Despite an unconvincing performance with the bat, Kings XI Punjab held their nerve to eke two points off the Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi on Monday evening. Put in to bat, KXIP were quick off the blocks, but lost way after the powerplay overs, to finish their 20 overs at a below-par 143-8. Later in the night, after their quick bowlers struck thrice in the powerplay, the KXIP spinners applied the choke on the hosts, eventually restricting them to 139-8. KXIP won by 4 runs – the win taking them to the top of the table, while DD continued to remain at the floor of the table with just one win from six matches.
A target of 144 would be chased down 9 out of 10 times, but courtesy some outstanding under-pressure bowling and some smart (and brave) captaincy by Ravichandran Ashwin, KXIP were able to keep the Daredevils to 139. If the quick bowlers provided the timely breakthroughs, the spin duo of Ashwin and Mujeeb ur Rahman applied the squeeze, returning combined figures of 8-0-44-2. Mujeeb, given the task of bowling the final over with 17 to defend, came up triumphant; the Afghan spinner – after conceding 12 off the first five deliveries, picked up the wicket of Shreyas Iyer off the final ball to lead his team to a thrilling win.
The Daredevils innings mirrored the KXIP innings from earlier in the match. The hosts got off to a flyer, with the debutant opener Prithvi Shaw scoring four boundaries and racing away to 22 from 10 balls, and Glenn Maxwell, who was sent out to bat at number three, scoring a quick-fire 12.
From 56-3 after six overs, the hosts only managed 40-2 in the middle nine overs, leaving them to score 48 off the final five overs. While Shreyas Iyer hung around and made an impressively compiled 57, the only other contribution of note in the DD middle order was that of Rahul Tewatia, who contributed 24 from 21 balls, in the 47-run partnership for the sixth wicket. But Tewatia was dismissed off the final ball of the eighteenth over, leaving Shreyas to do all the scoring. Despite Shreyas’ best efforts, DD still fell short.
Earlier in the evening, Aaron Finch, who replaced the rested Chris Gayle at the top of the innings, was dismissed in the second over for his third single-digit score of the season. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal then played a few good strokes – making good use of the pace on the ball – and helped themselves to a few boundaries; both batsmen punished any width offered, and on one occasion Rahul even pulled nonchalantly to collect a six over square-leg. Rahul (23 from 15 balls) was undone by the additional bounce – available early on – and miscued a pull to be caught at short fine-leg. Agarwal (21 from 16 balls) perished in the eighth over when he played an ugly looking shot, only to have his stumps rattled.
From 51-2 at the end of the powerplay, KXIP could only add 49 runs in the middle overs, and a further 43 runs in the final five overs, to eventually finish at 143-8. Karun Nair’s 34 (made from 32 balls) would be the top-score of the innings, while David Miller’s 26 would be the second-highest score.
Standout bowling performance
Playing in his first IPL match, Liam Plunkett returned the Delhi Daredevils’ most successful bowler with figures of 4-0-17-3. He struck with his third delivery when he had KL Rahul caught at short fine-leg. Plunkett mixed up his pacy deliveries and off-cutters well, and dismissed the other two Karnataka batsmen too; he had breached through Agarwal’s defences and then had Karun Nair caught at long on. Plunkett’s spell – the best returns by a DD bowler on debut – had 12 dot balls.
Ankit Rajpoot gave KXIP a great start when he dismissed the debutant Prithvi Shaw and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell in his first three overs. He castled Shaw, who attempted to hit across the line with no footwork, and then had Maxwell, who didn’t pick a change of pace delivery, caught at midwicket. Rajpoot bowled out in the first seven overs, finishing with outstanding figures of 2-23; his spell included 15 dot balls!
Andrew Tye picked up two wickets for the fourth consecutive match running; the Australian had figures of 2-0-14-1 in the powerplay, and bowled two overs at the death – the 16th & 18th overs – in which he conceded only 11 runs, while also dismissing a well-set Tewatia off the final delivery of his spell.
Barinder Sran had conceded 18, 8 and 15 in his first three overs. Yet, he was handed the ball to bowl the crucial 19th over, and did a sterling job for his captain, conceding just four runs while also picking up a wicket.
Ravichandran Ashwin returned figures of 4-0-19-0, while the mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman’s returns read 4-0-25-2; between them, the two spinners bowled 20 dot balls and conceded only three boundaries.
Stat of the Match
All the 8 wickets that fell in the Kings XI Punjab innings were taken by the Delhi Daredevils quick bowlers. That’s the most number of wickets taken by quick bowlers in an innings in VIVO IPL 2018.
The 143 defended by Kings XI Punjab would be the lowest total defended in IPL matches at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
Kings XI Punjab 143-8 (Karun Nair 34, Liam Plunkett 3-17, Trent Boult 2-21, Avesh Khan 2-36) beat
Delhi Daredevils 139-8 (Shreyas Iyer 57, Rahul Tewatia 24, Ankit Rajpoot 2-23, Andrew Tye 2-25) by 4 runs.
Man of the Match:
Ankit Rajpoot, for his 2-23.