Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Delhi Capitals 166 for 5 (Iyer 58*, Dhawan 56, Viljoen 2-39) beat Kings XI Punjab 163 for 7 (Gayle 69, Lamichhane 3-40, Axar 2-22) by five wickets
Measured half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer helped Delhi Capitals to a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at Feroz Shah Kotla. Victory meant Capitals now have two wins from five matches at home, and are joint-second with Mumbai Indians - both teams having six wins from ten matches - on the points table.
Chasing 164, Dhawan and Iyer set the platform by adding 92 off 62 balls for the second wicket. But once Dhawan fell, Capitals slipped from needing 28 off 24 to needing six off the last over with five wickets in hand. Iyer though held his nerve and hit the winning boundary off Sam Curran with two balls to spare.
Earlier, Chris Gayle's 69 off 37 - studded with six fours and five sixes - gave Kings XI a breezy start and took them to 50 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay. But KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and David Miller managed just 21 off 23 between them, and once Gayle was dismissed, and Mandeep Singh failed to step up, Kings XI had to settle for 163 for 7.
Gayle tees off for Kings XI
Rahul hit Sandeep Lamichhane for a six and a four off the first and third balls of the second over before the legspinner had him stumped the next ball. At 15 for 1 after 2.3 overs, it looked like Kings XI were in for one of those slow starts before Gayle stepped up. And did he step up.
The opener glided the third ball he faced, off Ishant Sharma, past short third man for four before launching the next over long-on for a 101-metre six. In the next over, he smashed Lamichhane for four fours, including the one that burst through the bowler's hands en route to the straight boundary.
Overs five to eight though produced just 24 runs, including Agarwal's wicket, before Gayle got stuck into Amit Mishra. A juicy full toss and rank short one, both were smoked over deep midwicket, with Gayle bringing up his half-century - off just 25 balls - on the way. As a result, Kings XI raced to 92 at the halfway mark despite losing three wickets.
Lamichhane's wrong'uns prove to be the right way
After conceding 27 from his first two overs, both bowled inside the Powerplay, Lamichhane returned to bowl the 13th over the innings. And it looked like the youngster was in for another pasting as Gayle slog-swept the first ball of the over for another six. Gayle tried to repeat the act the next ball, a googly bowled from well behind the bowling crease, but mistimed the pull towards deep midwicket. Colin Ingram leapt to catch the ball before throwing it - off balance - to Axar Patel at wide long-on who completed the dismissal.
Four balls later, another wrong'un accounted for Curran who lobbed it back towards the bowler for a much easier chance, and suddenly Kings XI were 106 for 5 in 13 overs. With Mandeep struggling despite a couple of good hits over extra cover, the visitors could collect only 71 from the last ten overs.
Dhawan, Iyer lay the foundation
Capitals lost Prithvi Shaw early in their chase, courtesy a direct-hit from Mandeep, but Dhawan and Iyer got together and took control of the chase. After Shaw's dismissal, Dhawan collected two successive fours off Hardus Viljoen before launching debutant Harpreet Brar's first delivery for a straight six. In the same over, Iyer smashed two more fours to bring up the teams' fifty in five overs.
While there were a couple of streaky boundaries, both batsmen looked at ease during their stay. Dhawan brought up his fifty off 36 balls, and when Viljoen dismissed him, Kings XI needed 48 off 39 with eight wickets in hand.
Pant didn't last long, but Colin Ingram helped bring down the equation to ten needed from the last two overs. While Capitals lost Ingram and Axar off successive balls in the penultimate over, Iyer kept his calm and saw the side home.
Dew, Capitals' 12th man
At the toss, both Iyer and R Ashwin said they wanted to bowl first, citing dew later on as the reason. How difficult it could be bowling with the wet ball was evident during the second half of the match. And the fact that Kings XI had three spinners in their attack didn't help either. M Ashwin, in particular, found it hard to grip the ball, one of his deliveries rolling out along the turf, whereas Curran ended up bowling a beamer. With not too much to defend, dew made the Kings XI bowlers' task even more challenging.
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