A miserable batting collapse from Delhi Capitals in the final stages of a regulation run-chase saw Kings XI Punjab register their third win of the season on Monday. Put in to bat, Kings XI struggled to score enough runs and a below par 166 always appeared to be well within Delhi's radar. With just 23 needed in 21 balls with seven wickets remaining, Delhi imploded incredibly to fall short by 14 runs. Here are the best moments from the match at Mohali.
Ashwin's left-field move with Sam Curran
With Chris Gayle rested owing to a niggle, Ravichandran Ashwin had a decision to make at the top of the order where KL Rahul and Gayle have proved to be an unbreakable pair. He could have opted to go with Indian Test opener, Mayank Agarwal, the current No 3 in the Kings XI line-up but the innovative off-spinner once again chose to pull a rabbit out of his hat. He sent the England all-rounder, Sam Curran, to open the innings, perhaps to retain the left-right combination at the top.
Curran wasn't on strike until KL Rahul was trapped in front by Chris Morris. When he did get to be at the other end, the left-hander seemed keen to replicate Gayle's role at the top. He smothered Avesh Khan through cover twice in two balls for boundaries before another drive through the same area fetched him a third four in the over. On 20 off 8, Curran appeared to be in great touch having belted Sandeep Lamichhane down the ground for six when the Nepal leggie befuddled him with a quicker leg-break and trapped him in front.
Mayank Agarwal just can't stay in the crease
With KL Rahul and Sam Curran dismissed early and Chris Gayle absent, the onus was on Mayank Agarwal to marshal the Kings XI innings. The No 3 batsman had been in pristine touch at the venue against Mumbai Indians two nights ago but took his time to get his eye in on Monday.
But before he could get going, he was caught in no man's land while attempting a non-existent single when Shikhar Dhawan threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end. Sarfaraz Khan had punched the ball to mid-off when Mayank took off for a single only to be sent back immediately. He took his own sweet time turning around and watched helplessly as Dhawan made a direct hit to send him back.
Mayank had been caught backing up far too much in the previous two matches too. Against Mumbai Indians, Krunal Pandya had sent out a mankading warning to the batsman while in the game before that, replays of checking a no-ball from Andre Russell showed Mayank to be well outside the crease at the time of the ball being released. The tendency to back up too much perhaps played a slight role in the run-out on Monday.
Rishabh Pant nearly foils Avesh Khan's catch
In the final over of the Kings XI innings, Kagiso Rabada had Murugan Ashwin top-edging a slog. Avesh Khan at point kept calling for the catch but Rishabh Pant, apparently unaware of the call, seemed to be going for the catch too.
Avesh and Pant collided as the ball came down and the ball bounced off Pant's gloves, nearly foiling Avesh's attempt. The rebound, though, was safely pouched by the Delhi seamer but he was annoyed at the wicket-keeper for rushing in for what was clearly his catch.
All done and dusted, the two were seen laughing about it while replays also showed Kagiso Rabada enjoying the little collision.
When Harshal Patel wished he had better reflexes
David Miller seemed to be in a bludgeoning mood as he walked out to bat with Kings XI at 58/3. Miller was on three off eight balls when Harshal Patel landed one in his arc only to watch it disappear over extra cover. It spurred the South African on and he was soon stepping out to launch Lamichhane over long-on for six.
When Harshal Patel returned to the attack, Miller remained bullish and hit back to back fours off the seamer. The slower short ball was pulled through square leg for four and the next one was cheekily dabbed through the third-man for another boundary. When Harshal landed the ball in Miller's arc again, he went hard at it down the ground but Harshal failed to latch onto a difficult return catch. The Delhi seamer was late to get his arms to the ball and watched agonisingly as the ball popped out of his hands.
Delhi's Capital implosion and Sam Curran's hat-trick
With 23 needed from 21 balls and seven wickets in hand, Delhi should have cruised through to the target. Instead, their batsmen threw their wickets away carelessly. They lost their last seven wickets for eight runs to concede a game they should have bagged without breaking a sweat.
Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris fell off consecutive deliveries with the latter being run-out. Sam Curran then removed Colin Ingram and Harshal Patel in the same over to reduce them to 148/7.
Hanuma Vihari, who had played a forgettable stroke in the last match in a similar situation, went for a mindless slog off Shami next over and was cleaned up. Curran then returned in the final over of the innings to clean up Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane to finish with figures of 4/11 including a hat-trick across two overs. He had removed Harshal Patel off the final ball of the 18th over and then dismissed Rabada and Lamichhane off successive balls in the first two deliveries of the final over, thus completing a hat-trick.
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