DC won the toss and opted to field first keeping in mind the dew factor. Before the match, they had lost 3 out of 4 home games. They started the match with the quest of improving their home ground figures. Winning here was also more important because of their loss in the away-match against KXIP.
Bowling first, Sandeep Lamichhane took Rahul’s wicket in the second over after conceding a six and a four. The Purple-Capped Rabada too struck early in his first and DC’s 5th over by removing Mayank Agarwal with the short delivery. Barring 45 runs partnership between Gayle and Mandeep, DC bowlers did not face any challenges. Patel took Miller’s wicket in the 8th over while Lamichhane got rid of the dangerous Gayle, thanks to the spectacular catch relayed by Ingram from the boundary line to Patel who was a good 23 meter away from him. In the same over, Lamichhane got the wicket of Sam Curran too. DC bowlers did not give away too many runs till the end and the total they got to chase was 164.
After cautious first over, DC openers – Dhawan and Shaw - added 23 in next two. After Shaw’s run out, the skipper Iyer and Dhawan built a big partnership of 92 runs. At the end of the 14th over, after Dhawan’s departure, DC needed just 46 runs. They lost 3 more wickets from overs 15-19 and suddenly the chase looked more captivating. Iyer played captain’s knock as he stayed till the end and ensured DC’s home-win.
Man of the Match Iyer made 58 in 49 balls. Dhawan scored 56 runs in 41 balls. Lamichhane took three crucial wickets for 40 runs while Rabada bagged two for 23 runs. Patel also took two wickets for 22 runs in his 3 overs.
Kings XI included left-arm mystery spinner Harpreet Brar and Sam Curran for the match. They had the advantage of earlier home-game-win against DC. It was just another day in the office for Gayle as he scored 69 runs that included 6 fours and 5 sixes. He did not get enough support from his fellow batsmen as Rahul went early in the second over while Agarwal and Miller too fell cheaply. The best partnership of the inning was of 45 runs between Gayle and Mandeep. Kings XI had only two big overs of 15 plus runs, only when Gayle was batting. They failed to score with a high rate after Gayle departed. Thanks to the last-ball six by Harpreet Brar, Kings XI reached 163 runs.
Mohammad Shami produced a very good first over for Kings XI as DC could score just 1 run. They got the first success in the fourth over with Mandeep’s superb throw to end Prithvi Shaw’s inning, but they conceded 60 runs in the powerplay. Kings XI bowlers failed to break the partnership between Dhawan and Iyer till the 14th over and with that, the match slipped out of their control. Viljoen took the wickets of Dhawan and Pant in 14th and 16th over. The 19th over was more dramatic as Shami bowled out Ingram and DC needed 9 in 9 balls. In the next ball, Patel got run out after the collision with Shami. Curran got 6 to defend in the last over but it was too less for any bowler in the T20 format.
Gayle was the top scorer from both the sides with his 37 balls 69. Mandeep supported him well with his 27 balls 30, while Brar made 20 off just 12 balls. Viljoen took two wickets for 39 runs and Shami got 1 for 21.
Delhi Capitals’ next match is against 7th ranked Rajasthan Royals. They are meeting for the first time in the tournament on 22nd April 2019 at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. Average first innings score at this ground in past four IPL matches is 154, and RR batted first in all four innings. DC would prefer to chase again if they win the toss as they look forward to securing another two points.
Kings XI Punjab will play an away game next against Royal Challengers Bangalore on 24th April at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. KXIP would want to win this match not only to take revenge for their home-game loss but also to bag two points at this crucial stage of the tournament.
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