Captain Iyer Guides Delhi to Win Over KXIP in Last-Over Thriller
- Delhi Capitals beat Kings XI Punjab by five wickets in their IPL match at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday, 20 April.
- Kings XI Punjab: 163 for 7 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 69, Mandeep Singh 30, Sandeep Lamichhane 3/40)
- Delhi Capitals: 166 for 5 in 19.4 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 56, Shreyas Iyer 58*; Hardus Viljoen 2/39)
It was a Saturday of the captains in the Indian Premier League on 20 April. After newly-appointed captain Steve Smith led Rajasthan Royals to a 5-wicket win over Mumbai Indians, it was Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer’s chance to help his team cross the line.
Chasing 164 for a win at their home ground Feroz Shah Kotla, captain Iyer (56 off 41 balls) and opener Shikhar Dhawan stitched a strong 92-run partnership after young Prithvi Shaw fell for 13.
But once Dhawan was dismissed for 56 (off 41 balls), the wickets started tumbling. Rishabh Pant for 6, Colin Ingram for 19 and Axar Patel for 1. From needing 28 off 24 balls, Delhi needed 6 off the last 6 balls.
Sam Curran was handed the ball, and the 20th over started with Iyer taking a single and putting Sherfane Rutherford on strike. Another single and the skipper was back on strike. A double and then a boundary, and the Delhi Capitals had safely been taken home by the skipper with 5 wickets in hand and 2 balls remaining.
Delhi Avenge First-Led Defeat
With this win, Delhi Capitals avenged their shocking first-leg defeat, brightening their prospects of making the play-offs of IPL 2019.
In the first leg in Mohali, Delhi had lost seven wickets for eight runs to gift KXIP victory after sitting pretty at 144 for three in the 17th over while chasing 168.
This was Delhi’s second win at home in five outings and sixth overall, occupying the third place in the standings. KXIP remained on fourth with 10 points.
Gayle Blitzkrieg Helps KXIP Post 163/7
Earlier, Chris Gayle smashed five gargantuan sixes into the night sky before Delhi Capitals put the brakes and restricted Kings XI Punjab to 163 for seven. Gayle top-scored with 69 off 37 balls, reaching the half century in 25 balls and hitting six boundaries besides the towering sixes.
Coming back into the team, young leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane returned figures of 3/40, playing an influential role in helping DC rally after Gayle's blitzkrieg.
Considering the dew factor in mind, Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer invited the visitors to bat first.
And the hosts, seeking to end their run of woes at the Feroz Shah Kotla, enjoyed early success when Lamichhane tossed the ball up and had KL Rahul stumped with one that turned sharply in the second over.
The 'Universe Boss', entering the game with 421 runs from nine matches, started his onslaught by smashing Ishant Sharma's knuckle ball over long on for one of the biggest sixes the stadium has ever witnessed, the 101m maximum threatening to break the windows of The Willingdon Pavilion.
He toyed with Amit Sharma and smoked the experienced leg-spinner for three maximums, including two over the deep mid wicket region.
Before that, the big-hitting Jamaican, one of the biggest globetrotters in T20 leagues, cut, drove and swept Lamichhane for four boundaries in a single over.
It took an acrobatic effort from Colin Ingram in the deep to bring to an end Gayle's belligerent stay in the middle.
After sweeping a Lamichhane delivery into the crowd, Gayle went for one too many, and Ingram, taking the ball over his head, lobbed it to Axar Patel before falling on the other side of the rope.
Returning to the playing XI, Lamichhane dismissed Sam Curran in the same 13th over in which he had Gayle, to peg the visitors back.
Pacer Kagiso Rabada picked up 2/23 in four overs, while Axar Patel took 2/22 in three overs.