Nicholas Pooran muscles one away to the leg side © BCCI
Kings XI Punjab 167 for 5 (Pooran 53, Maxwell 32, Rabada 2-27) beat Delhi Capitals 164 for 5 (Dhawan 106*, Shami 2-28) by five wickets
Shikhar Dhawan became the first batsman to score back-to-back hundreds in the IPL but it wasn’t enough as the Kings XI Punjab beat the Delhi Capitals by five wickets in Dubai to give their playoff hopes another boost with third straight win which placed them fifth on the points table.
Batting first, the Capitals could manage only 164 for 5 despite Dhawan’s unbeaten 106 off 61 balls, which included 12 fours and three sixes. The main reason for a below-par total being the lack of support from the other batsmen, who could muster only 54 from 59 balls, and some excellent death bowling by the Kings XI bowlers.
The Kings XI lost their openers early in the chase but Chris Gayle’s 13-ball 29 and Nicholas Pooran’s 28-ball 53 meant the asking rate never crossed eight after the fifth over and dipped below six after 11 overs. Kagiso Rabada dismissed Pooran and Glenn Maxwell in his second spell, but it was too late by then with the Kings XI needing just 17 from the last four overs. R Ashwin and Axar Patel bowled two quiet overs but James Neesham hit the last ball off the penultimate over deep midwicket to take his side home.
Shaw’s lean run continues and another Dhawan hundred
Prithvi Shaw had scores of 4, 0 and 0 coming into this game and there was no respite for him on Tuesday night either. He struggled to find the middle of the bat and when he did, he couldn’t find the gaps. He then tried to go inside-out over extra cover against Neesham, who was brought on as early as in the fourth over. But a slight roll of fingers over the ball meant Shaw ended up playing a touch early and handed a skier to Maxwell at extra cover.
Before the match against the Chennai Super Kings, Dhawan had never scored a T20 hundred in 267 outings but now has two in two. He started with a four and a six off Maxwell in the first over of the match. After Shaw departed, Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer took the Capitals past 50 in the sixth over. The two added 48 off 31 balls for the second wicket before Ashwin had Iyer caught down the leg side for 14 off 12 balls.
Rishabh Pant, who returned to the side after recovering from his hamstring injury, too, didn’t have a fruitful outing and was caught at long-on off Maxwell for a laboured 14 off 20 balls. But there was no stopping for Dhawan, who brought up his fifty off 28 balls. While he attacked every bowler, he was particularly severe on the spinners. Employing an array of sweep shots, he looted 61 off 32 against them and reached his second successive hundred, in 57 balls, in the 19th over.
More to follow…
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo