This is what the game of cricket is all about! The highs…the lows…the elation…and the despair. Above all, respect. And that is what we will take away from this cracker of a TATA IPL 2024 encounter. We may have lost the match to Delhi Capitals by four runs, but it was one such match where the scoreboard can’t tell the complete tale.

Be it Sandeep Warrier's three wickets in the Powerplay or our batters’ – Wriddhiman Saha (39), Sai Sudharsan (65), and David Miller (55) – brilliance during our chase, our Titans never gave up and faced the challenge head-on.

Choosing to bowl first in the national capital, our Titans were up for the task at hand and stuck to the game plan well. Warrier was the first to get into the act, and the man from Kerala did it in some style. In his second over, Warrier angled one into Jake Fraser-McGurk’s pads. It came off the bottom of his bat and found Noor Ahmad at deep square leg.

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Two balls later, our two Titans combined again to dismiss Prithvi Shaw. This time, it took a brilliant diving catch from Noor. Warrier then sent Shai Hope packing. This time, it was Rashid bhai’s superb catch at backward point that gave our Kerala pacer a third in the Powerplay. 

Later, Axar Patel – promoted to No. 3 – and the Delhi Capitals’ captain Rishabh Pant took their time to get into the match and played out a few overs with caution. But as the match ensued, batting became relatively easier as the two scored well to post a challenging 224/ 4 in their 20 overs.

Chasing a challenging target, our game plan was clear – to go after the DC bowlers from the word go. Both openers, captain Shubman Gill and Wriddhi dada, barely let the Capitals settle into a rhythm and went after them hammer and tongs. Wriddhi dada opened our innings with a glorious cover drive that found the fence while Captain Gill showed his class with a flick off his pads for a boundary through mid-wicket; a shot that was all timing and placement.

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Though we lost our skipper soon after, Sai Su – coming in as the Impact Sub for the evening – had a telling impact on the proceedings. While he dispatched Anrich Nortje for a maximum off the first ball he faced, Sai Su also went after the South African, taking him apart at will. Our Titans made DC pay for any mistakes in line and length. Sai went on to bring up his fifty, his first for the season.

With the scoreboard pressure mounting, our Titans continued with their blitz and punished the Capitals throughout the match. While Sai Su departed midway, Agent Miller continued the onslaught in breathtaking fashion. Be it his hard-hitting boundaries or the three monstrous sixes off Nortje in the 17th – an over where we scored 24 runs – our Titans never gave up. 

Later, even our bowlers gave it their all with the bat as we threw the kitchen sink at the Capitals. R Sai Kishore, who returned with his best bowling figures in TATA IPL in our last match, let his bat do the talking tonight, scoring a quickfire 13 off just six balls while Rashid bhai took us very close to another memorable win with his 21 not-out of 11 balls.

In the end, however, we remained just one shot away as we lost the match by 4 runs.