New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab had a comfortable 5-wicket win against Delhi Capitals in Match 38 of the 2020 IPL, at Dubai. Delhi put up 164/5, a score largely made possible by Shikhar Dhawan, who batted through the innings with an unbeaten 106 in 61 balls. Having slammed 101 not out in his previous match, against Chennai, Dhawan became the first in IPL history to score hundreds in consecutive matches.
However, that turned out to be inadequate once Chris Gayle (29 in 13) launched a furious onslaught, following which Nicholas Pooran (53 in 28) and Glenn Maxwell (32 in 24) added 69 in 40 balls. Punjab won with an over to spare.
In My11 Circle Cricbuzz Live, Lisa Sthalekar lauded Dhawan’s superb effort: “He picked up where he had left off [against Chennai]. His ability to play the spinners really well was an element of this game that just keeps building.”
“What I loved was the way he swept – the sweeps and the slog-sweeps, because they targeted him with the off-spinner,” concurred Joy Bhattacharjya. “He changed the angle. It was not going to square leg. Because it was coming in down and coming early, he could pick his gap.
Reminding that Dhawan holds the IPL record for most fours hit, Bhattacharjya added: “He is basically a four-hitter … Fours are his bread and butter. He finds the gaps, finds them consistently, and because of his game, he finds them safely as well.”
It was an easy win in the end, Punjab had multiple lapses. “The biggest enemy or the toughest opposition Kings XI have is Kings XI themselves. Their previous record, the number of times they have stuffed up … Somehow they managed to keep Delhi in the match.”
Gayle took 26 off the fifth over during the chase, putting Punjab on track. “You can see how determined he was and how frustrated and annoyed when he got out. This is actually a key sign for Punjab … If Christopher Henry Gayle is caring that much … means that he is hungrier, and he wants more runs.”
Kings XI Punjab jumped past Rajasthan Royals to secure fifth spot. Despite the defeat, however, Delhi Capitals stayed on the top.