New Delhi: Opener Shikhar Dhawan (56) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (58*) led from the front as Delhi Capitals turned their poor home record with a convincing 5-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday. They reached 166/5 with two balls to spare. With the win, DC now have 12 points from 10 games and have moved one step closer to qualifying for the play-offs.
Chasing 164 for victory, Delhi Capitals didn’t start in the most auspicious fashion as they lost Prithvi Shaw for just 13 in the fourth over, run out by Mandeep Singh. But Shikhar Dhawan was in the mood for a long stay as he looked to take the attack to the KXIP bowlers in the company of skipper Shreyas Iyer.
They matched each other shot for shot and looked to punish the bad balls as they also rotated the strike well to keep the momentum in DC’s favour. But just when it looked like Delhi would run away with the game, Hardus Viljoen sent back Dhawan (56 off 41 balls) as R. Ashwin took a brilliant catch running back.
With the 92-run partnership coming to an end, Rishabh Pant walked in as DC needed another 48 runs in 6.3 overs. But he played a strange hoick from outside off to be caught by Sam Curran off Viljoen’s bowling to be dismissed for 6 as the score read 128/3.
But skipper Iyer stood ground even as Colin Ingram (19 off 9 balls) was dismissed by Mohammed Shami and Axar Patel was also run out for a duck.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab rode on Chris Gayle’s 28th IPL fifty to register 163/7 in their 20 overs. Even as the DC bowlers looked to keep things tight after Gayle’s dismissal, the visitors still managed to pick 45 runs from their last five overs as Harpreet Brar finished with an unbeaten 20 off 12 balls.
For Delhi, Axar Patel and Sandeep Lamichhane were the star of the show. While Axar finished with 2/22 from his three overs, Lamichhane picked three wickets even though he was slightly on the expensive side, giving away 40 runs from his four overs.
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab: 163/7 (Gayle 69; Lamichhane 3/40); Delhi Capitals: 166/5 (Iyer 58*; Viljoen 2/39)