Spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav were inspiring at midfield, although Shardul Thakur complemented the duo with career-best IPL numbers as Delhi Capitals thrashed Punjab by 17 points in Monday’s IPL tie Playoff qualification for the Kings. Invited to bat, DC went 7 for 159 on Mitchell Marsh’s 48-ball 63 before limiting Punjab to 142 on 9. Thakur (4/36), Aksa (2/14) and Kurdeep (2/14) shared eight wickets in it and Anrich Nortje got a vital wicket from Jonny Bairstow. Between rounds 6-14, Delhi won the match as Kuldeep and Axar gave up only 28 runs in 7 rounds with 4 wickets between them.
With the win, DC jumped to fourth place with 14 points in 13 games. Royal Challengers Bengaluru (14 of 13 matches) have the same score as DC but they are pushed to fifth place as their NRR is -0.323 compared to +0.255 for Delhi.
Punjab remain in seventh place with 12 points from 13 games, barely factoring in a playoff berth as they also have a net run rate of -0.043.
Chasing a 160 victory, Punjab suffered a batting crash after a good start. Jitesh Sharma (44 of 34 balls) and Rahul Chahar (25 of 24 balls) fought back late with 41 runs – the highest of their chase – in the eighth wicket , but it turned out to be too little too late.
Punjab got off to a promising start, with in-form Jonny Bairstow punishing Khaleel Ahmed and Nortje with fours and sixes, in the first Three quarters ended with his team to 27 points.
But it fell apart from there, with five Punjab batsmen heading back to the hut one by one as they were reduced to five at the end of the eighth inning.
Struggling Shrdul Thakur took two wickets – Bhanuka Rajapaksa (4) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) – three in the sixth after Bairstow (28 over 15) fell to Nortje in the fourth inning A game that changes skin color in the ball.
Punjab scored 3 balls in 3 overs 54 at the end of the power game before Axar Patel won his 100th IPL wicket in a special way – the scalp of Punjab captain Mayank Agarwal.
Mayank (0), who has struggled this season, sliced in an arm ball, but it went through the gap between the bat and the pad and hit the middle stump.
Punjab had no respite as Liam Livingstone was out in the eighth, stumbling Kuldeep’s first wicket by Rishabh Pant.
Kuldeep came back for the second time, sacking Harpurit Bar (1) the wrong way – beating the batsman before hitting a stump through the gate.
By then it was all over for Punjab as they were reduced to 68 by 6-6 at the halfway point.
Punjab needed 39 points in the final three rounds, but David Warner made a fine catch in the long run to end the game by dismissing Jitesh in favor of DC.
Earlier, Arshdeep Singh and Livingstone scored three wickets each as Punjab limited Delhi to 7-for-159.
Marsh added 51 runs first with Sarfaraz Khan (32) and then 47 runs with Lalit Yadav (24) after DC lost opener David Warner (0) in the first pitch of the first inning running.
DC scored at brisk pace after being called to bat, but they suffered a mid-level collapse, losing three quick wickets.
It’s the Australian Swamp, who anchors the DC bureau. He finished his 50th inning in the 17th inning. He hit four fours and three sixes without a partner.
A move to bowl with Livingstone (3/27) worked when he removed Warner, who gave Rahul Chahal a sitter at the back point.
Marsh and Sarfaraz then tried to stabilize the boat. Marsh hit consecutive sixes (1/24) by pacer Kagiso Rabada, including a high-altitude shot when Delhi added 15 in the second.
Sarfaraz was brutal on left-arm Orthodox bowler Harpreet Brar (0/29), batting him the most with a tough sweep and two consecutive boundaries as Derry scored 15 in the third.
Sarfaraz smashed five and six as Delhi ran to 50 in the fifth. But after Sarfaraz’s cameo was over, he missed on a high-altitude shot from Arshdeep Singh (3/37) and Chahal caught a catch.
Then Marsh and Lalit mix caution and aggression. With a score of 86/2 after 10 rounds, the foundation was laid for the big score.
But Punjab pegged DC by grabbing three quick wickets and reducing the opposition to 112/5.
First, Arshdeep removed Lalit with his slow bouncer, then Livingstone sent back Rishabh Pant (7), who was stumped by Jitesh Sharma.
Livingstone had his third wicket when he removed Roffman Powell (2). The wickets tumbled for Delhi even as the Punjab bowlers conceded 43 overs in the last five overs.
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