Delhi Captains (DC) retained the top spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) standings with a resounding 7-wicket win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Ahmedabad on Sunday. With an unbeaten 69, Shikhar Dhawan took over the Orange Cap with KL Rahul missing for Punjab and no timeline on his recovery.
Batting first, Punjab scored 166 thanks to a confident 99 not out from Mayank Agarwal. The stand-in captain led from the front and a smashing final over resulted in a competitive total.
Except, Delhi were never put under any real pressure in their chase. Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw stitched another 50-run stand before Steve Smith joined in to settle things down. In the end, Dhawan remained not out to take Delhi to the top of the standings, leapfrogging Chennai Super Kings.
Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Royals (RR) jumped to fifth spot with a dominant 55-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in New Delhi. Kane Williamson led SRH for the first time this season as the team management dropped former skipper David Warner from the playing XI.
SRH won the toss and put RR to bat, and despite losing Yashasvi Jaiswal early, Jos Buttler (124) and Sanju Samson (48) forged a 150-run stand to take RR to 220/3. This was Buttler's maiden IPL hundred as his stunning 124 came in just 64 balls.
In reply, the RR bowlers, led by Chris Morris (3/29) and Mustafizur Rahman (3/20) never game room for improvement to the opposition as SRH lost wickets at regular intervals. Openers Manish Pandey (31) and Jonny Bairstow (30) were the top scorers as Hyderabad stumbled to 165/8 in 20 overs.
Hyderabad remain at the bottom of the table with just two points, and a playoff spot now looking like a distant dream. Punjab, meanwhile, stay sixth.
The RR-SRH match completed the midway stage of the league phase, with 28 matches being played.
Here's the updated IPL 2021 points table:
Orange Cap holder: DC's Shikhar Dhawan (380 runs)
Purple Cap holder: RCB's Harshal Patel (17 wickets)
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The CPL is scheduled to get underway from 28 August with the final to be played on 19 September, while the remaining part of IPL is likely to be held from 18 September to 10 October, not leaving the players with any time to settle down.
Currently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, vice-president Rajiv Shukla, acting CEO Hemang Amin, treasurer Arun Dhumal, joint secretary Jayesh George and IPL chairman Brijesh Patel are in the UAE to finalise the arrangements.
It has been reported that at least seven top players, including Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, may withdraw from West Indies and Bangladesh tours.