Kings XI Punjab continued the good run of form by clinching an important win against league leaders Delhi Capitals.
The group stage of IPL 2020 is setting up for an exciting finish as the race for playoffs is heating up. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) extended the winning run to three games on October 20 by defeating Delhi Capitals (DC) at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
After electing to bat first, DC managed to post an under-par total of 164 runs at the loss of five wickets. KXIP found themselves in a pickle at one stage, but eventually, they cruised to the win by five wickets and one over to spare. Here are the key takeaways from KXIP’s fourth win of the tournament.
Shikhar Dhawan makes history but got less support from other batsmen
Shikhar Dhawan is currently enjoying a good run of form. The Indian batsman made history on Tuesday by becoming the first one in IPL to score back to back centuries. Dhawan showed intent from the first ball he faced against KXIP. At a particularly good strike rate, he stitched a magnificent century in 58 balls.
While Dhawan was batting magnificently at one end, he couldn’t get support from other DC batsmen. In 61 balls, he scored 106 runs, while the rest of the team scored 58 runs in 59 balls. Rishabh Pant understandably took time to get going in middle overs as he was making a return from injury, while Marcus Stoinis also ate up deliveries when he came to bat. Eventually, poor batting from the other end cost DC as they posted an under-par score.
KXIP make a good comeback in the death
When Dhawan was looking majestic in the middle, KXIP decided to suffocate other batsmen by stopping the flow of runs. The Punjab based team has found it difficult to leak runs in the final four overs of the innings throughout this tournament, so it was refreshing to see that they executed the bowling plans to perfection on Tuesday.
After bowling a successful super over against Mumbai Indians last weekend, Mohammed Shami bowled an exceptionally good spell against DC that had many pinpoint yorkers in it. He was well supported by Arshdeep Singh.
The young bowler from Punjab may have conceded 30 runs in three overs. However, his bowling in death was accurate, giving batsmen very little room to play big shots. KXIP will need to bowl similarly to win the remaining games of the tournament.
Nicholas Pooran can be a gamechanger for KXIP in the middle order
KXIP found themselves in a sticky position after Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul got out cheaply. It felt like the chase is going to be trickier. However, Nicholas Pooran had completely different plans. He decided to counterattack in this situation, and it worked like a treat for KXIP.
Pooran managed to score a quickfire half-century in 28 balls, putting KXIP in the driving seat in the chase. He was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada in the second half of the innings. However, the asking run rate at that time was less than six. The young West Indian batsman needs to find consistency as he can become the gamechanger for KXIP in the middle order and provide good support to a majestic top order.
By Kiran Thakare