Shimron Hetmyer played a stellar knock of 53 not out in only 25 balls and almost turned the match on its head.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Delhi Capitals (DC) by one run in a thrilling finish to match 22 of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. At one point of time, RCB seemed to be cruising to victory with DC not getting any momentum in a chase of 172. However, Shimron Hetmyer played a stellar knock of 53 not out in only 25 balls and almost turned the match on its head. In the end, RCB just about got home. With DC going down in the match, we analyze three reasons why Delhi lost the match.

  1. Yet another brilliant knock by AB de Villiers

Although RCB ended up posting an impressive 171 for 5 on the board, things could have been different had DC got the better of AB de Villiers early. After all, Delhi had got off an impressive start in the match, bowling first. RCB skipper Virat Kohli was undone by a smart piece of work from the impressive Avesh Khan as the batsman was bowled off an edge.

Very next ball, DC had two wickets in two balls as Ishant Sharma castled Devdutt Padikkal with a Test-like delivery, pitching on a length and beating the bat to crash into the stumps. Glenn Maxwell came in and hit a couple of big shots. However, he too did not last long. At 60 for 3, with Maxwell back in the hut for 25, DC clearly had the upper hand. But, they just could not get past ABD. At the end of the day, that made a big difference, even if the margin of victory was only one run.

2. DC’s decision to give the last over to Marcus Stoinis

Rishabh Pant’s inexperience came to the fore as he gave the last over of RCB’s innings to Marcus Stoinis. The medium pacer hadn’t bowled a single over in the innings till then, and it was a clear case of miscalculation by the DC skipper. Stoinis was always going to be the underdog against de Villiers and so it turned out to be.

23 runs came off the last over bowled by Stoinis as ABD dealt with the friendly medium-pacers with ease. He launched three sixes from the meat of the bat as DC and Stoinis could only watch in admiration. At the start of the 19th over, RCB were on 148 for 5 and de Villiers on 53 from 26. At the end of the 20th over, de Villiers was unbeaten on 75 from 42 while RCB had lifted themselves to 171 for 5. A massive surge that was.

3. Rishabh Pant’s inability to find the boundaries

Cricket can be a great leveller. DC skipper Rishabh Pant is regarded as one of the fiercest strikers of the cricket ball. He stunned Australia in Australia with his belligerent knocks and displayed a sense of confidence defying his age. When England came to India recently, Pant continued with his great form and played a few more fine match-winning knocks, which elevated him to DC captaincy in the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer.

On Tuesday against RCB though, Pant just could not get his timing right. He tried his level best, but even as Hetmyer was finding sixes at will at the other end, Pant literally crawled along. Despite his best efforts, the boundaries just did not come. And by the time they came, it was a bit too late. The left-hander gave everything he had to the last two balls, but DC still fell short, if only just. After all the heroics of the previous months, it was a different experience for Pant in his learning curve. It will keep him grounded, and he will be better for the heartbreak.

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