New Zealand paceman Trent Boult could miss both Tests against England after being cleared to visit his family following the postponement of the Indian Premier League.

Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner and physio Tommy Simsek will stay in the IPL New Delhi mini-bubble before departing for England on May 11.

Boult, who had been playing for the Mumbai Indians before the IPL season was postponed due to rising coronavirus cases in India, has been allowed to return to his homeland before heading to England.

He will join up with the Test squad early next month, so will not feature in the first Test at Lord's - which starts on June 2.

Boult may be back in contention for the second Test at Edgbaston and will definitely be available for the ICC World Test Championship final against India, which gets under way at the Ageas Bowl on June 18.

Black Caps trainer Chris Donaldson, who has been working with the Kolkata Knight Riders, will also return home briefly to see his family before joining the Test squad.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said: "We're completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK.

"They've always been the consummate professionals and we're more than happy to accommodate these arrangements.

"We've worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we're very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time.

"Were also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad currently in India."

Eight of England's 11 players involved in the Indian Premier League have returned home following the indefinite suspension of the tournament.

The decision to call a halt to this year's competition was taken on Tuesday amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in India.

After two cases were confirmed among the Kolkata Knight Riders, Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed. A Sunrisers Hyderabad player then also tested positive ahead of their fixture with Mumbai Indians.

Focus is now on seeing participants leave the country safely, with fears players would need to self-isolate in India and also return a negative coronavirus test before attempting to get a flight.

However, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy all boarded a flight that landed at Heathrow on Wednesday.

They will have to quarantine in government-approved hotels for the next 10 days.

The remaining three England players who were on duty - Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan - are expected to leave India within the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley has confirmed the contingent of Australian IPL players will be moved to the Maldives or Sri Lanka in the coming days.

The Australian government has blocked citizens returning home within 14 days of being in India, meaning they will first have to isolate elsewhere.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian Premier League Governing Council confirmed the news in a joint statement on Tuesday after reports of COVID cases in three teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Reports also suggest Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive, leading to the whole team having to isolate, while there were two reported cases in the Chennai Super Kings team.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," a statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 20 million since the start of the global pandemic.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian Premier League Governing Council confirmed the news in a joint statement on Tuesday after reports of COVID cases in three teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Reports also suggest Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive, leading to the whole team having to isolate, while there were two reported cases in the Chennai Super Kings team.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," a statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 20 million since the start of the global pandemic.

The Indian Premier League has confirmed two positive coronavirus cases in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier both tested positive for COVID-19 and are now isolating away from the squad.

The rest of the Knight Riders' group returned negative results, though a daily testing schedule has now been put in place to quickly identify any further cases that occur.

No new date for the round-robin game against the Royal Challengers has been announced.

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 19million since the start of the global pandemic.

However, this is the first time there have been confirmed cases within the IPL bubble. The Twenty20 tournament returned to India this year after the 2020 edition was staged in the United Arab Emirates.

"Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days. All other team members have tested negative for COVID -19," a statement on the IPL website read.

"Both the players have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. The medical team is in continuous touch with the duo and are monitoring their health. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have now moved towards a daily testing routine to identify any other possible cases and treat them at the earliest.

"The medical team is also determining the close and casual contacts of the two positive cases during the 48 hours prior to collection of the sample that returned the positive test results.

"The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the Kolkata Knight Riders prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved and all measures are being taken in that endeavour."

Kolkata sit seventh in the IPL table after two wins in seven games. They lost by seven wickets to Delhi Capitals in their most recent outing, which took place last Thursday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Delhi Capitals piled on the pain for Punjab Kings and KL Rahul by racing to a seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League and going top of the table.

It was revealed earlier on Sunday that Kings captain and star batsman Rahul faces surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, and he was in hospital while this match played out at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In his absence, stand-in skipper Mayank Agarwal made a dominant 99 not out in a total of 166-6, helming the Kings innings and cutting loose when he saw fit in a terrific 58-ball knock that contained four sixes and eight fours.

