Daredevils revive campaign with crushing win
Delhi Daredevils 119 for 1 (Iyer 54, Agarwal 52*) beat Kings XI Punjab 118 for 8 (Miller 42, Coulter-Nile 4-20, Zaheer 2-17) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Delhi Daredevils have not given the Feroz Shah Kotla a lot to crow about in 2015, but in their final home match at this ground in the IPL group stage, they gutted Kings XI Punjab's top order, then blew past the opposition's 118 for 8 by nine wickets. Zaheer Khan claimed a wicket in each of his first two overs to kick Daredevil's most dominant performance of the season into gear, while JP Duminy and Nathan Coulter-Nile chipped in with scalps of their own. After 3.3 overs, Kings XI were 10 for 4 - their chance of rising above last place already on the rocks.
Coulter-Nile returned to terrorise the middle-order later on, finishing with figures of 4 for 20. Daredevils' openers Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer struck casual half-centuries in the reply, and the hosts raced home inside 14 overs.
Zaheer had not played competitive cricket in almost a year, following the strain sustained in his back at last year's IPL, but his impact at the Kotla was nearly immediate. Virender Sehwag was coming back to the Kings XI side himself, after a one-match layoff, but could find no end to his poor stretch of form against his former India team-mate. Sehwag aimed to push his second ball from Zaheer through the covers, but as the ball seamed away a touch, could only get a thick outside edge to it. Mathews took the catch at a close-in point.
Duminy opened the bowling from the other end, and hit Shaun Marsh in front of the stumps with a slider first ball. Manan Vohra tried to blast Kings XI out of the mire, but a Zaheer short ball next over put paid to those ambitions, catching the advancing batsman's outside edge en route to the keeper. Coulter-Nile bowled sharp outswing in his first spell. His reward was the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha, who drove loosely at one of those balls, and presented another catch to the keeper.
David Miller and George Bailey threatened a recovery, before Bailey was out missing a sweep off Amit Mishra in the eighth over, to embed Kings XI in misery at 37 for 5. It wasn't until Miller and Akshar Patel were joined at the crease that some semblance of a partnership materialised for the visitors. Those two shelved the more aggressive tenets of their game in the 59-run stand that gave Kings XI something to bowl at. Coulter-Nile had them both caught in the deep in the 19th over.
From the second over, Delhi's chase seemed a cakewalk. Shardul Thakur was wayward in his first IPL over, feeding Iyer two short wide balls to be cut over third man off successive deliveries. When he attempted to correct his line, he went too far the other way, first delivering a leg-side wide, then being clipped to the fence off the pads. There were quiet overs, and a tight spell from Sandeep Sharma, but the batsmen were largely untroubled in pursuit of such a meagre score. Iyer slammed the wayward Thisara Perera to the square-leg fence to reach his half-century in 38 balls, but he was caught at deep midwicket next over. Agarwal remained unbeaten with 52 from 40.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando