PHOTO: SportzPics

Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals could not be separated after 20 overs on the night at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. It was a game that meandered both ways for the most part of it, but ultimately the efforts of Mohammed Shami and Mayank Agarwal for Kings XI Punjab went in vain as Delhi triumphed in the Super Over.  

After winning the toss, Kings XI Punjab got off to a great start, leaving the opposition in a rut at 8/1 after three overs, with Shikhar Dhawan back in the hut without opening his account, run out by KL Rahul. Things got worse for the Capitals, as Mohammed Shami picked up both Prithvi Shaw and Shimron Hetmyer in his second over, both finding fielders in the circle. 

The pace barrage continued to torment Delhi, as they ended the powerplay with 23/3 after the powerplay with all six overs being bowled by seamers. The fielding side continued to dominate proceedings with the field restrictions lifted, as the run rate remained below six an over, and was only temporarily perturbed when a Krishappa Gowtham over went for 13 runs. 

The Karnataka born bowler was expensive in his final over as well, as Shreyas Iyer got two consecutive sixes to up the ante. Ravi Bishnoi, who was on debut for Kings XI Punjab, put a spanner in the works of the Delhi with a wrong one that knocked over Rishabh Pant. The well set Iyer also fell in the next over to a returning Mohammed Shami, to leave the batting team at 93/5 after 15 overs. 

The two overs went for only seven runs, with Sheldon Cottrell picking the wicket of Axar Patel, caught behind by Rahul. KXIP’s bowlers however took a pounding in the final three overs, as Marcus Stoinis played a strong cameo for Delhi, getting seven fours and three sixes to get the second fifty of the 2020 Dream11 IPL. Stoinis took on Chris Jordan in particular, getting two sixes and three fours off his last over to make sure his team ended with a flurry. The last three overs yielded 57 runs as the Delhi Capitals ended strong at 157/8 after 20 overs. 

Turning Point

Marcus Stoinis’ late cameo in the game which helped Delhi get 57 off the final three overs ended up being the deciding factor on the day in this thrilling contest. 

In reply, KXIP openers started off cautiously, getting 19 of the first three overs. KL Rahul pushed up the scoring rate with two fours off Anrich Nortje’s second over, but he found himself castled shortly after by a Mohit Sharma in-swinger. New man Karun Nair didn’t last too long, as a top edge off Ravichandran Ashwin’s first over fell to the fielder at short fine-leg. Ashwin struck in the same over, knocking over Nicholas Pooran to leave the chasing side at 35/3 after six overs. 

Things got worse for KXIP shortly after as Glenn Maxwell was foxed by a slower one from Kagiso Rabada, looping it straight to the fielder at the edge of the circle. The flurry of wickets derailed the scoring rate for Punjab as they got just two boundaries in the next four overs. 

With the required rate getting close to ten an over by that point, KXIP had to start taking their chances, as Sarfaraz Khan advanced down the track to attack Axar Patel, but his shot didn’t have the legs to clear the boundary, falling into the hands of Prithvi Shaw at long on. Opener Mayank Agarwal was still out there for his franchise, and gave the team some hope with a big six over mid-wicket. 

At the other end, Gowtham too tried playing his shots, getting a four and a six off Mohit Sharma’s penultimate over to push the team score to 98/5 after 15 overs. The 31-year-old all-rounder however couldn’t repeat those heroics against Rabada, getting a feather edge off his bat to be dismissed caught behind. 

Needing 53 of the last four overs, Agarwal kept the chasing side in it with two fours in the 17th over, expertly piercing the gaps on the off-side. The opener soon got to his half century, with a sliced six over cover. He got another six over long off two balls later, to make for an interesting finish, as KXIP now needed 25 of the last 12. 

Agarwal showed no signs of slowing down, pummelling Rabada for two fours to make for a nervy finish, as his team now needed 13 of the last over. The final over started off with a straight six off the bat of Agarwal, putting KXIP in pole position. He then perfectly split the gap on the off-side to leave Kings XI Punjab with just one run to get. 

The opener however couldn’t close out the innings, as he managed to pick the only fielder in the deep to leave the equation at one run of the last last ball. Stoinis bowled a low fulltoss on the leg side to finish with, which was inexplicably hit to the fielder at short mid-wicket by Chris Jordan, forcing the game into a Super Over. 

Super Over

Kagiso Rabada dominated the show in the Super Over, getting two wickets within the first three balls of his over, to leave Delhi Capitals needing three to win the match. Chasing that, Rishabh Pant flicked one off his pads to give Delhi the two points in this thrilling contest.

Brief Scorecard:

Delhi Capitals: 157/8, 20 overs (Stoinis 53, Shami 3/15)

Tied against

Kings XI Punjab: 157/8, 20 overs (Agarwal 89, Ashwin 2/2) 

Delhi Capitals won in the Super Over.