Shikhar Dhawan produced the key innings for the Capitals in response, making an unbeaten 69 and finding the sort of support that Agarwal lacked, helping Delhi to 167-3, winning with 14 balls to spare.

Agarwal had required five from the final ball of the Kings innings to post what would have been just the second IPL century of his career, but he could only crunch a four down the ground rather than clear the ropes.

Kagiso Rabada had earlier taken two wickets in his first two overs, the second coming when he bowled Kings veteran Chris Gayle with a full toss immediately after being cracked for six by the West Indies batsman.

That was the first of three sixes off Rabada's bowling, but the South African paceman also removed Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Jordan while taking 3-36 in his four-over allocation.

Dawid Malan made 26 but it was ostensibly a one-man show as Agarwal contended with a revolving cast of batting partners.

Delhi had more about them, with Prithvi Shaw making 39 in a 63-run first-wicket stand alongside Dhawan, before Steve Smith added 25.

Shimron Hetmyer launched Riley Meredith for two consecutive sixes followed by a cover drive for four in the 18th over, leaving Delhi just two short of their victory target.

Neither Hetmyer nor Dhawan had the privilege of finishing the job, however, with a pair of wides from Meredith carrying the Capitals over the line.


Agarwal deserved better

Not only did he take over as captain, Agarwal also led by proud example, just as Rahul as so often done. His innings was the standout performance of this match, but where he rose to the occasion, others in the Kings ranks wilted. Gayle, with 13, was the team's third highest scorer, and it is almost impossible to win matches that way.

Getting all Het up

Hetmyer's late care-free cameo of 16 from four deliveries would likely not have happened without his team-mates laying solid foundations. They did so in the face of largely unthreatening bowling from Punjab, who sit sixth with three wins from eight games, amid doubts over whether their leader will be back in action this season.

Jos Buttler smashed a majestic century as Rajasthan Royals compounded Sunrisers Hyderabad's Indian Premier League misery with a dominant 55-run victory.

The Sunrisers, bottom of the standings with six defeats from seven, made the dramatic decision to strip David Warner of their captaincy on Saturday and there was no place in their XI for the deposed Australia opener.

Buttler proceeded to provide the sort of fireworks at the top of the order that are seemingly beyond Warner at present, plundering a maiden T20 ton in style as he smashed 124 from 64 deliveries, with 11 fours and eight sixes, to account for the bulk of an imposing 220-3.

Despite the promise of first-wicket stand of 57 between Manish Pandey (31) and Jonny Bairstow (30), Hyderabad's chase never really threatened and they limped to 165-8 – left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman (3-20) the pick of the Rajasthan attack.

Although he had twice come close with knocks of 49 and 41, Buttler entered the match without a half-century to his name in six previous attempts this season.

The England star was not initially at his fluent best, gutsing his way to a 39-ball fifty after surviving an lbw shout from Rashid Khan on seven, the leg-spinner dismissing Buttler's opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal for 12 in similar fashion.

Supported by skipper Sanju Samson (48) in a 150-run stand for the second wicket, Buttler cut loose. The 15th over, Mohammad Nabi's sole contribution with the ball, disappeared for 21, and by the time Sandeep Sharma (1-50) forced him to drag on, Buttler had already walloped three sixes and a four from the penultimate over.

Pandey and Bairstow made light of Warner's axing, although Mustafizur bowled the former off his pads with a slower ball and the procession that followed Buttler's England colleague perishing at long-on off Rahul Tewatia (1-45) showed Hyderabad's problems are myriad.

New skipper Kane Williamson scored 20 off 21 deliveries and any lingering hope was gone when he became Kartik Tyagi's first IPL wicket.

Kedar Jadhav's run-a-ball 19 was the best any one else could muster and he was bowled to be one of three victims for Chris Morris (3-29).

Patience pays off for Buttler

It seems unusual to flag up how a batsman who flayed the opposition to all parts actually played within himself initially, but Buttler shrewdly recognised his way out of a relative slump. "I think sometimes you have to swallow your ego when you're not in perfect touch," he said when receiving the man-of-the-match award.

