Twenty over cricket is often seen as a batsman’s game, with the bowlers only being given four overs to express themselves, with the batsmen having a free reign to aggress sans consequences. However, every now and then, like in this game played at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, the bowlers take centre stage and remind us that the balance of power between ball and bat is still intact.
Being put into bat, Punjab lost their opener Aaron Finch in the second over for just two. Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair helped steady the ship on a slow wicket scoring 23, 21 and 34 respectively. However, the Delhi bowlers did a fine job on the day with Englishman Liam Plunkett leading the pack with 3/17 in his quota of four overs.
A late cameo by David Miller, who scored 26 off 19 balls, helped KXIP get to 143 over 20 overs - a below par score on the surface. The team from Punjab needed their bowlers to be at their mercurial best, if they were to have any hopes of defending this total against the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Shreyas Iyer, Gautam Gambhir and co.
Their bowlers obliged, with Ankit Rajpoot dismissing two of Delhi’s top three with the score reading 47/3 at the end of the powerplay. Rajpoot’s partner in crime was the Aussie speedster Andrew Tye, who picked up the crucial wicket of captain Gautam Gambhir.
Delhi Daredevils batsmen then succumbed to Punjab’s relentless pressure, with Rishabh Pant and Daniel Christian falling cheaply, leaving them reeling at 76/5 after 12 overs.
However, Rahul Tewatia joined a well settled Shreyas Iyer in the centre, and the duo were accelerating to good effect until Tye was brought back into the attack in the 16th over, to curb the scoring rate. Tye obliged handsomely, giving away only five runs in the over but Barinder Sran’s follow-up over was hit for 15 runs.
The Daredevils looked favourites to win, needing 28 runs off the last three overs with two well set batsman, but death over specialist Tye had other ideas as he came in to bowl the 18th over.
In his final over, the Australian gave away only seven runs, picking up the crucial wicket of Tewatia, the second highest scorer for DD, with his final delivery and claiming the Purple Cap in the process. He ended up with figures of 2/25 in his four overs.
With that wicket, KXIP went on the offensive in the final two overs; and Sran and Mujeeb Ur Rehman helped them successfully defend 143, with Delhi falling short by four runs.
"I thought AJ (Tye) was the best bowler on the day," captain Ravichandran Ashwin summed up.
And the “Purple cap 🧢 “ arrives in #Kxip thanks to the wonderful efforts of @aj191 Yeahhhhh 🏏💃😘 @lionsdenkxip #Victory #Wickets #Celebration #Aj #Happiness #Ting😘 #DDVsKXIP #vivoipl2018 pic.twitter.com/7Vb86K7kh9— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) April 24, 2018
22nd Match (N), Indian Premier League, 2018.
Kings XI Punjab 143/8 (Karun Nair 34, Liam Plunkett 3/17) beat
Delhi Daredevils 139/8 (Shreyas Iyer 57, Andrew Tye 2/25, Ankit Rajpoot 2/23)