Mumbai, April 18
Shikhar Dhawan struck a stunning 92 off only 49 balls to power Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings in the 11th match of IPL-14. Set an imposing target of 196 for victory, Delhi completed the job with 10 balls to spare as Dhawan’s knock, in which he struck 13 fours and two sixers, formed the bedrock of the innings. Dhawan dominated the Delhi innings even as no one else touched 35 runs in the huge chase.
The left-hander added 59 runs for the first wicket with Prithvi Shaw (32 off 17 balls) and 45 with captain Rishabh Pant (15 off 16) and did the bulk of scoring. When Dhawan fell in the 15th over, Delhi needed 44 off 31 balls, and Marcus Stoinis (27 off 13 balls) struck a few lusty blows to win full points for Delhi.
Earlier, Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul stitched a century-run opening stand to guide Punjab to an imposing 195.
Agarwal made 69 off 36 balls while Rahul scored 61 off 51 deliveries as Punjab made a flying start to their innings. Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant’s decision to bowl after winning the toss backfired as Agarwal and Rahul took the attack to the bowlers from the onset, hitting boundaries and sixes at will. While Agarwal was the aggressor of the two initially, Rahul upped the ante after a relatively sedate start.
Agarwal and Rahul adopted an aggressive approach against debutant Lukman Meriwala and Kagiso Rabada, taking their team to 94/0 in 10 overs.
Agarwal was looking dangerous during his 36-ball knock and ended up hitting seven boundaries and four hits over the fence.
But Delhi dismissed both the batsmen in quick succession to make a comeback.
While Agarwal was the first to depart, slicing a Meriwala delivery straight to Shikhar Dhawan at sweeper cover in the 13th over, Rahul handed a simple catch to Marcus Stoinis at midwicket off Rabada.
Rahul’s knock was laced with seven boundaries and two sixes. Chris Gayle (11) failed to make a mark, perishing soon in search of a six. Nicholas Pooran (9) failed yet again but Deepak Hooda (22 not out off 13) and Shahrukh Khan (15 not out off five) provided the much needed big hits towards the end. For Delhi, Ravichandran Ashwin (0/28) was economical, while Avesh Khan (1/33), Meriwala (1/32), Chris Woakes (1/42) and Rabada (1/43) picked up a wicket each. — TNS, agencies
Brief scores: Punjab Kings: 195/4 (Agarwal 69, Rahul 61); Delhi Capitals 198/4 in 18.2 overs (Dhawan 92)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 204/4 (Maxwell 78, de Villiers 76*); Kolkata Knight Riders: 166/8 (Jamieson 3/41, Chahal 2/34)