"You have to give yourself time and find your way. I tried to stay in and keep the belief that something will click." As the final 25 deliveries Buttler faced disappeared for 74, it was fair to say something exploded.

A new role for Rashid

Khan was into the attack early for Hyderabad, Williamson breaking from Warner's habit of using the spinner in the middle overs. The skipper was partially vindicated by the early wicket and it would have been a very different contest had Buttler not survived.

However, Khan's allocation being used by the 11th over arguably left the Sunrisers exposed to one of the most destructive batsman on the planet and lacking the means to check his charge.

India and Punjab Kings batsman KL Rahul has been diagnosed with acute appendicitis which requires him to undergo surgery.

The 29-year-old opener was admitted to hospital on Saturday after suffering from discomfort in his abdomen.

No timeframe has been placed on his recovery but he will be absent from Punjab Kings' Indian Premier League fixture against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

A statement from Punjab Kings said: "KL Rahul complained of severe abdomen pain and, after not responding to medication, he was taken for further tests which revealed that he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

"It will be resolved surgically and for safety measures he has been transferred to the hospital."

Rahul is the top runscorer in the 2021 IPL with 331 runs in seven matches at an average of 66.20 and a strike rate of 136.21.

He has the best all-time batting average in IPL history with 2,978 runs in 88 matches at 46.53 and a strike rate of 135.85.

The right-hand batsman has played 36 Tests, 38 ODIs and 49 T20 internationals for India.

 

Kieron Pollard was the hero as Mumbai Indians achieved the second-highest run chase in Indian Premier League history to beat Chennai Super Kings in a final-ball thriller.

All-rounder Pollard claimed 2-12 but Chennai posted 218-4 in their innings, with Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu all hitting half-centuries.

Rayudu top scored with a brutal 72 from just 27 deliveries after Moeen (58) and Du Plessis (50) had put on 108 for the second wicket.

However, the defending champions handed the Super Kings just a second loss of the 2021 season, reaching their target from the final delivery with four wickets to spare as Pollard accepted the responsibility of seeing his team over the line in astonishing fashion.

The West Indies international smashed eight sixes as he finished up unbeaten on 87 from just 34 balls. He hit the penultimate delivery of the contest for six off Lungi Ngidi, then managed to sneak through for the two runs required from the last.

Pollard was dropped by Du Plessis in the 18th over and that proved to be costly for leaders CSK in a dramatic contest at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Quinton de Kock (38) and Rohit Sharma (35) had put on 71 for the first wicket in 7.4 overs, but the openers were dismissed by Moeen and Shardul Thakur respectively before the halfway point of the run chase.

Pollard stepped forward to pull off Mumbai's highest chase, though, with the Indians taking 48 runs off the last three overs to move just two points behind CSK in fourth place.

 

Bumrah toils as Super Kings prosper

Chennai endured a mid-innings wobble – slipping from 112-1 to 116-4 after losing two wickets in as many balls in a Pollard over - but Rayudu's onslaught carried them well beyond the 200 barrier.

Jasprit Bumrah was one of the bowlers who suffered the most. The India international finished with figures of 1-56 from his four overs, the highest number of runs he has conceded in the format. 

Powerhouse Pollard completes record chase

Mumbai were 81-3 in the 10th over when Pollard arrived at the crease to produce an incredible display of clean striking, racing to a 17-ball half-century.

Sam Curran removed Hardik Pandya and Jimmy Neesham in the penultimate over after the England all-rounder had trapped Krunal Pandya leg before. However, it was not enough for Chennai.

Kane Williamson has been appointed as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain for the remainder of the Indian Premier League after David Warner was axed.

It appears Warner will also be dropped by the struggling Sunrisers for Sunday's game against the Rajasthan Royals after the franchise revealed a change to the overseas combination will be made.

Warner scored a half-century in a midweek defeat to the Chennai Super Kings, but took "full responsibility" for the loss as he "batted too slowly."

