Delhi Capitals reclaimed its top spot on the points table with a convincing seven-wicket rout of Punjab Kings in the IPL in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
The foundation for its win was once again laid by the in-form opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan. After Shaw got out for an entertaining 39 (22b, 3x4, 3x6), Dhawan ensured he stayed till the end, scoring 69 (47b, 6x4, 2x6). In the climactic stages, Shimron Hetmyer hit two maximums and a four off Riley Meredith to complete the formalities.
This was Delhi’s sixth win in eight matches, while Punjab suffered fifth loss in eight games. Set to chase 167, Delhi reached the target with 14 balls to spare. Shaw was once again was at his customary free-flowing best, hitting a six and a couple of fours off Mohammed Shami in the second over.
Shami came in for harsh treatment from Dhawan as well who smote him for two fours in the fourth over. Shaw went for the jugular, unsettling young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi by carting his first ball for a six. In the last over of powerplay bowled by Chris Jordan, Shaw struck a six and a four before Dhawan ended with a four of his own to finish at a healthy 63 for no loss.
Shaw, however, couldn’t convert his innings into a bigger score as he was castled by Harpreet Brar with a peach of a delivery in the seventh over. Thereafter, it was all Dhawan show as he took centre stage, clobbering a couple of delectable sixes off Bishnoi to take his team closer to victory.
Earlier, stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal’s well-paced 99 took Punjab to 166 for six. It was a brilliant display of clean hitting from Agarwal, who used the straight bat effectively in his crucial knock comprising eights fours and four sixes.
Agarwal, leading the side in the absence of in-form skipper KL Rahul, steadied the innings alongside IPL debutant Dawid Malan (26) as the two shared a 52-run partnership. Agarwal did not get much support from the other end, but took it upon himself to take the team to a competitive total.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 166/6 in 20 overs (M Agarwal 99*, K Rabada 3/36) lost to Delhi Capitals 167/3 in 17.4 overs (S Dhawan 69*)