The match between the Delhi Capitals (DC) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi turned out to be a closely-fought one. The game went right to the last over, but eventually, it was the Shreyas Iyer-captained Capitals, who came out trumps by five wickets. With the victory, Delhi get to 12 points and strengthen their chances of moving to the playoffs in this edition’s IPL.Gayle steadies the ship
KL Rahul started with a couple of boundaries off Sandeep Lamichhane but got out to the same bowler in the second over after scoring 12 from nine balls. The likes of Mayank Agarwal and David Miller couldn’t make an impact and got out to Kagiso Rabada and Axar Patel respectively. At the other end, Chris Gayle, the hulk-like Jamaican, played his strokes freely and accomplished his fifty in a mere 25 deliveries.
In the 13th over, it was the guile and trajectory of Lamichhane that accounted for Gayle’s wicket. The 30-year-old top-scored for the Kings with 69 from 37 balls with six boundaries and five sixes. Mandeep Singh also contributed with a useful 30 from 27 with a four and a six. The likes of Ravi Ashwin and Harpreet Brar scored 16 and 20 respectively and helped Punjab post a decent score of 163 in 20 overs.The Capitals prevail at the Kotla
Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan started handsomely, but Shaw got out to a direct hit from Mandeep. Shreyas Iyer, the DC captain, joined Dhawan in the middle and the duo kept pegging away at the target. In the last 10 overs, Delhi required 74 runs with nine wickets in hand and were well and truly in the driver’s seat. Dhawan notched his 35th IPL half-century in 36 balls to keep the pressure on the visitors.
Dhawan threatened after scoring 56 runs, but Hardus Viljoen picked up his prized wicket to give Punjab a ray of rope. Viljoen sent back Rishabh Pant as well. Pant tried to play a big shot only to hole out to SSam Curran in the deep. Colin Ingram hit a couple of fours and was castled by Mohammed Shami. Iyer notched his fifty in 45 balls. The Capitals needed six off the last overs, and they achieved them easily.Ravi Ashwin, the KXIP captain, said
Shreyas Iyer, the DC captain and player of the Match, said
I thought it was just below par because of the dew. It was quite hard to grip the ball for the spinners. We lost too many wickets in the middle despite Gayle playing a brilliant knock. Someone like Mujeeb is a very important player for us. It happened last year as well, he got a soft tissue injury. It was quite disappointing from that angle. But having said we have enough talent to back him up but unfortunately we didn’t have enough runs on the board today.
We were giving away one or two soft boundaries and we need to be tight there. If we had 12-13 in the last over, we would have fancied ourselves. Credit to Shreyas. He held his nerve and batted through. He (Harpreet) has come a long way in a year or so. He has picked a lot of wickets in junior cricket. We have played quite well in the 10 games, won a few and lost a few. This tournament is all about stringing wins together and we need to catch the momentum now.
Really satisfied on winning this one after losing three home games. The way we played, it was really good to see. This pitch isn’t suitable for our batsmen as it’s a slow wicket. It’s really important to finish the games, today I did that. Sandeep is a very confident lad. Even if goes for runs, he comes back hard. He’s fearless and positive in his approach. Presence of Mishra also helps. We want our top-order batsmen to play fearless cricket and that’s what happened. Either of the top four batsmen has to stay there till the end and take the team through.Shikhar Dhawan said
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It was very important for us to win this game. We are playing good cricket and want to qualify for the knockouts. We have become better in finishing the game, but we have to get better. I knew that we had to cash in in the first six overs because it gets harder and slower after that. I have been preparing well for it and executing it on a match day. I just focus on my process and I feel that as an experienced player, I communicate more to ensure that we don’t lose wickets in crucial situations.