The Australia batsman had previously questioned the decision to omit Manish Pandey from the team and Warner could now find himself out of the side, with Jason Roy awaiting his chance.

Sunrisers are rooted to the bottom of the table with five defeats from six matches and New Zealand skipper Williamson will lead them for the rest of the tournament.

A statement released by the franchise on Saturday said: "Sunrisers Hyderabad would like to announce that Kane Williamson will be taking over the captaincy for tomorrow's match and for the remainder of the IPL 2021.

"The team management has also made the decision that they will be changing the overseas combination for tomorrow's match against Rajasthan Royals.

"This decision has not come lightly as the management respects the enormous impact David Warner has had for the franchise over a number of years.

"As we face the remainder of the season, we are sure David will help us thrive for success both on and off the field."

KL Rahul scored another magnificent half-century and Harpreet Brar tormented Royal Challengers Bangalore in a 34-run Indian Premier League win for Punjab Kings.

Captain Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the leading run-scorer in the tournament with a scintillating 91 off 57 balls, getting Kings up to 179-5 after Virat Kohli put them in.

Chris Gayle also smashed a rapid 46 from 24 balls before Rahul and Harpreet provided a late flurry at Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.

RCB fell well short in reply with the Kings attack giving nothing away, Kohli top scoring with 35 as they could only muster 145-8 in Ahmedabad.

They never got going in the run chase and lost six wickets for 34 runs, with spinner Harpreet sparking the collapse by bowling Kohli before cleaning up Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck off the next ball in a double-wicket maiden.

Harpreet claimed outstanding figures of 3-19, while fellow tweaker Ravi Bishnoi finished with a brilliant 2-17 in a resounding victory.

Harshal Patel (31) and Kyle Jamieson (16 not out) combined for an eighth-wicket stand of 48, but the damage had been done as Kings moved up to fifth, consigning third-placed RCB to only a second defeat.

 

RCB have no answer to Rahul

Punjab skipper Rahul must wish he could play against RCB more often, as they have not managed to get him out since 2019.

The India batsman was imperious once again, bringing up his fourth half-century of the tournament off 35 balls after Gayle had taken 20 off a Jamieson over and struck Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes in the next before gloving a Daniel Sams delivery behind.

Harshal, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, went for 53 runs off his four wicket-less overs - the last of the innings costing 22 as Rahul and Harpreet (25 not out from 17) cut loose.

 

Harp calls the tune

Riley Meredith struck an early blow by removing Devdutt Padikkal's off stump before the Kings spinners came to the fore.

RCB were struggling on 36-1 at the end of the powerplay and were well behind the run rate when Kohli came down the track to Harpreet but lost his off stump.

Harpreet was on a hat-trick after bamboozling Maxwell with a peach of a delivery that clicked his off stump. It was pretty much game over when the same bowler had AB de Villiers caught at extra cover by Rahul, with Rajat Patidar soon following for 31.

Prithvi Shaw was the star performer for Delhi Capitals as they recorded an emphatic seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

Shaw hit 11 fours – including six in a row in one over – and a trio of sixes in an innings of 82 that helped the Capitals coast to a 155-run target at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Shikhar Dhawan was happy enough to play second fiddle to his opening partner, making 46 from 47 balls before falling lbw to Pat Cummins with the total on 132 in the 14th over.

Cummins (3-24) also removed the outstanding Shaw and Rishabh Pant (16) with the finishing line in sight, leaving Marcus Stoinis to complete the job with a streaky four as Delhi triumphed with 21 balls to spare.

Kolkata had been indebted to some big hitting in the closing stages from Andre Russell but still finished with a below-par 154-6. The all-rounder blasted two fours and four sixes to top score with 45 not out.

Their hopes of posting a more substantial total had been damaged by losing four wickets for 13 runs in the middle overs, seeing them slip from 69-1 to 82-5.

Shubman Gill made 43 at the top of the order but both captain Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine failed to trouble the scorers amid the collapse.

