Nicholas Pooran was finally amongst runs as he scored a brilliant fifty to power Punjab to their third consecutive win after Shikhar Dhawan’s hundred helped Delhi reach the score of 164. Mohammad Shami set up the match for Punjab by giving just 13 runs for 2 wickets in the death overs.
KXIP 6/10 - What a beautiful mess! With such a destructive top-order Kings were struggling to keep their wicket column to a minimum as all the batsmen came out just to attack without safeguarding their wicket, ending on 57 for 3.
DC 9/10 - Shikhar Dhawan is on a roll! Dhawan started off from where he left off in the last match timing the ball sweetly. Prithvi Shaw still didn’t come good but Shreyas Iyer started off his innings with such class, ending the powerplay on 53/1, advantage Capitals.
KXIP 9/10 - Despite losing early wickets, Punjab were finally blessed with performances from Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell as they reached the score of xx. They did lose the wicket of Pooran after his fifty but he had aligned the match in favour of Punjab before his dismissal, with a 28-ball 53
DC 7/10 - What a purple patch for Dhawan as he reached his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score. Although Delhi slowed down a little as they lost Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer early, Dhawan made sure he kept the scoreboard ticking, as they reached 117/3, essentially building a launch-pad for himself to blast later, we have seen it before!
KXIP 9/10 - Brilliant comeback from Punjab. Delhi were looking set to score in excess of 180, but the Punjab bowlers bowled a tight line and contained Delhi batsmen, not allowing them to get going except Dhawan, who brought on his second consecutive hundred. What a player! Giving away just 47 runs in the last five, Kings were right on top with Mohammad Shami giving just 13 runs with 2 wickets in 2 overs at the death.
DC 6/10 - The match was almost over by the time death overs arrived as the match was already in Punjab’s hand courtesy to Pooran’s fifty. In the first two Delhi gave just 10 runs, but the runs required were too little to make a match of it, and later, the match was finished by a cracking six from Jimmy Neesham, winning the game by 5 wickets.
Ajinkya Rahane should replace Prithvi Shaw at the top
Yet again Prithvi Shaw got out playing a nowhere shot. Coming off two back-to-back ducks, it was expected that the Mumbaikar would be a little careful while starting his innings. He got this part right but as it looked like he was on his way to finding his form, he played a nonsensical shot and got out to Jimmy Neesham on 11-ball 7, with his technique nowhere to be seen. Shaw is highly talented and is a much better batsman than he is displaying currently but an extended run might be a bigger disaster as it might elongate his bad run. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane has had a tough time finding game time in the strong Delhi team, hence, it would make sense to make him open instead of Shaw.
Shikhar Dhawan is a class apart
They say ‘form is temporary and class is permanent’. Dhawan completely justified the saying as he thrashed Punjab bowlers all over the ground. As the rest of the batsmen struggled to get going, Dhawan looked like he was playing on a different wicket as he led the Delhi side to the score of 164/5. He was clinical yet brutal as he reached his second consecutive hundred, scoring more than half of the runs put on by Delhi. His form comes as a strong reply to the critics, who questioned his IPL form and his slow strike in the early part of the IPL. The southpaw is making it a point to let the selectors know that he still deserves to be the first choice for the opening slot of the limited-overs Indian team. Dhawan has now amassed 465 runs in 10 matches and has become one of the strong contenders for the Orange Cap. Are we on for three consecutive centuries?
Ravichandran Ashwin’s 'resurrection' move to Delhi paid off
When Ashwin decided to move to Delhi, it wasn’t digested very well as it was uncertain if he will be able to replicate his CSK success in Delhi. But now that we have seen 10 matches, the picture seems to be quite clear with Ashwin taking all the crucial wickets in the matches he has played so far. He has executed his plans with pure perfection and has been one of the critical reasons for Delhi’s successful run this season. Having taken 8 wickets in 8 matches, he has been effective with the new ball as well as the old ball. In this match too, he took the all-important wicket of Chris Gayle, who was hitting the ball pretty well. Although he was on the losing side for the day, he bowled decently as he has done in all the matches for Delhi, justifying his move to Delhi.
Rishabh Pant failing to hit the stumps, amidst Nicholas Pooran making a mess of a run, turned the match in Punjab’s favour as Pooran smashed the bowlers over the ropes to bring up his fifty and seal the deal for Punjab, when easily the game could have been in Delhi's favour, given Ashwin's knacky bowling.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Entertaining
Although it looks like from the scorecard that the match was won by Punjab one-sided, it was an entertaining match with Dhawan’s second consecutive hundred, multiple runout chaos and Pooran and Maxwell finally coming back to form. On top of that, another win for KXIP to make the tournament exciting.