Kings XI Punjab engineered one of the most incredible batting collapses as Delhi Capitals sunk to a 14-run defeat in their IPL clash in Mohali on Monday.
Punjab batted first and posted a total of 166-9, which looked well below par. David Miller top scored for Punjab with 43 but in the chase, Delhi were in cruise control as Rishabh Pant (39) and Colin Ingram (38) took the total to 144-3 in the 17th over, the target easily within reach.
But England all-rounder Sam Curran – the million dollar acquisition who went for 52 runs in his IPL debut – got the ball to reverse alongside Mohammed Shami as Delhi lost seven wickets for just eight runs, to be bowled out for 152.
Curran picked up 4-11 off just 2.4 overs, including a hat-trick spread across two overs, while Shami (2-27) got the important scalps of Pant and Hanuma Vihari. It was a memorable day for Curran who opened the innings and hit 20 off 10 balls.
Here, we take a closer look at the incredible match.
Kings XI Punjab went into the match without talismanic opener Chris Gayle. Instead, they had Curran in the side. What’s more, they decided to open the innings with him.
That left many fans, and IPL Fantasy League participants, scratching their heads. Curran did not get to bat the first two overs of the innings.
When his chance finally came, the southpaw started off by smashing three fours in one over against pacer Avesh Khan. A six off leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane (2-27) raised hopes of a dynamic innings but the Nepal teen had him lbw the next ball.
Still, a 10-ball 20 was energetic enough and in the end was a decisive contribution.
South Africans take charge
The first innings was dominated by the Proteas.
Delhi’s innings was held together by left-handed bat Miller, who made 43 off 30 balls. He fell to all-rounder Chris Morris, who ended up with figures of 3-30, including the scalps of opener KL Rahul – lbw – and captain Ravi Ashwin – bowled.
Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada (2-32) was once again the pick of the bowlers, alongside Morris and Nepal wunderkind Lamichhane. Had it not been for a four and a six off the final two balls of the innings by Mandeep Singh, Rabada’s figures would have been even more impressive.
Ashwin continues good form
Punjab skipper Ravi Ashwin has been in good form this IPL as far as economy is concerned, going for less than six an over twice.
On Monday, Ravi opened the bowling and struck gold first up as he got Prithvi Shaw – out for 99 in the previous game – for a golden duck.
Then in a marvelous display of deception, Ashwin bowled the ‘carom’ ball to Shikhar Dhawan which pinned the back leg of the southpaw. The scalps of Delhi openers showed the Test veteran can turn it on in the shortest format.
The target was not too steep at 69 needed from eight overs. Pant and Ingram added 62 for the fourth wicket and looked set to finish the game before Delhi had a brain fade.
Shami and Curran show
Pant went after Shami one time too many, getting his middle stump pegged back.
Next ball, Morris went for a suicidal single and was run out by captain Ashwin from mid on. With Ingram still batting, 23 were needed from 18 balls.
The 18th over gave Punjab genuine belief as Curran first had the well set Ingram caught at long off, before getting Harshal Patel caught behind off the final ball of the 18th over, conceding just four runs and picking up two scalps. When Shami had Test specialist Vihari bowled for two, Curran had 15 runs to defend in the final over.
The left-arm seamer only took two balls to finish the game, sending down two perfect swinging yorkers to uproot the stumps of Rabada and Lamichhane to secure victory worthy of his million-dollar tag. He also completed a hat-trick in the process.
Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals enter their Monday clash in IPL 2019 on the back of morale boosting wins.
The two teams face off on a batsmen friendly Mohali pitch with the spotlight on star teen spinners Sandeep Lamichhane off Delhi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman of Punjab. Both spinners have played just one match so far this season and that is set to change on Monday.
Star opening batsman Chris Gayle and seamer Andrew Tye missed out for Punjab.
Who will prevail tonight? Catch the updates below.
After completing a 5-0 ODI whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE, top Australian players started arriving in India in Monday to reinforce their respective IPL franchises.
Defending World Cup champions Australia are on an incredible run in 50 overs cricket, registering eight wins in a row against India and Pakistan in their backyard. And architects of those wins will be hoping to replicate that form in the IPL.
Left-arm fast bowler Jason Behrendorff and hard-hitting lower order batsman Ashton Turner were among the first Australian players to arrive in India from the UAE assignment. Behrendorff adds another left-arm pace option to Mumbai Indians while Turner will be hoping to provide the finishing flourish at Rajasthan Royals.
However, the most crucial arrivals will be of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will be needed to arrest the alarming slide in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s season.
RCB were thrashed by 118 runs in the previous game against Sunrisers Hyderabad with both their bowling and batting exposed. The two Aussies offer some much needed quality pace options while Stoinis also beefs up the lower order batting. Both will arrive by Monday evening.
However, other top Australian players won’t be available this season. Star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and skipper Aaron Finch had already made themselves unavailable for the season, keeping the 2019 World Cup preparations in mind. Fast bowler Pat Cummins also won’t feature as Australia look to protect their most prized asset.