Brief scores: Punjab Kings 195/4 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 61, Mayank Agarwal 69) lost to Delhi Capitals 198/4 in 18.2 overs (Prithvi Shaw 32, Shikhar Dhawan 92, Marcus Stoinis 27*; Jhye Richardson 2-41) by six wickets.
Was it a Shaw and Dhawan show again?
Yes, and no. The opening pair once again got Delhi off to a flier with Shaw taking on the bowlers and finding the boundaries at will. He smashed two sixes and three fours in his knock of 32 off just 17 balls before he top-edged a short ball to Chris Gayle after a 59-run opening stand.
The powerplay belonged to DC. Despite Shaw’s exit, Dhawan kept his team going in chase with a flurry of boundaries in the middle overs. Steve Smith, who came in for Tom Curran, couldn’t middle much in his first game this season and fell cheaply on a wicket much pacier than the previous games that DC had played on in Mumbai.
Dhawan continued his good form…
…but couldn’t get a century, again. After the second strategic time-out, Dhawan went after Riley Meredith, hitting him for a hat-trick of fours in an 18-run 14th over. He fell for a 49-ball 92 an over later, but DC were in the driver’s seat by then. Dew also made its presence felt, as evindenced in DC’s chase.
Who finished it for DC?
Marcus Stoinis and Lalit Yadav. After the previous game against Rajasthan Royals, head coach Ricky Ponting had said Lalit hadn’t showed what he is capable of just yet. He did just that against Punjab after coming in to bat in the 18th over. He smacked two fours in his 6-ball 12, while Stoinis, who was caught off a waist-high full toss, made the most of the reprieve to remain unbeaten on 27 off just 13 to take DC over the line.
How did Punjab fare after being asked to bat?
Very well. It was a good wicket to bat on and Punjab Kings made the most of it after being asked to bat first. Mayank Agarwal, who hadn’t fired in the first two games, came into his own and took on the role of the aggressor in an opening stand of 122 as the Kings got off to a brilliant start. Skipper KL Rahul was happy to play second fiddle in the stand with Mayank taking on the bowlers as PBKS raced away to 59 for 0 in the powerplay.
Mayank went on to make his first half-century of the season as DC were running out of ideas with the opening stand swelling. Anything short and wide, the duo cashed in on. It was the 11th over when Mayank and Rahul went after DC’s ace pacer Kagiso Rabada, smashing as many as three sixes in a 20-run over. Rahul was dropped soon after by Prithvi Shaw, but Mayank was caught at deep point in the next over, falling for a 36-ball 69. Rahul reached a sedate fifty, off 45 balls, in the 14th over and Punjab had just under 130 on the board.
How did they reach close to 200 then?
Rahul fell an over after for 61 off 51 and Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran followed after short cameos. But Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan finished it off with some late runs that gave Punjab a strong finish. Shahrukh smashed one six and two fours in his five-ball stay, while Hooda hit two sixes in his 13-ball 22.
Ashwin, who hadn’t bowled his full quota of overs in the last game, was at his economical best, conceding just seven an over, but without a wicket, while every other bowler barring Avesh Khan went above 10.
Where do the teams go from here?
Delhi play Mumbai Indians on Tuesday in Chennai with their Wankhede leg complete, while Punjab too move to the spin-friendly Chepauk to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad.