David Warner and team bowlers shine as Delhi Capitals defeat Punjab Kings by 9 wickets.
The Delhi Capitals showed great fortitude in overcoming a COVID crisis in their camp and thumping the Punjab Kings by nine wickets in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday. Delhi, who had a tumultuous build-up to the game with a sixth COVID positive case being reported on the morning of the game, bowled out Punjab Kings for a below-par 115. On a field where deliveries were a little sluggish, even Lalit Yadav was rendered unplayable, let alone Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
Delhi appeared to be in a rush to finish the game, with Prithvi Shaw (41 off 20 balls) and David Warner (60 not out off 30 balls) getting them off to a fast start.
Their 83-run combination off 39 balls clinched Delhi’s victory in 10.3 overs, giving them a significant improvement in net run rate.
The match was moved from Pune to Brabourne Stadium less than an hour before the start of play when Delhi keeper-batter Tim Seifert tested positive on Wednesday morning. Shaw and Warner looked in deadly form, blasting a deflated-looking Punjab bowling attack to all corners of the ground. Punjab bowlers, on the other hand, could not be blamed on the night, with hitters letting the team down on a fine pitch.
The game was effectively over when Delhi raced to 81 for no loss on the powerplay.
It was Delhi’s third victory in six games, while Punjab suffered their fourth loss in seven games. Earlier, the Delhi spin trio of Lalit (2/11), Kuldeep (2/24), and Axar (2/10) were responsible for the majority of the damage.
Punjab was at 35/2 after losing openers Mayank Agarwal (24) and Shikhar Dhawan (9).
Mayank, who had recovered from a toe injury that had forced him to miss the previous game, began with a boundary cut. He then went after Shardul Thakur, hitting three fours in the third over for 14 runs.
However, when the left-handed batter’s attempted paddle ended in a nick to Rishabh Pant, off-spinner Lalit dismissed Dhawan (9) cheaply.
Axar struck in his first over, removing the in-form Liam Livingstone (2), who was stumped by Pant, and Punjab was soon reeling at 46/3. Livingstone came down the wicket to attack Axar, but the left-arm spinner deflected the ball away from him, forcing Pant to bowl.
Punjab’s wickets continued to fall as Jonny Bairstow (9) dropped a sitter to Mustafizur at fine-leg in the seventh over off Khaleel Ahmed (2/21).
Punjab lost half their side for 85. Jitesh Sharma (32) and Shahrukh Khan (12) attempted to rescue the innings, but only added 31 runs before Axar trapped the former in front of the wickets.
From 85/5 to 92/8 in the 14th over, Punjab lost wickets in quick succession, with Chinaman Kuldeep dismissing Kagiso Rabada (2) and Nathan Ellis (0).
The pacers, Khaleel and Mustafizur, shared three wickets and provided excellent support to the spinners.