Lalit Yadav finished with figures of 2-13 for Delhi, while Axar Patel (2-32) also struck twice with his left-arm spin to help restrict the Knight Riders, who have now lost five of the past six meetings between the teams.


Double celebration for Russell

Russell celebrated his 33rd birthday with an eye-catching 27-ball knock that saw him surpass 6,000 Twenty20 runs in his career.

The right-hander was cautious at first before cutting loose, smashing Kagiso Rabada for successive sixes to finish the 19th over before ending the 20th with another off the bowling of Avesh Khan.

Capitals gain from a Shaw thing

Shaw reached his half-century from just 18 deliveries, aided by taking Shivam Mavi for six successive fours in an opening over that cost 25 runs (Delhi's reply had started with a wide).

Delhi's fifth victory in seven outings in the 2021 season sees them move level on 10 points with leaders Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the table.

Quinton de Kock guided Mumbai Indians back to winning ways as his dazzling innings helped last season's champions beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.

Rajasthan made 171-4 but were lacking an outstanding contribution with the bat, which is what De Kock gave Mumbai as his unbeaten 70 from 50 balls proved telling, halting a two-game slide.

Chris Morris took two of the three Mumbai wickets to fall, but the Indian Premier League's most expensive player also saw his first delivery swatted for six by De Kock and could not win that contest.

Jasprit Bumrah had earlier played a key role with the ball in restricting the flow of runs late in Rajasthan's innings, and Mumbai reached their target with nine balls to spare, finishing on 172-3.

At Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, Rajasthan's top four all made useful scores, with Jos Buttler having three fours and three sixes in making 41 from 32 deliveries and fellow opener Yashasvi Jaiswal also clearing the ropes twice in a rapid 32 from 20 balls.

Both fell to Rahul Chahar (2-33), with Sanju Samson top-scoring with 42 from 27 balls before being cleaned up by a Trent Boult yorker. Shivam Dube (35) was caught and bowled by Bumrah, who snagged his reward for a dazzling performance, finishing with 1-15 from four overs.

Mumbai began their reply in solid fashion and De Kock welcomed fellow South African Morris into the attack with a brutal pull over the ropes.

Morris conceded four leg byes from the next delivery too, but from the final ball of the over he coaxed Rohit Sharma to chip to Chetan Sakariya at mid-on for the first breakthrough of the innings, with 49 on the board.

De Kock kept the runs flowing but lost second-wicket partner Suryakumar Yadav for just 16, flicking Morris to Buttler at mid-wicket, and almost departed himself when he was dropped on 58 by Jaiswal off Sakariya. It would have been a stunning catch and Jaiswal, dashing backwards in the field, got hands to the ball but could not cling on.

Krunal Pandya cracked two sixes in making 39 from 26 balls, edging a delivery from Mustafizur Rahman into his stumps to perish before the winning line, but De Kock and Kieron Pollard (16no), who also struck a maximum off Morris, soon made sure.

Bumrah gets it right

Bumrah may not have the wickets to show for it yet this season, but few batsmen will have relished facing his pace and skill. Here he delivered 12 dot balls, conceded just one boundary, and picked up a wicket from his penultimate delivery, which was probably one of the worst balls he bowled. Stifling the Royals batsmen late in the innings proved so valuable in the end.

De Kock makes his mark

With three failures from his first four IPL innings this season, De Kock knew the team were due a score from him, and here it was. After going 2, 40, 2, 3 in Mumbai's previous matches, opener De Kock stepped up and made all the difference in this clash. His six off Morris was a highlight and De Kock twice went over the ropes, also cracking six fours while proving both sturdy and ever-dangerous. Mumbai had won just two of their opening five games, but this third win was a dominant one, largely thanks to their powerful left-hander.

Chennai Super Kings once again got the better of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, recording a seventh win in nine meetings by easily chasing down a target of 172.

Ruturaj Gaikwad made 75 - his highest IPL score - and the in-form Faf du Plessis contributed 56 as Chennai triumphed with seven wickets and nine balls to spare at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Rashid Khan (3-36) was the only successful Hyderabad bowler, though even the leg-spinner was not spared from punishment. With a fifth successive win, the Super Kings move above Royal Challengers Bangalore to top of the table.

