Kings XI Punjab, on Wednesday, beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets to keep their slim playoff chances alive. The win was KXIP’s fourth in ten game this season and third in a row. With the win, the KL Rahul-led also moved to the fifth spot in the points table.
Chasing 165, KXIP crossed the finishing line with an over remaining. KL Rahul departed cheaply before Chris Gayle smashed 29 off just 13 to set the tone for the chase. However, Delhi clawed their way back in the game by dismissing Gayle and Mayank Agarwal in quick succession to reduce KXIP to 56 for 3 from 52 for 1.
It was followed by a 69-run stand between Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell. Kagiso Rabada broke the stand when he sent back Pooran. Prior to his departure, Pooran had scored 53 from 28 balls. Maxwell departed soon after scoring 32 before Deepak Hooda and Jimmy Neesham finished the game off.
Earlier in the match, Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten century helped Delhi Capitals put up a competitive total of 164 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs. While the opening batsman scored an unbeaten 106, he found very little support from the other end. Prithvi Shaw’s poor run of form continued as he managed to score only 7 from 11 balls while Rishabh Pant, who was returning from injury, scored 14 from 20.
The likes of Marcus Stoinis and Shreyas Iyer failed to get going too but Dhawan made sure to guide his side to a good total. For KXIP, Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers, conceding just 28 runs off his four overs while dismissing Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer.
KL Rahul’s reaction:
Speaking after the game, KXIP skipper KL Rahul expressed his delight over the win while singling out some of his teammates for special praise. He also refused to get carried away with his team’s recent wins and made it clear that KXIP need to stay humble.
“Especially when you play with 6 batters and one all-rounder, one of the top four had to do the job. One thing that we need to look at. Shami was coming in after some confidence from the last game. Arshdeep bowled two overs in the powerplay and one over at the death. And he nailed 6 yorkers. Glenn has been batting well in the nets. He is a great team man and we know the balance he brings to the table,” said KL Rahul.
“The talk before the last couple of games was to beat two teams were at the top of the points table. I couldn’t sleep after the last game. We could have finished it before and not allowed it to go into the super over. The game reminds us to stay humble. We would want to take the momentum forward and take it one game at a time,” he added.