In-form opener Shikhar Dhawan struck another half-century as Delhi Capitals (DC) defeated Punjab Kings (PBKS) by seven wickets in Match 29 of IPL 2021 in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Dhawan scored a fluent 69 not out off 47 balls as DC chased down a target of 167 in 17.4 overs.
Earlier, stand-in PBKS captain Mayank Agarwal scored a top-notch 99 not out off 58 balls. But with no support from the other end, the team finished with a below-par total, which proved inadequate.
After leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was introduced into the attack, Shaw welcomed him by hammering a six wide long-off. Chris Jordan was clattered over midwicket for another maximum. Two more fours followed in the over, with Shikhar Dhawan also joining in, as DC took 17 off the over and finished their powerplay on a strong 63 for no loss.
PBKS’ hero in their last game, Harpreet Brar broke the threatening opening stand when he cleaned up Shaw with a length ball that ripped past the outside edge and hit the off stump. Dhawan and Steve Smith batted sensibly for the next few overs. The left-hander soon raised DC’s hundred by slog-sweeping Ravi Bishnoi to deep midwicket.
Riley Meredith kept PBKS’ faint hopes of upsetting DC alive when he had Smith (24) caught at deep square leg off a length ball. Dhawan, though, continued to bat with confidence. He whacked Bishnoi over deep midwicket for six to bring up yet another fifty in the competition and followed that up with a boundary.
Rishabh Pant commenced his innings by reverse-sweeping the leg-spinner for a boundary to backward point before whipping Shami over deep square leg for a maximum. Pant was caught for 14 off Jordan, but. Shimron Hetmyer (16 not out off 4) came in and found a few quick boundaries. The match ended tamely, with Meredith sending down two wides.
Mayank Agarwal leads PBKS to 166 for 6
Captaining PBKS in the absence of the ill KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal led from the front, scoring a combative 99 not out off 58 balls. DC sent PBKS to bat first on winning the toss. Even as they kept losing wickets at one end, Agarwal batted till the end to lift his team to a competitive 166 for 6.
Agarwal rode his luck early in his innings when Avesh Khan dropped a tough chance off Ishant Sharma at deep point. Prabhsimran Singh (12), opening in place of Rahul, perished soon thereafter, slicing Kagiso Rabada to mid-off. Chris Gayle came in and smacked a four and a six but was soon cleaned up for 13 by a pacy full-toss from Rabada.
Though Dawid Malan hung around with Agarwal for a while, he could not score at the desired pace. In a bid to up the ante, the left-hander tried to hoick a length ball from Axar Patel only to lose his stumps for a run-a-ball 26.
Things went from bad to worse for PBKS when Deepak Hooda (1) was run out following an epic mix-up. Agarwal hit one towards extra cover and set off for a run only to find a retreating Hooda also scampering to the same end. The PBKS captain survived because he came in the frame later, and Hooda was adjudged short of his crease.
After Hooda’s exit, Agarwal took it upon himself to bail PBKS out of trouble. He pulled Rabada for a six over midwicket and slammed Ishant Sharma for a maximum over wide long-off after completing his fifty.
In Axar Patel’s last over, the 17tn of the PBKS innings, Agarwal came up with a couple of well-placed boundaries.
While Shahrukh Khan (4) and Chris Jordan (2) fell cheaply at the other end, Agarwal closed the PBKS innings by taking 14 runs off the last three balls bowled by Avesh Khan. The penultimate delivery was smashed over the bowler’s head for a six. The last ball was hit in the same region but lacked elevation; it went for four as Agarwal returned unconquered on 99.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs DC – Man of the Match
PBKS’ stand-up captain Mayank Agarwal raised his game and scored a brilliant 99 not out off 58 balls in the absence of his opening partner and regular skipper KL Rahul. Despite PBKS losing wickets at one end, Agarwal almost single-handedly lifted PBKS to a competitive total. Some of his stroke-making on the day was top-notch, as he pierced the gaps with precision.
For DC, Kagiso Rabada showed glimpses of his prowess, picking up 3 for 36. His scalps included the big one of Chris Gayle. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was also impressive, ending with figures of 1 for 21 in his four overs.
When DC came out for their chase, Shikhar Dhawan guided his team home with a rather sedate half-century. But he did not allow PBKS bowlers to get in the game at any point, ending unbeaten on 69.
However, it was PBKS captain Mayank Agarwal who was declared Man of the Match for his exceptional knock, albeit in a losing cause.