DC vs KKR, IPL 2019: After Chris Gayle’s 69,  lower-order pushes Kings XI Punjab to 163/7

Chris Gayle’s 37-ball 69 at the top of the order ensured that Kings XI Punjab had a solid footing despite a middle-order slump at the notoriously sluggish Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi in Match 37 of IPL 2019 against Delhi Capitals on Saturday as the visitors eventually ended up with 163/7, which could prove to be a tall order for the hosts.

Despite losing their previous game at home against Mumbai Indians failing to get going on a deteriorating track in chase, Delhi’s Shreyas Iyer opted to bowl with a plethora of changes, including the addition of leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.

And it was Lamichhane who made an immediate impact with the wicket of KL Rahul for 12 off nine balls, stumped by Rishabh Pant in the second over. Gayle though found it relatively easy and relied mostly on his power to clear the ropes hitting Ishant Sharma for a six and a four, before taking apart Lamichhane for four fours in an over.

That butst helped KXIP to 50 runs by thed powerplay overs. But, it was only Gayle who enjoyed batting at the Kotla. Mayank Agarwal was undone by a short one from Kagiso Rabada, only to find the leading edge caught by debutant Sherfane Rutherford. David Miller fell to the left-arm spin of Axar Patel, holed out at deep midwicket for seven.

Gayle at the other end smacked Amit Mishra for two sixes in the over to bring up his fifty off just 25 balls. Tidy over from Rabada and Rutherford in the middle, kept KXIP quiet and Lamichhane reaped the reward with the wicket of Gayle, who went failed to time a short one and was caught brilliantly by the combo of Colin Ingram and Axar Patel in a relay effort. Ingram caught the ball at the edge of the long-on boundary, but as in when he lost his footing, he had the presence of mind to throw the ball at Axar, at least 50 yards far out, who completed the catch. In the same over – 13th – Sam Curran was out for duck after handing a simple return catch to the Nepal spinner.

At 106/5 in 13 overs, Delhi had the chance to rolled over KXIP, but Mandeep Singh’s valiant 30 off 27 balls and debutant Harpreet Brar’s 20* off 12 balls ensured KXIP were the happier team heading in to the break ,with Delhi failing to close out the innings once again.

Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 163/7 (Chris Gayle 69, Mandeep Singh 30; Sandeep Lamichhane 3/40) vs Delhi Capitals