DC vs KXIP: Dhawan, Iyer fifties take Delhi Capitals home after another Gayle blitz
Delhi Capitals avenged their shocking first-leg defeat with a five-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab, brightening their prospects of making the play-offs of the Indian Premier League.Updated: Apr 21, 2019 08:49 IST
Just five months from turning 40, Chris Gayle is an antithesis of T20 cricket. He is not interested in running; captains usually have to hide him at fine-leg and yet the Jamaican ranks among the most sought after freelancers. You know why while watching Gayle author another T20 gem low on adrenaline but flush with his trademark money shots.
So in control was Gayle of his innings at Kotla that only a superbly coordinated relay catch between Colin Ingram and Axar Patel could have dismissed him on a night of high quality bowling by Delhi Capitals. Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada were miserly, and Patel took two wickets in addition to being economical.
But young leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane will be hailed for a memorable IPL haul; also probably for the stick he got from Gayle before exacting his revenge.
Barring R Ashwin’s fantastic catch of Shikhar Dhawan running backwards, Kings XI Punjab never rose above the ordinary post Gayle’s departure. They scored just 45 runs in the last five overs and then the match was as good as over when Delhi Capitals raced to 60/1 after their Powerplay phase of six overs.
Well-compiled half-centuries by Dhawan (56) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (58no) ensured Delhi Capitals were not too hassled chasing down Kings XI Punjab’s 163/7. They did that with two balls to spare, reaching 166/5.
Gayle could have changed the script. He was in the mood too. Amit Mishra knows, having watched Gayle lay into him thrice for monstrous sixes. With five sixes and six boundaries, Gayle took just 11 hits to score 54 of his 69 innings. Six of them came against Lamichhane. Twice the umpire asked for the ball to check its condition after it was thrown back from the farthest tiers.
Boosted by the stumping of KL Rahul, Lamichhane started with a slip but he dropped it short, allowing Gayle to paddle it away for a boundary. Two balls later, he clubbed it back at Lamichhane, the ball almost taking his fingertips with it to the boundary. A four past the slow Ishant at fine-leg before he sneaked another past point, Gayle quickly forced Shreyas Iyer to pull Lamichhane out of the attack.
Only twice was he forced to scramble to reach the crease. Barring that Gayle’s innings was all about hand-eye coordination and a few ambles in the name of singles. Everything indicated that Gayle was shaping up for something special. Ingram’s presence of mind at the deep midwicket boundary however nipped it in the bud.