Pooran’s rapid fifty trumps Dhawan’s historic unbeaten hundred; Rahul’s men have now beaten the top three teams back to back and climbed to fifth on the table
The pitches are slowing down in the United Arab Emirates, but nothing seems to be affecting Shikhar Dhawan.
The Delhi Capitals opener scored his second successive hundred (106 n.o., 61b, 12×4, 3×6), but the effort couldn’t prevent Kings XI Punjab, which had suffered a Super Over defeat the last time the two sides met, from tasting sweet revenge.
Riding on Nicholas Pooran’s 28-ball 53 (6×4, 3×6), KXIP chased down the target of 165 with six balls to spare at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
Although K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal did not fire, Chris Gayle turbocharged the chase with 29 off just 13 balls (3×4, 2×6).
DC captain Shreyas Iyer had the arsenal to restrict Gayle — R. Ashwin has an excellent record against him — but pacer Tushar Deshpande was introduced ahead of the off-spinner.
The youngster leaked 26 runs, with Gayle tonking him all around the park for three fours and two sixes.
Eventually, it was Ashwin who went through the big man’s gate — it was the fifth time he has dismissed Gayle in the IPL.
But Pooran and Glenn Maxwell (32, 24b, 3×4) added 69 for the fourth wicket to close in on the target, with the former constantly advancing the game with audacious strokeplay.
Indeed, Pooran’s six off Marcus Stoinis over long-on was perhaps the shot of the match.
Kagiso Rabada (two for 27), Axar Patel (one for 27) and Ashwin (one for 27) did apply the brakes, but it wasn’t enough. As a result, Dhawan’s splendid innings ended up on the losing side.
Having made an unbeaten 101 against Chennai Super Kings in the previous game, the southpaw became the first batsman to score back-to-back hundreds in IPL history.
Dhawan propped up the DC innings, doing the bulk of the scoring, as Prithvi Shaw’s miserable run continued, and Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Stoinis couldn’t really get going.
KXIP made inroads in the middle overs and its bowling effort in the second half of the innings meant DC was “about 10 runs short”, as per Shreyas’ estimate in the post-match ceremony.
Mohammed Shami (two for 28) was excellent again for KXIP.
With the victory, Rahul’s men moved to fifth, with eight points, while Shreyas’ side remained on top.
Delhi Capitals Innings
Prithvi Shaw c Maxwell b Neesham 7
Shikhar Dhawan not out 106
Shreyas Iyer c Rahul b M Ashwin 14
Rishabh Pant c Agarwal b Maxwell 14
Marcus Stoinis c Agarwal b Shami 9
Shimron Hetmyer b Shami 10
Extras: (LB-1 W-3) 4
Total: (For 5 wickets in 20 overs) 164
Fall of Wickets: 1/25 2/73 3/106 4/141 5/164
Bowling: Glenn Maxwell 4-0-31-1, Mohammed Shami 4-0-28-2, Arshdeep Singh 3-0-30-0, James Neesham 2-0-17-1, Murugan Ashwin 4-0-33-1, Ravi Bishnoi 3-0-24-0.
Kings XI Punjab Innings:
KL Rahul (c) (wk) c Daniel Sams b Axar 15
Mayank Agarwal run out (Ashwin/Pant) 5
Chris Gayle b Ashwin 29
Nicholas Pooran c Pant b Rabada 53
Glenn Maxwell c Pant b Rabada 32
Deepak Hooda not out 15
James Neesham not out 10
Extras 8 (b 0, lb 1, w 6, nb 1, p 0)
Total 167 (5 wickets, 19 overs)
Fall of wickets: 17-1, 52-2, 56-3, 125-4, 147-5
Bowling: Daniel Sams 4-0-30-0, Kagiso Rabada 4-0-27-2, Axar 4-0-27-1, Deshpande 2-0-41-0, R. Ashwin 4-0-27-1, Stoinis 1-0-14-0.
Toss: DC; MoM: Dhawan.
KXIP won by five wickets with one over to spare