Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sai Sudharsan stays cool, guides Titans past Capitals 

Shifting gears: Sai Sudharsan cranked up a few big shots after anchoring the innings initially.

Shifting gears: Sai Sudharsan cranked up a few big shots after anchoring the innings initially.
| Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY

A batting-friendly pitch surrounded by square boundaries of 65 metres appeared a perfect stage for a run-fest. With the top-order batters from both sides promising a great deal, the bowlers obviously were in an unenviable position.

However, if the Delhi Capitals-Gujarat Titans clash stayed alive as a contest longer than expected, it was only because the batters from both teams got carried away.

Changing the script

Put in, Capitals were let down by its batters. Later, chasing 163, Titans traded the creamy layer of their batting for some quick runs. That was when Capitals’ hopes got rekindled, but B. Sai Sudharsan changed the script to take Titans to a six-wicket victory. This was Hardik’s men’s 10th successful finish in 11 chases.

Titans made the first surge after the Tamil Nadu duo of Sai Sudharsan and Vijay Shankar — separated by 11 years — joined hands at 54 for three at the end of the PowerPlay.

This left-right combination held its nerve and gradually seized the advantage. The duo minimised risk without compromising on flamboyance and sense of purpose during their 53-run stand.

Sai Sudharsan, whose breathtaking 69-metre scoop-six off a 144-kmph delivery from Anrich Nortje proved the shot of the evening, was a class act.

His stroke selection and execution stood out as he soaked in the pressure to help his team cross the finish line and emerge as the Player-of-the-Match.

More significantly, for Titans, this 21-year-old left-hander is gaining confidence with each outing as he continues to reinforce his claim for a permanent spot in the playing XI.

After Vijay Shankar exited following a 23-ball 29, the stylish Sai Sudharsan and fellow left-hander David Miller scored the 56 runs needed for Titans’ second win coinciding with Capitals’ second loss.

In the final analysis, Sai Sudharsan was the difference between the teams.

Earlier, for Capitals, David Warner and Sarfaraz Khan settled down without lasting long. Later Axar Patel provided some flourish but the outing proved a rough one for the host.

Prithvi Shaw fell early to a short-pitched delivery from Mohammed Shami. In addition, the way Alzarri Joseph removed Warner and Rilee Rossouw off successive deliveries proved a rude reminder of what Mark Wood did to the team in its campaign-opener.

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