Despite Dhawan’s Ton, KXIP Cruise Home by 5 Wickets vs Delhi
Shikhar Dhawan’s century couldn’t help Delhi Capitals as KXIP reached their target with six balls to spare.
A record-setting century by Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t ensure victory for Delhi Capitals as Kings XI Punjab, chasing 165, won by 5 wickets in match 38 of IPL 2020.
Having won the toss, Delhi elected to bat first in Dubai and managed 164/5, thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 106 by Dhawan. The left-handed opener created history by becoming the first batsman ever in IPL history to score two back-to-back centuries.
His century, however, couldn’t hide the fact that DC’s top order failed to fire. KXIP reached their target with 6 balls to spare.
Punjab, languishing at the bottom of the table in the previous week, kept their hopes of qualification alive with three back-to-back victories against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and now Delhi Capitals.
The fact that they managed to get the better of the top three teams on the points table is bound to boost their confidence in the remaining four matches.
DHAWAN’S RECORD SETTING FORM
Dhawan has been unstoppable in the last four matches. He had scores of 69 not out, 57 and 101 not out in his last three outings and Tuesday was no different as he made an unbeaten 106.
He read the sluggish surface of Abu Dhabi well and picked the line by leg spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin with accuracy, sweeping them at will.
Having being criticised as being slow in his first five matches of this season’s IPL, Dhawan silenced his critics over the last four matches and entered the history books on Tuesday.
Dhawan has now overtaken KXIP’s Mayank Agarwal as second on the IPL runs list with 465 runs in 10 matches. Orange cap holder KL Rahul is still 75 runs ahead with 540 runs despite a poor show on Tuesday.
POORAN RESCUES KXIP
Nicholas Pooran rescued Punjab’s ship from choppy waters as the team lost two wickets in the sixth over to find itself at 56/3 at the end of the powerplay. A terrible mix-up between Pooran and Agarwal saw the latter run out.
Pooran, however, made up for the run out by going on to score a quickfire 53 off just 28 balls with three massive sixes. He never allowed the Delhi bowling attacks to gain the upper hand and helped his team race to 101 in 10 overs.
YOUNG DESHPANDE’S NIGHTMARE OUTING
Punjab seamer Tushar Deshpande would want to forget Tuesday’s match as soon as he can. Having picked up three wickets in his last two matches, Deshpande went for 41 in his two overs.
His spell changed the fortunes for Kings XI Punjab’s innings as Chris Gayle took him apart for 26 runs in his first over and Pooran sent his deliveries flying for 15. His spell took the pressure off Punjab’s innings despite Gayle and Agarwal’s quick wickets, helping them maintain a run rate of about 10 throughout the innings.
PUNJAB LEARNS TO LOOK BEYOND THEIR OPENERS
While Punjab’s opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have proven to be among the best batsman in this edition of the IPL, the team has been let down by a grossly underperforming middle-order.
That appeared to change on Tuesday as both openers were back in the pavillion, having scored a combined 20 runs. While Rahul made 15, Agarwal only managed 5 off 9 balls.
However, Gayle contributed with a blitzkrieg innings of 29 off 13 balls while Pooran proved to be the anchor with 53 off 28. Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who, perhaps, has been the most disappointing so far, hung on and scored an important 32 off 24 deliveries.
The three combined to score 114 in 65 balls at a stunning strike-rate of 175 to take their team home.
PUNJAB SPIN TRIP EVOLVING INTO LETHAL ATTACK
Once again, Punjab’s spin trio of Maxwell, Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin proved effective on a surface that did provide assistance to spinners. The trio gave away only 88 runs in their combined 11 overs, claiming two important wickets.
They had given away only 64 in their combined nine overs against MI at an impressive economy rate of 7.11 on Sunday and are emerging as a reliable option for KXIP in the middle overs.
Despite a good start in the powerplay on Tuesday, scoring at almost nine runs per over, Delhi managed only 73 in the next ten overs thanks to some tight bowling. While Maxwell picked up Pant’s wicket, Ashwin got the big wicket of captain Iyer.
While Maxwell finished with 31/1 in his four overs, Ashwin got 33/1. Bishnoi didn’t get a wicket but gave away only 24 in his three overs.
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