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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have got themselves back in the hunt after snapping the second win on the trot on Tuesday against Delhi Capitals (DC). KXIP defeated DC by 5 wickets to win their second consecutive game in Dubai. The KL Rahul-led side chased down a stiff total of 165 by 5 wickets and with an over to spare.
But the chase became a cakewalk after it was inspired by some brisk batting display from Nicholas Pooran who smashed a 28-ball 53 to anchor his side to the win.
The left-handed batsman seemed to prove a point while he was out there in the middle. Pooran had certainly executed all the strokes in his arsenal pretty well but it looked as if the reason behind his power-hitting wasn’t the asking run-rate but what happened in the sixth over of the innings.
In an ugly mix-up between Mayank Agarwal and Pooran in the sixth over, costed KXIP Agarwal’s wicket who was runout for just 5 off 9 deliveries. Pooran had pushed one from R Ashwin to the covers and called for a single without seeing that Agarwal was reluctant to go for the run. Eventually, Mayank had to depart and it looked as if Pooran had taken all the responsibility for the fall of wicket on himself.
Pooran was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the two then stitched a stand of 69 runs for the fourth wicket. It was in the 9th over that was being bowled by Tushar Deshpande when Pooran began to really open up. He smashed a maximum and then got a couple of boundaries to shift gears.
While Pooran notched up a half-century, Maxwell chipped in with 32 off 24.
Earlier, DC opener Shikhar Dhawan etched his name in the record book as he scored the second ton on the trot in the IPL 2020 to become the first batsman to achieve the feat. Dhawan remained unbeaten at 106 off 61 balls that included three maximums and 12 boundaries.
While Dhawan continued his form against KXIP, no other Delhi batsman really applied well to support the left-hander at the other end. Prithvi Shaw’s rough patch in this IPL continued after he got out for 7 off 11 balls while Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant scored just 14 runs apiece. Marcus Stoinis got 9 off 10 and Shimron Hetmyer remained not out for 10 in 6 deliveries.
The Delhi franchise team certainly fell short of 15-odd runs after the kind of batting display Dhawan had produced. Though, DC are still sititng at the top of the table with 14 points and 7 wins while KXIP have now moved to 5th spot with this second consecutive win.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 167 for 5 in 19 overs ( Pooran 53, Maxwell 32, Rabada 2/27) beat Delhi Capitals 164
for 5 in 20 overs ( Shikhar Dhawan 106*, Mohammed Shami 2/28) by five wickets.