Delhi dent Punjab’s playoff hopes in Dharamsala run-fest

Delhi dent Punjab’s playoff hopes in Dharamsala run-fest

The Delhi Capitals struck a huge blow to Punjab King’s playoff qualification hopes as they outgunned Shikhar Dhawan’s side in a manic run-fest at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Wednesday night. Contributions from DC openers Prithvi Shaw and David Warner and a stunning 37-ball 82 from Rilee Rossouw cancelled out Liam Livingstone’s explosive 94* in the chase, powering the Capitals to a consolation 15-run victory in their penultimate game in the IPL.

Punjab needed to beat Delhi to put themselves in the driver’s seat to secure a playoff spot, but another defeat leaves them stranded in eighth place on 12 points in the table, with their hopes of making the final four hanging by a thread.

Shikhar Dhawan opted to bowl on the IPL’s first visit to Dharamsala in nine years, and the Punjab seamers extracted plenty of bounce and carry on the green pitch with the new ball. Prithvi Shaw returned to the top of the order for Delhi alongside David Warner, and after a watchful start against the moving ball, the pair began their assault.

The Australian carted Sam Curran for a pair of boundaries before taking Rabada for two sixes, while Prithvi Shaw went after Arshdeep Singh to add 61 in the powerplay. The runs continued to flow as Prithvi Shaw brought up a half-century on his return to the side, lifting the visitors to 93 at the halfway stage. Punjab enjoyed some respite when Shikhar Dhawan took a spectacular catch to send back Warner, but Rilee Rossouw ensured that the Capitals lost no momentum throughout the middle.

The South African creamed Curran through mid-wicket off his first delivery and smashed Rabada for 17 runs in the 13th, racing away to 34 off 14 deliveries. Shaw holed out for 54 in the 15th over, but Rossouw ensured that Delhi passed the 200-run mark, punishing Punjab’s decision to bowl Harpreet Brar in the final over. The left-hander combined with Phil Salt to add 23 runs off the left-arn spinner’s over, taking the Capitals to their highest total this season.

Chasing 214, Punjab got off to a sedate start, managing 47 runs in the powerplay for the loss of Shikhar Dhawan. However, Liam Livingstone’s arrival in the seventh over turbocharged the Kings’ innings, with the Englishman putting on a six-hitting spectacle in Dharamsala. The all-rounder benefited from a simple dropped catch and a missed run-out opportunity from Delhi and made the most of his good fortune, striking nine maximums to keep the Kings in the contest.

However, with Taide managing only 55 runs from his 42 deliveries and little support from the rest of the Punjab middle order, Livingstone’s efforts went in vain as the Capitals held on for a 15-run victory in Dharamsala.