Shikhar Dhawan is finally showing his best form with the bat. After an indifferent start to the season, the southpaw seems to have found his mojo back. After a string of poor displays, Dhawan roared back to form with an unbeaten 97-run knock against Kolkata Knight Riders and on Saturday he scored 56 to guide Delhi Capitals to an impressive 5-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab. With the win, Delhi Capitals have now won six of their first ten games. The team is now looking well on their way to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Asked to bat first, Kings XI Punjab scored 163 for 7. Veteran opener Chris Gayle gave them a solid start by scoring 69 from just 37 deliveries. However, there was no other major contribution from the bat as Delhi managed to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 163 despite the initial onslaught from Gayle. In reply, Delhi were off to a poor start with Prithvi Shaw departing cheaply. However, Shikhar Dhawan ensured that Kings XI Punjab do not make further inroads in the game with a fine knock of 56.
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He along with skipper Shreyas Iyer (58*) added 92 runs for the second wicket to all but seal the game for Delhi. Iyer then remained till the end to make sure Delhi do not suffer any collapse. Speaking at the end of the game, Iyer had a word of praise for Shikhar Dhawan as he lauded his senior teammate.
“We want our top-order batsmen to play fearless cricket and that’s what happened. Dhawan is playing fearless cricket right throughout the season and that’s helping us. Either of the top four batsmen has to stay there till the end and take the team through. I took the responsibility today and I hope to continue that in the matches to come,” Iyer said.
Shikhar Dhawan, nonetheless, achieved an incredible milestone on Saturday. He became the first batsman in the history of the IPL to hit 500 fours. He now has hit 502 fours while retired Gautam Gambhir is second in the list with 491 fours. Among active players, Suresh Raina is the second best after Dhawan with 473 fours to his name. Virat Kohli (471) and David Warner (445) complete the top five.