Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings by 17 runs at the DY Patil Stadium on Monday to boost their chances of a playoffs berth. Mitchell Marsh (63) starred with the bat while Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav picked crucial wickets to script victory for DC.
Jitesh Sharma (44 off 34 balls) tried heroically for Punjab Kings but at the end, he succumbed to the pressure of the soaring asking rate and he fell after bringing his side closer than they would have thought was possible.
Delhi Capitals, who now have 14 points with one match remaining, have moved to the 4th spot while Punjab Kings are on 12 points after as many matches. Apart from DC, three other teams can finish on 14 points after all their 14 games are played out. Gujarat Titans are the only team to have confirmed a playoffs berth after 64 matches of IPL 2022.
Chasing 160, Punjab Kings lost quick wickets after a rapid start from Jonny Bairstow and despite a brave effort from Jitesh Sharma, they could not cross the line against a determined DC unit.
This is the first time in the tournament that Delhi Capitals have won two successive matches. Last week, they had defeated Rajasthan Royals thanks to batting heroics from Mitchell Marsh and David Warner.
On Monday, David Warner perished for a golden duck but Marsh stepped up again to help DC get to a competitive total on a tricky pitch.
After PBKS skipper Mayank Agarwal won the toss and decided to bowl first, Liam Livingstone picked the key wickets of David Warner (golden duck), Rishabh Pant and Rovman Powell as Delhi Capitals finished with 159 for 7 off their 20 overs. DC recovered well after Warner’s duck thanks to a cameo from Sarfaraz Khan (32 off 16 balls) and another gutsy half-century from Mitchell Marsh (63 off 48 balls).
Arshdeep Singh was the other star with the ball for PBKS with 3 for 37 off his 4 overs. He used the slower balls smartly to remove Sarfaraz Khan and Lalit Yadav and then removed Shardul Thakur in the last over of the innings.
Jonny Bairstow was rapid in Punjab Kings’ chase of 160 but he fell to Anrich Nortje for a 15-ball 28 in the fourth over of the innings. It was a critical game for both teams and PBKS would have fancied their chances after spectacular bowling efforts from Liam Livingstone and Arshdeep Singh.
However, Delhi Capitals had other plans.
Once Anrich Nortje removed the dangerous Jonny Bairstow, Shardul Thakur got to work and removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan in his first over. At 54 for 3 after 6 overs, PBKS were still in with a chance as skipper Mayank Agarwal joined Liam Livingstone at the crease.
But Axar Patel, who was wicketless in his last three matches, dismissed Agarwal with a beautiful arm ball in his first over and the 7th over of the PBKS innings.
In the next over, Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Livingstone to leave Punjab reeling at 61 for 5.
If Punjab Kings had any hopes of revival, they were quickly dashed by Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel who struck in tandem. By 12.4 overs, PBKS were 82 for 7 with Jitesh Sharma the only recognised batter at the crease alongside Rahul Chahar.
Jitesh Sharma found the support he needed from Chahar and the two took the fight to Delhi Capitals. The duo attacked Khaleel Ahmed whose 4 overs cost 43 runs and there was a glimmer of hope for Punjab during that 41-run stand for the 8th wicket off just 5 overs.
Shardul Thakur came back for his 3rd over to send back Jitesh Sharma for 44 off 34 – he was brilliantly caught by David Warner at long-off and the writing was on the wall for Punjab Kings.
Liam Livingstone struck some crucial blows after Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal won the toss and decided to bowl. Livingstone removed the in-form David Warner for a golden duck before returning to snare Rishabh Pant and Rovman Powell.
After David Warner’s exit, Sarfaraz Khan smashed 5 fours and a six to as Delhi Capitals roared away. Dropped after only a handful of matches, Sarfaraz Khan looked in red-hot form on his comeback. He hammered 32 off 16 and it took a clever slower bouncer from Arshdeep Singh to end what looked like a dangerous innings in the making.
Mitchell Marsh, meanwhile, continued his good run and in the company of Lalit Yadav, built another fine partnership for Delhi Capitals but Arshdeep Singh bowled a brilliant slower ball to dent DC again. Lalit Yadav was playing second fiddle to Marsh but he had no answers to Arshdeep’s guile and he departed for a 21-ball 24.
Liam Livingstone put PBKS on top with wickets in back-to-back overs to send back the hard-hitting Rishabh Pannt and Rovman Powell.
Axar Patel joined Livingstone in the middle with DC at 112 for 5 in the 14th over.
Mitchell Marsh, who had started quickly, settled down to play the anchor’s role and went on to hit his second successive half-century. Last Wednesday, Marsh had hit 89 to give DC 2 points over Rajasthan Royals.Liam
This innings was vastly different from the previous one but Marsh once again showed his range of shots and the skills needed to consistently excel in the shortest format.
Arshdeep Singh gave away only 7 runs in the final over and took the wicket of Shardul Thakur as Punjab Kings finished with 159 for 7 off their 20 overs.
Kagiso Rabada ended Mitchell Marsh’s stay in the 19th over when he tried to hit one down the leg side but was caught by Rishi Dhawan who charged in from deep midwicket to take a smart catch.
Arshdeep Singh gave away only 7 runs in the final over and took the wicket of Shardul Thakur as Delhi Capitals finished with 159 for 7 off their 20 overs.