Kings XI Punjab pulled off the most epic prank on April Fool’s Day, as they managed to clinch victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat to beat Delhi Capitals by 14 runs in a thriller at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Monday.

After winning the toss, the visitors elected to bowl first and out came Sam Curran and KL Rahul to open the innings for Kings XI Punjab. Early in the innings Rahul looked in great nick, timing the ball beautifully, but a full delivery from Morris caught Rahul on his pads and that dealt the team their first blow in only the second over.


Curran welcomed debutant Avesh Khan to this season's VIVO Indian Premier League with three magnificent shots in the cover region, softening the damage of Rahul’s dismissal, but the Englishmen, too, was dismissed soon after in Sandeep Lamichhane’s first over with the scoreboard reading 36-2.

Sadda Sher

Sam Curran’s blistering 20 runs off 10 deliveries followed by an astounding spell of 4-11, that included a hat-trick, earned Kings XI Punjab a jaw-dropping victory.  

Sarfaraz Khan came out to middle and immediately made a mark with his positive approach, helping the Shers reach 54/2 at the end of the powerplay. However, in the eighth over, the Shers lost their third wicket thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding from Shikhar Dhawan that caught Agarwal short of his crease with a precise throw.

Despite the wickets, Sarfaraz and David Miller continued to take the game to the opposition, scoring 59 runs in six overs to put the Shers in a commanding position for the final stretch of the innings. Sarfaraz’s dismissal in the 14th over slowed down the game, putting pressure on Miller to accelerate the scoring and that led to his demise in the 17th over with the score reading 137-5.

The bottom half of the batting order, outside of Mandeep Singh, struggled to get going with wickets falling at regular intervals. However, Mandeep finished the innings with a flourish, smashing a four and six on the final two deliveries to help the Shers put up 166-9.

The Shers got off to the perfect start in the second innings, as captain Ravichandran Ashwin managed to get rid of Prithvi Shaw on the very first delivery of Delhi Capitals’ reply. However, captain Shreyas Iyer and Dhawan managed to steady the ship by forging a 57-run partnership in 41 deliveries to put the Delhi Capitals back on top.

Unha De Sher

Sandeep Lamichhane bowled a brilliant spell and managed to get two crucial breakthrough that restricted Kings XI Punjab to 166/9 in their batting effort.

Hardus Viljoen bowled over Iyer in his second over and soon after, captain Ashwin picked up his second scalp of the night, getting rid of the set Dhawan, bringing the Shers back into the contest at the halfway stage in the chase. Despite the back-to-back blows, Colin Ingram and Rishabh Pant managed to keep the scoreboard ticking at a decent rate, ensuring Delhi Capitals stay in control of proceedings.

With a breakthrough imperative, skipper Ashwin brought in namesake Murugan Ashwin into the attack, but the move did not pay much dividends as the spinner leaked 19 runs in two overs, bringing the required rate to eight an over. The captain’s final over yielded nine runs for Delhi Capitals, leaving them to get just 30 runs off the final four overs.

Turning Point

After being hit for a six, Shami came back with the perfect reply, knocking off Rishabh Pant’s middle stump and on the subsequent delivery, captain Ashwin hit a bullseye to send Chris Morris back to pavilion, bringing the Shers back into the contest.

But the match turned on its head in 17th over, as Shami and Ashwin got rid of the dangerous duo of Pant and Chris Morris in back-to-back deliveries to bring the Shers back into the game. With the run rate climbing, Ingram decided to take Curran on, but his shot didn’t have the legs and went straight to substitute Karun Nair who made no mistake, as the Shers took the ascendancy in the contest.   

Shami then bowled a brilliant 19th over, that yielded only four runs and a wicket, leaving the Capitals needing 15 off the final over with just two wickets in their kitty. Having already taken a wicket on the final delivery on his previous over, Curran wrapped up the contest in just two deliveries and got his and the VIVO IPL season's first hat-trick.