KXIP trump table toppers DC to move to 5th position!
Galatta | Oct 21, 2020, 12:00 am
Match 38 of IPL 2020 pitted the in-form table toppers Delhi Capitals against the team with the momentum going for them - Kings XI Punjab! Though Punjab are second last on the Points Table, they have showed a lot of intent and lost some really tight games this season. Shreyas Iyer won the toss and asked KXIP to bowl first. Pant & Hetmeyer returned for DC as an injury to Anrich Nortje gave Sams a debut for DC as KXIP replaced their last match Super Over specialist Chris Jordan with Jimmy Neesham. KXIP opened with spin as Maxwell took the new ball against Dhawan and Prithvi Shah. Dhawan got going from the first over itself and smashed it for 13 runs before taking 9 runs of the 3rd over bowled by Arshdeep Singh. Neesham came on to bowl the 4th over and struck almost immediately, removing Shah for 7. Dhawan smashed 12 runs off Shami in the 5th over and took DC to 53/1 in their Powerplay.
Murugan Ashwin removed Shreyas Iyer for 14 in the 9th over and KXIP kept DC down to 83/2 off 10 overs. Though Bishnoi went for a few runs, Maxwell and him kept things relatively tight till Maxi removed Pant for just 14 off 20 balls. Dhawan was still going strong but the KXIP bowlers managed to keep things quiet at the other end and Shami got Stoinis in the 18th over with Dhawan smashing his second consecutive 100 in the 19th over, which went for 12 runs. Shami came back to remove Hetmeyer off the last ball of the innings as DC finished on 164/5, leaving KXIP a target of 165 to win. With bowlers like Rabada, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel to come for DC, it was by no means an easy target! Rahul started aggressively with a 6 off the 3rd ball of the first over itself. However, DC made some smart bowling changes and despite hitting a 4 off his first ball, Axar Patel got Rahul off his very next delivery. Out walked Gayle and with KXIP just on 24/1 off 4 overs, decided to take things into his hands!
The Universe Boss lined up Tushar Deshpande and despatched KXIP's 5th over for 26 runs, including 3 fours and 2 sixes. Momentum was firmly in KXIP's favour as they reached 50 by the end of the 5th over. However, DC brought on R Ashwin to bowl the very next over and he struck off his 2nd ball, getting Gayle bowled to a wonderful delivery. The over had lots more drama as Pooram smashed a four before a total lack of judgement and communication had Mayank Agarwal run out and also seemingly injured in the process. Momentum had shifted back to DC as KXIP moved to 57/3 in their Powerplay. After a couple of decently tight overs, Pooran went berserk in the 9th over and scored 15 off it and another 14 off the next over by Stoinis to take KXIP to 101/3 off 10 overs! Scoreboard pressure seemed to be off KXIP as they scored another 11 runs from the 11th over to need less than run-a-ball. Rabada came back to take out Pooran for a well-made 53 but with Maxwell & Hooda still at the crease and Neesham to come, KXIP wouldn't have panicked. However, pressure started building up with runs drying out and Maxwell got out to Rabada, after hitting a four. DC's best bowlers had all been bowled out by the 18th over and KXIP needed just 8 runs from the last 2. Neesham finished the innings off with a six off Sams to win the game for KXIP and take them to 5th place on the Points Table. They are very much still in the reckoning for a place in the Playoffs! Shikhar Dhawan was given the Player of the Match award for his splendid century, which unfortunately went in vain!