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Porel, Stubbs & bowlers keep DC's slim playoff hopes alive; RR qualify

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New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) Commanding fifties from Abishek Porel and Tristan Stubbs was complemented by a clinical bowling effort as Delhi Capitals kept their slim IPL play-off hopes alive with a 19-run win over Lucknow Super Giants in their final league fixture here on Tuesday.

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Porel (58 off 33 balls) and Shai Hope (38 off 27 balls) shared 92 runs off 49 balls to give the hosts an aggressive start.

Tristan Stubbs (57 not out off 25) then hammered three fours and four maximums in his blitzkrieg and added 47 and 50 runs with Rishabh Pant (33) and Axar Patel (14 not out) to power DC to 208 for 4.

The bowlers then joined the party to restrict the visitors to 189 for 9, despite a belligerent 27-ball 61 from Nicholas Pooran and a 33-ball 58 not out by Arshad Khan.

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After the loss in their penultimate league game, LSG are all but out of the play-off race. DC's win paved the way for Rajasthan Royals qualification to the play-offs.

Delhi moved to 14 points, same as Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and their playoff chances depends on a sequence of other results.

Chasing 209, LSG couldn't recover from a nightmarish start as Ishant (3/34), who replaced Porel as impact sub, removed both openers KL Rahul (5), Quinton de Kock (12) and Deepak Hooda (0) in his opening spell.

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Marcus Stoinis (5) was then bamboozled by Axar, while Stubbs had Ayush Badoni (6) caught at boundary line as LSG lost half their side for 71 in 8th over.

Pooran hit six fours and four sixes to keep the runrate high as LSG reached 100 in 11th over. But once he was dismissed by Mukesh Kumar with Axar producing a special effort, Arshad Khan took centerstage slamming five sixes and three fours to keep them in the chase.

Arshad added 33 runs each with Krunal Pandya (18) and Yudhvir Singh (14) to bring down the equation to 29 off last 12 balls. But Mukesh and Rasikh Salam bowled superbly to limit them in the end.

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Earlier, DC's most dangerous batter Jake Fraser-McGurk fell to a trap at long-on but Porel took the onus, smashing six boundaries and four sixes during his stay. He cut the third ball of his innings over third man off Mohsin before picking up three fours and a six off Arshad Khan.

Porel drove through the offside, cut and pulled anything short to race away to his second fifty of this IPL off 21 balls.

Hope too stepped up with two fours and a six off Yudhvir Singh as DC crossed the 50-mark in a jiffy.

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Naveen was welcomed with a six by Porel, who sent him to the second tier next with another pull to take DC to 73 for one in powerplay.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (1/26) broke the partnership after having the West Indian caught as KL Rahul held on to the catch in his second attempt.

Naveen then removed Porel, who was caught by Pooran at the boundary rope, leaving DC were 111 for 3 in 12th over.

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With Bishnoi keeping things tight, runs slowed down but Pant picked up two fours once Krunal Pandya was back in attack. Mohsin, however, gave just four in his third over as DC reached 136 for 3 in 15 overs.

Stubbs then exploded with a six and two fours off Arshad in an 18-run over but Pant holed out to Hooda at long-on while going for a maximum off Naveen.

Stubbs slammed Mohsin for a maximum before clobbering two more sixes off Naveen to reach his fifty in 22 balls. He added 50 off 22 balls with Axar Patel (14) as 72 came in last five overs. PTI ATK ATK BS BS BS

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