Hyderabad, in contrast, prop up the rest in the standings; winning the toss was about the only thing that went right for them.

Captain David Warner laboured to 57 from 55 balls and Manish Pandey finished as his team's leading scorer with 61, helping add 106 in combination with his skipper for the second wicket.

However, after Lungi Ngidi (2-35) removed both well-set batsmen, Kane Williamson finally provided some much-needed impetus in the closing overs.

The New Zealand captain hit 26 from the 10 deliveries he faced, raising the question as to why he did not come in earlier in the innings. Kedar Jadhav (12 not out) also contributed a late cameo, though a final score of 171-3 always appeared below par.


Warner signs not good

Warner now has 193 runs at an average of 32.16 in the tournament this year, while the left-hander reached the notable personal milestone of 10,000 in his first-class career in the shortest format.

Still, his strike-rate of 110.28 runs per 100 deliveries in 2021 is well below his IPL career mark of 140.13. The skipper's frustration was obvious in this innings, as he struggled to pierce the field, albeit he did manage three fours and a pair of sixes.

Openers dominate in chase

Having seen Hyderabad struggle for momentum, Chennai made sure they did not have similar issues in their reply. Gaikwad recorded his fifth IPL half-century thanks to 12 boundaries and Du Plessis played his part in an opening stand worth 129 to take over as the leading run-scorer in the tournament.

While Rashid dismissed the pair – as well as getting Moeen Ali caught for 15 in the deep – Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, who finished unbeaten on seven and 17 respectively, made sure their team cruised over the line in the penultimate over.

Royal Challengers Bangalore claimed a dramatic one-run victory over Delhi Capitals to prevail in a battle between two of the Indian Premier League's early pace-setters.

Both sides went into the match in Ahmedabad having won four of their opening five games and only the finest of margins could split them on the day.

RCB posted 171-5, led by a fine 75 not out from AB de Villiers, and then held on amid a late Delhi flurry as death bowler Mohammed Siraj limited the Capitals to 12 off the last over when 14 was the target to win.

It was Shimron Hetmyer's explosive 53 off 25 balls that threatened to turn the contest on its head, but he only faced one delivery in the final over and Rishabh Pant's efforts came up short at the other end.

It looked like trouble was in store for RCB, who were beaten soundly by Chennai Super Kings last time out, after captain Virat Kohli fell in the fourth over for just 12 runs and Devdutt Padikkal (17) followed him next ball.

Glenn Maxwell (25) and Rajat Patidar (31), who each scored a pair of maximums, helped to steady the ship but it was South Africa legend De Villiers who really upped the tempo.

His unbeaten knock included five sixes and three fours as he elevated his side to a far more competitive total, which the Capitals had looked set to fall well short of.

Their response was truly floundering by the time Prithvi Shaw's dismissal left them on 47-3 in the eighth over, with inspiration sorely needed from somewhere.

Up stepped Pant and Hetmyer, the latter going at a searing strike rate of 212 to have RCB nerves jangling.

But with Pant also well set heading into the deciding over, the skipper took the responsibility on his own shoulders and, though he reached 58 not out, his four off the last ball was not the kind of boundary Delhi needed.

Siraj keeps his cool

Handed the ball and the task of shackling two batsmen in good touch, Siraj proved equal to the task.

He only allowed four runs from the first four deliveries, leaving Pant needing a six that his otherwise excellent innings ultimately failed to produce.

"I was only thinking that my yorker's coming out well," said Siraj. "It's what I execute in tough situations, so I was confident in my yorker. That's all I was thinking about."

Destructive De Villiers

While Siraj's work with the ball ensured his side got over the line, it was De Villiers' destructive brilliance with the bat that gave the bowlers a target to defend.

This showing took him past 5,000 IPL runs, becoming just the sixth player to surpass that mark.

He was unsurprisingly given the man of the match award.

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