IPL 2018: Match 22, DD vs KXIP- Who Said What

IPL 2018: Match 22, DD vs KXIP- Who Said What

Delhi remain at the bottom of the table while Punjab roar to the top of the table.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman celebrates fall of Rishabh Pant’s wicket. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Delhi Daredevils (DD) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have been in contrasting form and quite expectantly, the visitors were touted to be victorious. However, Delhi didn’t drop their gun, tried their hearts out and took the game till the very last ball. Somehow Punjab managed to hold on as Delhi slumped to their fifth defeat and KXIP moved to the top of the league table.

Delhi strike consistently

Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to have a crack at the Punjab batsmen. The decision paid dividends as Avesh Khan sent Aaron Finch packing for cheap. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal brought things back under control for Punjab with a flurry of boundaries. However, both were dismissed by Liam Plunkett, which undid the healthy start for Ravichandran Ashwin’s men.

Karun Nair and David Miller looked impressive for the time they were at the crease, but both were dismissed by Plunkett and Daniel Christian respectively, which never allowed the visitors to inject impetus to their score. Apart from Plunkett, the likes of Trent Boult, Christian was also impressive. Punjab huffed and puffed and eventually stumbled to 143 runs in the allotted 20 overs.

Mujeeb outclasses Iyer to guide Punjab to the top

The run-chase started handsomely for the Daredevils as 18-year old Prithvi Shaw blazed away and scored 22 runs in double quick time. Ankit Rajpoot accounted for his wicket and thereafter the hosts lost wickets in quick succession. In the twelfth over, Delhi found themselves in grave danger having lost five wickets, but Shreyas Iyer looked determined to take them over the lineup.

To add to the agony of the Daredevils, they lost wickets in quick succession. Tewatia played a short, yet impressive hand which took the home side within touching distance. Barinder Sran bowled a superlative penultimate over and gave away four runs. The last over was bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who managed to hold his nerves despite a couple of lusty blows by Shreyas Iyer.

Gautam Gambhir, the skipper of the Delhi Daredevils said

 “I thought in the first six overs when you lose three wickets, you let the opposition back in the game. We did score runs but also lost too many wickets. Our bowlers did really well to restrict them but we lost too many wickets in the first six and it’s always difficult when that happens.

Yes, he (Shreyas Iyer) was brilliant and also Avesh did really well. Shaw is someone who is also for the future. Still 8 more games to go and we can catch up. We got to win seven out of eight and need to play some really good cricket. Good part is that our bowling was really good today but our batsmen couldn’t complete the job.”

Ravichandran Ashwin, the skipper of the Kings XI Punjab said

“We were discussing about what to be bowling in the 19th rather than whom to bowl because I had made up my mind to bowl Mujeeb for the final over. Because in the previous over, Sran tried the yorkers and got hit. So we were discussing about that, the length, slower balls and stuff like that. AJ (Tye) was my best bowler of the day, so bowled him early because if he got Shreyas Iyer, then that’s the game and that’s why I bowled him out early. I did believe that with the lower-order and the foreign batsmen coming in, Mujeeb would be tougher to hit. Coach literally says nothing.

If we are a team that is serious about doing well in the championship and going any distance, this is the game we needed to get past. Once you defend a low score, then you can bank on anybody and everybody to go the distance. That was a clear message I gave to the boys and they responded well. They wanted to attack upfront in the first six and it actually fell into our hands because it wasn’t such a wicket where you can come and take off and lay your hands on it. I am taking it one over at a time and if you are thinking too far, your hair will go grey very soon.”

Player of the Match Ankit Rajpoot said

“I am very happy because this is my second match for KXIP. It’s my responsibility towards the team. I thought if the captain gives me responsibility then I had to do well and pick wickets, because I wanted the side to win in a low-scoring game. My target was to bowl wicket-to-wicket. I wanted to work on the length ball and not try too much variation. I tried to get Shreyas out with the final two balls of my spell because we could have then bowled them out earlier.”

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