DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kagiso Rabada grabbed three wickets in four balls and Marcus Stoinis bludgeoned a half-century as Delhi Capitals surged to the top of the Indian Premier League with a 59-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday.
Stoinis hit 53 runs off 26 balls to propel Delhi to 196-4 after Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field.
Rabada then took 4-24 to restrict Bangalore's reply at 137-9.
“Delhi Capitals are playing some really good cricket,” Kohli said. “Their batting is fearless, they have got pace, they have got good spinners. I won’t say they are unbeatable, but they will be hard to beat. Against this side, you have to bring your A game. We didn’t tonight.”
Stoinis made Bangalore pay for a dropped catch on 30, and together with Rishabh Pant (37 off 25 balls) they put up 89 runs off 41 balls for the fourth wicket.
Bangalore came back with three quick wickets after Prithvi Shaw blazed 42 off 23 balls at the top of the order and provided a quickfire start of 63-0 in the first six overs.
But Stoinis’ arrival in the 12th over at 90-3 revived Delhi. He hit six fours and two sixes as fast bowler Navdeep Saini finished with expensive figures of 48-0 off his three overs.
Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer’s bold decision to introduce spinners Axar Patel (2-18) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1-26) inside the first six overs paid off.
Devdutt Padikkal holed out in the deep in Ashwin’s first over and Aaron Finch, who was twice dropped in the first two overs, was brilliantly snapped up by Pant behind the wickets in Patel’s first over.
Top-scorer Kohli (43) became the first Indian batsman to score 9,000 runs in Twenty20s when he reached 10, but the skipper couldn’t push the scoring rate against the spinners and was one of Rabada's wickets.
Rabada found the inside edge of Kohli’s bat and then claimed Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and Isuru Udana in the space of four balls to earn Delhi's fourth win in five games.
“Kudos to the boys ... it is really important for us to get good recovery after the games," Iyer said. "It is not easy when you are in the bio-bubble. We try to get into team activities and get to know each other well."
Iyer said he will miss senior legspinner Amit Mishra, who has been ruled out of the IPL with a finger injury. Mishra injured his ring finger attempting a return catch last Saturday while bowling against Kolkata.
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