IPL: Delhi capitulates from a position of strength

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Curran and Shami help Kings XI Punjab defend a below-par total and make it two-out-of-two at home

Kings XI Punjab stuttered and faltered with the bat but its bowlers made up for it, managing to defend a below-par total to make it two-in-two at home with a 14-run victory over Delhi Capitals in IPL-12 at the PCA Stadium here on Monday.

Delhi lost the plot chasing a tricky 167 for victory when it lost Prithvi Shaw the first ball, R. Ashwin inducing the faintest of edges to K.L. Rahul behind the stumps.

Batting collapse

But, unlike its previous game when Delhi managed to stumble past the finish line after dominating the chase, it suffered a batting collapse here towards the end.

Shaw’s dismissal meant it was up to Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer to settle the nerves and they managed for a while, adding 61, before the Delhi captain dragged Hardus Viljoen’s length delivery onto his stumps.

Delhi, which was in a position of strength at 137 for three at one stage, imploded and lost its last seven wickets for just eight runs.

Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram, added 62 for the fourth wicket and looked set to take Delhi home comfortably. But once Pant was cleaned up by Mohammed Shami, going for one big hit too many, the plot changed.

The icing for Kings XI was Sam Curran registering the first hat-trick of the season to wrap up Delhi’s innings.

Earlier, Punjab received its first blow even before the game began, with Chris Gayle pulling out owing to injury. Ashwin then lost the toss followed by losing wickets at crucial moments.

David Miller, Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep Singh, who remained unbeaten on 29, were the chief contributors to the team’s score. Miller’s dismissal in the 17th over triggered a collapse.

Expensive

Delhi dropped Amit Mishra and added Avesh Khan but he proved to be the most expensive even as the other frontline bowlers — Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Sandeep Lamichhane — shared the spoils.

It was Lamichhane who ended the only fruitful period of play for the host. Sarfaraz and Milled put on 62 for the fourth wicket, but just as the team looked set to change gears, Sarfaraz poked at a harmless delivery from Lamichhane that hardly turned, edging to Pant.

The momentum was lost briefly, but Mandeep’s heroics made the difference for the host in the end.

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