Marcus Stoinis (right) © AFP
Marcus Stoinis (right) followed up his half-century with a 3-wicket haul © AFP

Quinton de Kock and Sanju Samson played excellent knocks but the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) bowlers did phenomenally at the death to keep Delhi Daredevils (DD) at bay by 9 runs in Match 36 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Mohali on Saturday. The DD opening stand was worth 70 in just less than 8 overs, and was dominated by de Kock. The left-hander struck 6 fours and 2 sixes in a 30-ball 52 to get DD off to a great start. Samson was a bit slow to start things off, but once he got set he too unfurled some attractive shots. Full Cricket Scorecard: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016 Match 36 at Mohali

Samson took over from de Kock after the latter’s dismissal, and he ended up missing a well-deserved fifty by just 1 run. His 49 cost 35 balls and included 4 fours and 1 six. Samson was involved in a crucial 51-run alliance with Karun Nair, who was happy to play second fiddle. Once Samson was dismissed, hitting Stoinis to Glenn Maxwell at long on, Karun tried to up his scoring rate. However, he was unable to find the middle of his bat and ended up holing out to David Miller off KC Cariappa. Full Cricket Blog: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016 Match 36 at Mohali

Sam Billings and Carlos Brathwaite were then left with a challenging but far from impossible task of scoring 48 off 27 balls. Neither batsman was able to time the ball initially, and at one stage the required run rate went over 12. The pressure got to Billings, who edged a slower ball from Stoinis to the wicketkeeper. He had eaten up 9 balls to make just 6 runs. DD now needed 40 off the last 3 overs.

Brathwaite brought out a semi-helicopter shot off Sandeep Sharma through midwicket for four, and followed it by sending a leg-side full toss over cow corner for a massive six. Sandeep had his revenge next ball, getting Brathwaite to top-edge a pull to midwicket. He was out for 12 off 6 balls. DD now needed 28 off the last 2 overs.

Mohit Sharma bowled a phenomenal penultimate over, conceding only 3 off the over and bowling as many as 4 dot balls. That left DD with an unlikely 25 needed to win off the final over bowled by Sandeep. The first ball from Sandeep was another cracking yorker which Morris was unable to get away. The next couple of balls produced 2 runs apiece. Morris managed to hit the fourth ball for six, but only a no-ball could save DD now. Sandeep did not oblige DD, and KXIP ended up winning a tense match by 9 runs.

Earlier, Marcus Stoinis and Wriddhiman Saha scored terrific half-centuries as KXIP surged to a competitive 181 for 5. Murali Vijay gave KXIP some early momentum, hitting 4 fours in a 16-ball 25. He was dismissed after being brilliantly caught by Carlos Brathwaite off Chris Morris. IPL debutant Hashim Amla was then run out for 1 as KXIP fell to a disappointing 48 for 2 after 7 overs. 

Stoinis may have scored a half-century but he was far from perfect. In Shahbaz Nadeem’s third over, which was the seventh of the innings, Stoinis and Amla were nearly out once respectively thanks to some terrible miscommunication. They were both saved because of mistakes by the fielders. Sadly for Amla, he was finally run out off the final ball of that same over. 

That brought in Wriddhiman Saha at No. 4, ahead of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. Saha repaid the faith shown by the KXIP management by scoring a 29-ball half-century. His knock was almost flawless and contained technically sound shots to all ends of the Mohali ground. Stoinis too scored a good 52, but took 44 balls to make it. Stoinis was out hitting Zaheer Khan to Sanju Samson at long on after hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes in his innings.

Glenn Maxwell hit a customary six but was soon bowled by Chris Morris with a leg-stump yorker. Saha too followed soon after, top-edging one from Mohammed Shami to Morris for 52 off 33 balls. KXIP had lost both their set batsmen and were now 152 for 5 with just about 2 overs remaining, and the dangerous duo of David Miller and Akshar Patel in the middle. Miller managed a boundary off Shami but it was Akshar who hit 2 sixes to help take KXIP past the 180-run barrier.

Brief scores:

Kings XI Punjab 181 for 5 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 52, Wriddhiman Saha 52; Chris Morris 2 for 30) beat Delhi Daredevils 172 for 5 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 52, Sanju Samson 49; Marcus Stoinis 3 for 40) by 9 runs.

Full Scorecard

Match Gallery

Man of the Match: Marcus Stoinis

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)