The Kings had made a costly buy this IPL auction getting in Sam Curran for 7.2 Crores. The buys of such magnitude have to be justified. Sam Curran did justify it and how. He scored a quick 20 off 10 balls opening the innings for KXIP and then came back at the death to pick up a hat-trick that spanned across two overs to gain an unlikely victory for the Kings.
After being asked to bat first, the Kings lost KL Rahul with just 15 on the board. Sam Curran - an experiment at the top - did not last long as he was next to go in 4th over with 36 on the board. Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh and David Miller – at the end of the innings – provided solid middle order performances for KXIP to get them to 166 despite the lower order collapse of 5 for 146 to 9 for 156. However, there was a bigger collapse to come that mattered in the end.
Defending 166, captain R Ashwin removed dangerous Prithvi Shaw on the first delivery. The Kings did not have much luck after that as Shikhar and Iyer took them into the 60s without further loss at a quick rate. The Kings had lost all hopes when Delhi needed 23 in 21 deliveries with 7 wickets in hand with Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram going strong. Just then, Shami removed Pant which initiated a downward spiral. Sam Curran then took 4 wickets in no time, 3 of them in a hat-trick that spanned across the overs giving KXIP an unlikely win to take them to the second spot in the rankings.
David Miller was the highest scorer for KXIP with 43 runs at the strike rate of above 140. Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep Singh scored 39 and 29 respectively at about 135 strike rate. Sam Curran was undoubtedly the peak of the bowlers with 4 wickets in 2.2 over giving away just 11 runs. R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami took 2 wickets each.
Delhi Capitals lost to Kings XI Punjab within a blink of an eye. That’s how quick and fatal the collapse was. T20 teams don’t lose from a situation of needing 23 off 21 with 7 wickets in hand. But try telling that to the Delhi Capitals who were on course to third win of the season only to lose it by 14 runs after the dramatic collapse.
Winning the toss electing to field first, Delhi picked up the top order wickets of KXIP at regular intervals having them at 58 for 3 in 7 overs. However, Delhi failed to restrain Sarfaraz Khan and David Miller who added 62 in next 6.4 overs. Once Morris removed David Miller as the 5th wicket, the Kings collapsed against Rabada, who took 2 wickets and affected a run-out, and Morris. However, they failed to restrict Mandeep Singh who hit crucial blows, in the end, to get KXIP to 166.
In the Chase, barring the early wicket of Prithvi Shaw, Delhi looked on course for a comfortable win. By the time they reached 144, they needed just 23 to win in 3.3 overs with set Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram at the crease playing in their 30s. But then, Pant got out to Shami, Ashwin got Morris in a run-out, Curran took out Ingram, Curran got Harshal Patel, Shami got Vihari, and then in the first 2 balls of the last over Delhi was cleaned up by Curran. Delhi did not see that coming.
Chris Morris was the peak of the bowlers with 3 wickets whereas Rabada and Lamichhane took 2 each. Dhawan, Iyer, Pant, and Ingram made similar contributions around 30 run mark but failed to take Delhi over the line.
The kings must take a lot of heart from this win. Such wins could turn out to be game changers for a franchise. And the win has come just at the right before they take on the yet undefeated CSK on 6th April away from home. Sam Curran could turn out to be what Sunil Narine is for KKR. He will definitely be the mainstay hereon through the tournament.
Delhi were speechless after the heart-wrenching loss against KXIP. They must gather themselves for the encounter against another tough team – the Sunrisers Hyderabad – at home in a couple of days on the 4th of April.
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