Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran [Photo-Twitter]
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A whirlwind assault by Nicholas Pooran led Kings XI Punjab’s [KXIP] charge against the Delhi Capitals [DC], eventually leading to their third consecutive win of the tournament on Tuesday.

Chasing 165, Kings XI Punjab lost three big wickets in the powerplay, even as they scored at a brisk rate. The first one to fall was skipper KL Rahul thanks to a wild hoike across the line against Axar Patel, giving an easy catch to Marcus Stoinis at wide mid-on.

Chris Gayle absolutely masacarred Tushar Pandey by smashing him for three fours and two sixes in the 5th over, taking KXIP to 1-50 in just 5 overs. But then, in a matter of balls, everything changed. Ravichandran Ashwin knocked over Gayle (29 off 13 balls) after the southpaw failed to connect the hoike across the line while Mayank Agarwal got out in the same over thanks to shambolic miscommunication between Pooran and the opener.

Pooran ran down the wicket after having pushed the ball to short-cover before stopping in the middle. Agarwal hesitated before finally deciding to run, leading to his demise.

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Pooran’s running was abysmal but he more than made up for it with a brilliant onlsaught against the likes of Deshpande and Marcus Stoinis.

KXIP, DC
KXIP win by 5 wickets [Photo-Twitter]
The southpaw smoked Deshpande for a six and two consecutive fours before taking Stoinis downtown for a four and a six and Axar Patel for another monstrous six to reduce the equation to 56 off 57 balls.

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Pooran continued to make a mockery of KXIP’s bowling until he was finally dismissed by Kagiso Rabada in the 13th over, thus bringing an end to a whirlwind knock of 28-ball 53.

Rabada dismissed Glenn Maxwell (24-ball 3 in the 16th over thanks to a mistimed pull stroke and a brilliant catch by Rishabh Pant. But Deepak Hooda and James Neesham ensured there was no further hiccups with the latter smashing a six on the final ball of the 19th over to seal their third consecutive win.

Shikhar Dhawan’s record 100 led DC’s charge against KXIP

Earlier Delhi Capitals batted first and once again it was Shikhar Dhawan, who led the charge for his side.

Prithvi Shaw’s woeful form continued as the young Indian batsman was dismissed by James Neesham for an 11-ball 7.

KXIP, DC
James Neesham [Photo-Twitter]
Dhawan, however, continued to lead the charge, and along with skipper Shreyas Iyer ensured that DC made full use of the powerplay, scoring 53 runs in 6 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan brought up his 40th IPL fifty and his fourth consecutive in this edition in just 28 balls. Shreyas Iyer looked good during his 12-ball 14 before he was brilliantly strangled down the leg-side by Murugan Ashwin.

Dhawan continued the onslaught even as Delhi lost Rishabh Pant for an underwhelming 20-ball 14. The southpaw soon became the 5th batsman to rack up 5000+ runs in IPL cricket with a slog-sweep of Ravi Bishnoi for a six. Dhawan was absolutely ruthless against the spin duo of Ashwin and Bishnoi, regularly employing the slog-sweep with disdain.

But wickets continued to tumble at the other end. The next was Marcus Stoinis who failed to connect a low full-toss by Mohammed Shami, who was absolutely brilliant in nailing his yorkers once again.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan [Photo-IPL]
Dhawan, however, continued the onslaught and he soon became the first batsman in the history of the competition to rack up consecutive IPL hundreds.

The southpaw scored 64.6 percent of his teams’ runs as some lackluster batting by the rest of the DC batsmen and brilliant death bowling by Shami, ensured that the Capitals registered the lowest score by a side despite one of its batsmen racking up a three-figure score.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to KXIP’s win over DC:

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.