southampton from June 18-22. With the UK recently blocking travel from India, the ICC, the WTC host, is currently negotiating quarantine norms and exemptions with the British government for the members of both teams who are currently playing in the IPL.
One BCCI official, though, pointed out that moving the IPL to Mumbai could offer the advantage of the Indian and New Zealand players flying direct to England instead of the potential two-leg journey if the IPL final were to be played in Ahmedabad, as scheduled.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
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