Delhi Capital skipper Shreyas Iyer steered his side home with an unbeaten 58 off 49 balls to secure only their second victory in five games at Feroz Shah Kotla this season, beating Kings XI Punjab by five wickets.
Dew was expected to be a factor in the 37th match of the 2019 Indian Premier League and that prompted Iyer to put Kings into bat first having won the toss.
It was a wise decision of course, but didn’t seem like one when Chris Gayle went berserk at the top of the order. The West Indies batsman was striking the ball superbly on his way to 69 from just 37 balls.
It was going to take something special to dismiss Gayle in such ominous form and Colin Ingram produced it with a brilliant bit of fielding in the 13th over.
Sandeep Lamichhane is one of the most economical bowlers in the shortest format of the game, but he was getting swatted around by Gayle. On this occasion though, the delivery after the 39-year-old sent the ball into the stands, he didn’t quite get hold of the wrong one that bounced a bit more.
Ingram took the catch at deep mid-wicket but with his momentum taking him over the ropes, he managed to flick the ball towards Axar Patel arriving from wide long-on to complete a relay catch.
Knocks from Mandeep Singh (30) and Harpreet Brar (20*) helped Punjab post a score of 163/7. While Lamichhane picked up three wickets, he went at 10 an over, making Kagiso Rabada’s figures of 2-22 the most impressive for Delhi.
The home team’s openers began the chase well, but Shikhar Dhawan sold Prithvi Shaw short in the fourth over. Initially calling for a single, the India batsman sent his partner back midway, leaving him stranded as Mandeep managed a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.
A Captain's knock from Shreyas Iyer who is also the Man of the Match for the game tonight. Well played, Skip 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/1hhQbSTCgD— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 20, 2019
Fortunately for Dhawan, he went on to play a fine knock, continuing his recent resurgence after an unbeaten 93 against Kolkata Knight Riders and a 35 against Mumbai Indians. The southpaw looked in good nick as he struck seven boundaries and a six to post 56 from 41 balls, putting up a 92-run stand with Iyer.
When trying to launch Hardus Viljoen in the 14th over though, he was deceived by a slower ball and skied his shot for Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin to claim with a fine catch at mid-wicket.
Rishabh Pant then fell cheaply to Viljoen as well, but Iyer was determined to play a captain’s innings and see his side over the line. The 24-year-old showed maturity as he played smart cricketing shots to secure the victory.
The chase did go down to the final over with six needed but Iyer never lost his composure and achieved the target with a couple of deliveries to spare.
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