Delhi Capitals (DC) moved to the top of the points table after beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by 7 wickets in Match 29 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Shikhar Dhawan scored a terrific 69* as DC chased down the target with 2 overs to spare after the bowlers restricted PBKS to a total of 166.
Chasing a target of 167, DC openers – Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan – got off to an impressive start, scoring 24 in the first two overs. Shaw creamed two fours and found an edge that traveled all the way for a six against Mohammad Shami.
Dhawan added two fours with two brilliant cricketing shots in the fourth over. Shaw welcomed Ravi Bishnoi to the crease with a lofted shot that went all the way for a maximum. 17 runs came off the final over of the powerplay after Shaw smacked two fours and a six off Jordan and DC were 63/0 after 6 overs.
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Harpreet Brar broke the dangerous partnership and castled Shaw on the first ball after the powerplay. Dhawan and Steve Smith knocked the ball around in the middle-overs and developed a steady partnership. DC was 87/1 at the end of 10 overs with both Dhawan and Smith settled at the crease. Dhawan released some pressure after he targeted the short-boundary for a six against Bishnoi.
Riley Meredith was back into the attack and found success after Smith flicked it straight to Dawid Malan at deep mid-wicket in the 13th over. However, Dhawan continued playing his shots as he smacked a six off Bishnoi and reached his half-century.
Rishabh Pant reverse-swept his first delivery for a four to get things going as DC were closing into the target. DC scored 13 runs off the 15th over against Shami. While Dhawan creamed a four, the DC skipper played the pick-up shot to get a maximum.
Pant tried to finish the game in a hurry, trying to play a shot that only got the height but not the distance as he was caught at extra cover. However, Shimron Hetmyer played a cameo and smacked two maximums against Meredith followed by a four as DC chased down the target with ease in the end.
Earlier, PBKS, who were put in to bat first, were playing without the services of skipper KL Rahul after the batsman was ruled out of the game after he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. Mayank Agarwal captained the side in Rahul’s absence.
Ishant Sharma bowled a maiden over to start the proceedings as PBKS scored only 6 runs in the first two overs. Prabhsimran Singh hit the first six of the game after targeting the leg-side. However, the right-hander was on his way, thanks to a sharp catch from Smith.
Chris Gayle started his innings in style after he creamed a four off Avesh Khan and cleared Kagiso Rabada for a six. But it was Rabada, who had the last laugh as the right-arm pacer cleaned up Gayle with a full toss and PBKS were 39/2 after 6 overs.
Mayank stitched an important partnership with Malan as the duo added 22 runs in the next three overs. At the 10-over mark, PBKS were 63/2 and were struggling to hit the boundaries in the middle overs while DC bowlers kept things quiet.
Malan played a release shot to get a maximum with a slice over cover followed by a four in the 12th over. Axar Patel provided the breakthrough for DC after Malan missed a delivery that went on to hit the leg-stump. In the same over, confusion in the middle led to the run-out of Deepak Hooda before the batsman got going and PBKS were 4 down.
With five overs to go, Mayank accelerated and smashed a six each against Rabada and Ishant and brought up his fifty. The PBKS skipper then hit consecutive fours against Axar Patel as the Punjab Kings reached 128/4 at the end of 17 overs. Avesh Khan bowled a terrific over and gave away only 4 runs in the 18th over as well as scalped the wicket of Shahrukh Khan, who was caught inside the circle.
Mayank smacked Rabada for a six straight over the sightscreen but the seamer picked his third wicket in the penultimate over after Jordan was caught in the deep. Mayank took Avesh Khan to the cleaners in the final over and scored 23 runs that included three fours and a six and his unbeaten 99 helped PBKS post 166 in the first innings.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals: 167/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 69*, Prithvi Shaw 39; Chris Jordan 1/21) beat Punjab Kings 166/6 (Mayank Agarwal 99*, Dawid Malan 26; Kagiso Rabada 3/36) by 7 wickets.