KXIP emerged in a nail-biter    AFP
KXIP emerged in a nail-biter AFP

Chasing 144 in match 22 versus Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Ferozshah Kotla, Delhi Daredevils (DD) tottered at 76 for 5. Shreyas Iyer showed how much he has grown as a batsman, but eventually fell on the wrong side on Kotla’s sticky surface. KXIP, on the other hand, earned their fifth victory of the season, and take the top spot in the points table.

DD didn’t have a pleasant start. Despite debutant Prithvi Shaw’s 10-ball 22, hosts were 42 for 3. Gautam Gambhir struggled for timing and perished on a seam-up delivery on the back off a length from Andrew Tye. Shaw was clean bowled by Ankit Rajpoot. The pacer also accounted for Glenn Maxwell’s wicket whose inconsistency continued.

Iyer got his eye in but lost Rishabh Pant for 4. Mujeeb Ur Rahman delivered for skipper Ravichandran Ashwin as Pant failed to read the carrom ball. Iyer and Daniel Christian were looking to nudge the gaps but the latter ran himself out. At 76 for 5, it was KXIP’s game to lose.

From thereon, Tewatia played a good hand along with Iyer. The duo were sensible enough to drag the game till the end overs. By buying more time in the middle, Tewatia grew in confidence and took on Sran to reduce the deficit. Iyer looked calm as ever and anchored the innings. There weren’t many fours off his blade but he kept DD in hunt.

The script changed once again when Tye removed Tewatia, and took the Purple Cap from Trent Boult. There was a lot of debate on who will bowl the penultimate over before Sran got the ball. An unimpressive Sran, till then, turned his fortunes with a brilliant 4-run over. He also removed Liam Plunkett for a golden duck.

Iyer was left with 17 off the last 6 balls. Ashwin threw the ball to Mujeeb, and the Afghan spinner defended the total by balling much slower in the air. DD’s top scorer, Iyer, was too good but lacked company from the other end.

Earlier, KXIP were restricted to 143 for 8 courtesy Plunkett’s 3 for 17 and Boult’s finishing touch. However, KXIP made it too much for hosts despite missing out on Chris Gayle.

Brief scores

Kings XI Punjab 143 for 8 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 23, Mayank Agarwal 21, Karun Nair 34; Liam Plunkett 3 for 17, Trent Boult 2 for 21, Avesh Khan 2 for 36, Daniel Christian 1 for 17) beat Delhi Daredevils 139 for 8 in 20 overs (Prithvi Shaw 22, Shreyas Iyer 57, Rahul Tewatia 24; Ankit Rajpoot 2 for 23, Andrew Tye 2 for 25, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2 for 25) by 4 runs.