By India Today Sports Desk: 34-year-old Ishant Sharma proved he is far from done in the shortest format of the game as the senior pacer stepped up when Delhi Capitals needed him the most in their 5-run win in an IPL 2023 match against defending champions Gujarat Titans on Tuesday, May 2. Ishant Sharma stopped Rahul Tewatia's blitz in the final over, successfully defending just 12 runs in the last 6 deliveries.
Gujarat Titans failed to chase down 131 against Delhi Capitals despite a 59 not out from their captain Hardik Pandya. It was the first time Gujarat lost a match while chasing in IPL 2023 and only the second time they have failed to do so in their nascent history in the tournament.
Gujarat Titans needed 33 runs in the last 2 overs but Rahul Tewatia went after express pacer Anrich Nortje, hitting him for 3 sixes in the last 3 balls of the penultimate over.
GT vs DC, IPL 2023 Highlights
Needing just 12 runs in the last over, Gujarat were well-placed to pull off another win as Tewatia was in the mood to do a Tewatia. However, Ishant Sharma gave away just 3 runs in the first two balls, before bowling a dot ball against Tewatia with a wide yorker.
Ishant Sharma mixed it up in the 4th delivery with a short delivery, banged into the pitch and went away from the left-hander. Tewatia was surprised by the delivery as he skied one into the air and was caught in the extra cover region. It was a crucial wicket as Ishant then held his nerve and closed out the match, giving away just 6 runs in the final over.
IPL 2023 Points Table
" I played enough cricket with Tewatia, so was just having fun with him. I knew I had to double bluff him otherwise we know what he can do with the bat," Ishant said, elaborating on his change-ups in the final over.
BELIEF IN SELF
The senior bowler, who was bought for Rs 50 lakh, came into the IPL 2023 season after 5 matches. However, he has stepped up big time for Delhi, picking up 6 wickets in 4 matches at an economy rate of 6.50.
On Tuesday, Ishant cleaned up Vijay Shankar in the powerplay with a knuckleball before coming to deliver the perfect final over for Delhi Capitals.
"I keep practicing in the nets. We practice bowling we the new ball, but at the same time we do practice bowling wide yorkers, and today the hardwork paid off, I just backed myself and bowled wide yorkers. When you are preparing yourself in the nets we plan to certain batsmen as to what to bowl and it is all about executing it every single time, back yourself and believing in yourself," he added.
Delhi Capitals clinched only their 3rd win in 9 matches and are still at the bottom of the IPL 2023 points table. However, Ishant said this could be the start of something good for Delhi Capitals who kept themselves alive in the play-offs race with the win over Gujarat.
"From here on, we just carry the momentum and look to win one game at a time and hope for the best from the future," Ishant said.
Delhi Capitals next face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday in Delhi.
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The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)