Delhi Capitals showed remarkable resilience to overcome a COVID crisis in their camp and hand Punjab Kings a nine-wicket thrashing in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.
Delhi, who had a chaotic build up to the game with a sixth COVID positive case being reported on the morning of the game, dished out a clinical bowling display to bowl out Punjab Kings for a below-par 115.
On a track where the deliveries wre holding up a bit, even Lalit Yadav became unplayable leave alone Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
Delhi seemed in real hurry to close the game with Prithvi Shaw (41 off 20) and David Warner (60 not out off 30 balls) getting them off to a flying start.
Their 83-run partnership off 39 balls ensured Delhi cantered to victory in 10.3 overs, giving a big boost to their net run rate. The match, which was shifted to the Brabourne Stadium from Pune, was given a go ahead barely an hour before the start of play after Delhi keeper-batter Tim Seifert tested positive on Wednesday morning.
Shaw and Warner looked in devastating touch dispatching a deflated looking Punjab bowling attack to all corners of the grounds. However, Punjab bowlers could not be blamed on the night with batters letting the team down on a good pitch. With Delhi racing to 81 for no loss in the powerplay, the game was as good as over.
It was Delhi's third win in six games while Punjab, who had a game to forget, suffered their fourth loss in seven games.
Earlier, the Delhi spin trio of Lalit (2/11), Kuldeep (2/24) and Axar (2/10) did the bulk of the damage. Punjab were tottering at 35/2 after losing openers Mayank Agarwal (24) and Shikhar Dhawan (9) early.
Mayank, who recovered from his toe injury that forced him to miss the previous game, started with a cut for a boundary. He then launched into Shardul Thakur, striking three fours in the third over that fetched 14 runs. But off-spinner Lalit removed Dhawan (9) cheaply, after the left-handed batter’s attempted paddle resulted in a nick to Rishabh Pant.
Punjab were soon reeling at 46/3, as Axar struck in his first over removing the in-form Liam Livingstone (2), who was stumped by Pant. Livingstone came down the wicket to have a go at Axar, but the left-arm spinner turned the ball away from him to get Pant into action.
Wickets kept on tumbling for Punjab as Jonny Bairstow (9) gifted a sitter to Mustafizur at fine-leg in the seventh over off Khaleel Ahmed (2/21). Jitesh Sharma (32), who struck five boundaries and Shahrukh Khan (12) tried to resurrect the innings, but managed to add only 31 runs before Axar trapped the former in front of the wickets, as Punjab lost half their side for 85.
From 85/5, it became 92/8, as Punjab lost wickets in quick succession with chinaman Kuldeep castling Kagiso Rabada (2) and Nathan Ellis (0) in the 14th over. Khaleel got his second wicket dismissing Shahrukh in next over with a cross-seam slower while Rahul Chahar (12) became Lalit’s second scalp. Pacers Khaleel and Mustafizur shared three wickets and ably supported the spinners.