New Delhi, April 23: Delhi Daredevils bowlers did a remarkable job in restricting Kings XI Punjab to 143/8. But in the end, the Daredevils were forced to wash down the schadenfreude as Punjab emerged a four-run winner in an IPL match at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Monday (April 23).
The Kings XI Punjab did not have a good beginning to the match as they lost both Chris Gayle - to some soreness - and the toss. After being asked to bat first, the Punjab batsmen struggled - barring a brief period when KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were at the crease - for momentum on a gripping pitch.
And 144 seemed a target worthy of a rather easy chase but the Daredevils made a hash of it as they failed to build any steam from the word go. Prithvi Shaw, of course, made a 10-ball 22 that looked good only on the scoreboard as the Mumbai lad actually lived by the sword on the field. His cavalier innings was ended when Ankit Rajpoot breached his cross-batted heave.
From that point, quick runs dried up and skipper Gautam Gambhir mirrored the struggles of his one-time teammate and fellow left-hander Yuvraj Singh, now in the Punjab camp and earlier made an iffy 14 off 17 balls, while making four off 13 balls. Time might just have sailed past them as batsmen in this format.
It required the young Shreyas Iyer to hold together the chase of Daredevils with a composed 57 off 45 balls with five four and a six. His was the lone fifty of the match but unfortunately that knock went in vain.
However, Shreyas innings ensured that Daredevils were in the match till the last over that was bowled by a 17-year-old from Afghanistan - Mujeeb Zadran and he had exactly 17 runs to defend too. Despite conceding a six and four in the over to Shreyas, Mujeeb showed enough nerves to deny Delhi a four or six off the last ball that could respectively have forced a Super Over or paved way for a popular home side win.
With the win, Kings XI have gone ahead of Chennai Super Kings to occupy the top slot in the points table.
For Delhi Daredevils, the initial phase of the match was much brighter when their bowlers came up with a splendid effort to limit Kings XI to a sub-par total.
Daredevils, a struggling outfit, should profusely thank two pacers from different hemispheres for that outstanding effort - Liam Plunkett from England and Trent Boult from New Zealand.
IPL debutant Plunkett (3-17 off 4 overs) and Boult (2-21 off three overs) plucked five wickets among them conceding just 38 runs off 7 overs. Massive figures in a T20 game.
However, their batsmen could not replicate the same zeal as Kings XI and Daredevils were locked in a final over thriller.
Oh! And this final over drama has already become a cliché in this edition of the IPL and this time it was Kings XI's turn to come out of the cauldron with the winner's garb.