Delhi trump Gujarat in low-scoring IPL battle

Aman Khan’s brave 51 and excellent bowling helped Delhi Capitals beat Gujarat Titans by five runs in a low-scoring Indian Premier League thriller on Tuesday.

In a match billed as David v Goliath between bottom-placed Delhi and table-toppers Gujarat in Ahmedabad, Aman scored his maiden fifty to raise his team from a shaky 23-5 to 130-8.

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Gujarat’s pacesetter Mohammed Shami’s IPL-best bowling stats of 4-11 were in vain, but he was chosen man of the match.

Delhi bowlers led by left-arm quick Khaleel Ahmed and Ishant Sharma limited Gujarat to 125-6 despite an unbeaten 59 by skipper Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia’s seven-ball 20.

“Our bowlers were absolutely amazing,” Delhi skipper David Warner said.

“Our bowlers were amazing. Our batters struggled but credit to the way Shami bowled. We just find ways to lose wickets in clumps, I don’t know what’s happening with our batting.”

The left-handed Tewatia, called “iceman” for his ability to hit sixes in pressure situations, smashed Anrich Nortje for three straight hits over the fence in the 19th over but fell in the 20th.

Ishant returned figures of 2-23 and held his nerve in the final over with Gujarat needing 12 to win and falling short.

Gujarat, who enjoyed a fairytale IPL debut after winning the title last season, are still in contention for the play-offs with six victories in nine games.

Delhi, led by Ricky Ponting, have won their third game in a row to keep their play-off chances alive.

It was Aman’s 44-ball knock that sparked Delhi’s comeback, as he put on vital partnerships, including fifty-plus stands with Axar Patel (24) and Ripal Patel (23) to give his team a total, which eventually led to their third win in nine matches.

Aman hit three fours and three sixes in 44 balls before succumbing to Rashid Khan’s leg spin.

Shami dismissed Phil Salt for a first-ball duck and Rilee Rossouw for eight runs in his first two overs before bowling a double strike in his third.

In response, Khaleel struck in the opening over, and Gujarat were soon in huge danger when South African big-hitter David Miller was caught for a duck.

Pandya tried to turn things around with a 62-run stand with Abhinav Manohar (26), but it wasn’t enough as Delhi defended their lowest total ever.

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