Kings XI Punjab emerged winner by four runs as embattled Delhi Daredevils' woeful run of form in the Indian Premier League continued despite a change in venue and many changes in the team on Monday.
Entering the game as a beleaguered unit, the bottom-placed Daredevils made as many as five changes, including handing out IPL debuts to Liam Plunkett and the young Prithvi Shaw. And what a debut it turned out to be for Plunkett, who returned terrific figures of 3/17 in his full quota of four overs. Trent Boult and Avesh Khan had two wickets apiece.
Playing in his maiden IPL game, Plunkett impressed on this occasion as he foxed KL Rahul with a slower off-cutter, handing Delhi the momentum with the big wicket at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium. The Kotla was packed but one of the stands, which failed to meet SDMC norms, wore a deserted look.
Rajpoot followed that up by claiming the big fish Glenn Maxwell (12), and the Daredevils' chase seemed to be floundering when skipper Gautam Gambhir (4), looking woefully out of form, got a leading edge to make the long walk back to the dugout.
The onus was on the in-form Rishabh Pant (4) and Shreyas Iyer, both coming off smashing half centuries, but 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman from Afghanistan had other ideas as he struck with his very first ball, his carrom ball making its way through the gap between bat and pad.
A heavily-rejigged Daredevils produced a much-improved bowling performance to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 143 for eight but the visitors staged a strong comeback to stop Delhi at 139 for eight. Shreyas Iyer tried his bit with 57 off 45 balls, but that was not enough, as the trio of Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye and Mujeeb ur Rahman picked up two wickets apiece to derail Daredevils' chase.