Delhi Daredevils (DD) finally got back to winning ways after beating Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their home fixture of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season nine on Friday. The architects of this win were inspirational skipper Zaheer Khan, who led from the front and bowled like never before; leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who was at his lethal best with an outstanding four wicket haul; and finally Quinton de Kock, who played yet another gem of an innings to help his side chase down a smaller yet trickier total.

De Kock did exactly what he has been doing so often for the South African team, as he saw through the new ball initially and then took attack to the opposition. He played a sensible knock and stayed at the crease till the end to ensure his side’s win. DD did not get the best of the starts, as Shreyas Iyer fell for just three. The domestic run-machine, who topped the Ranji Trophy run charts this season and was DD’s highest run-getter in last IPL, failed for the second consecutive time as he was caught down the leg side after getting a faint edge of his willow to a wayward delivery.

He was replaced by another young talent Sanju Samson, who played a perfect second fiddle to De Kock and added 91 runs for the second wicket. This partnership proved to be the match winning one for DD, as the two players did not give away anything to the KXIP bowlers. New age firebrand cricketers, both the batsmen played attacking shots and did not curb their natural game. While De Kock hit nine boundaries and a six, Samson hit three fours and one maximum. Samson just fell at the threshold of victory and Pawan Negi, the new IPL millionaire, completed the formalities with the winning six.

Earlier, Zaheer won the toss and invited KXIP to bat first. Right from the onset, the DD bowlers maintained the pressure on opposition batsmen and kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Zaheer bowled 17 dot balls in his spell, which choked the KXIP batsmen upfront. But it was Mishra’s strikes in the middle overs that completely changed the course of the game. The wily leggie got four of the top-five batsmen inside the team score of 60 and sealed the game for DD. He was aptly adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his effort. With this win, DD opened their account with two points while KXIP are yet to taste success in this season.

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Brief Scores:

Kings XI Punjab 111 for 9 in 20 overs [Manan Vohra 32(24); Amit Mishra 3-0-11-4, Zaheer Khan 4-1-14-1, Chris Morris 4-0-19-1] lost to Delhi Daredevils 113 for 2 in 13.3 overs [Quinton de Kock 59(42)*, Sanju Samson 33(32); Sandeep Sharma 2-0-6-1, Axar Patel 3-0-25-1] by eight wickets.