Delhi Capitals’ coach Ricky Ponting would have been pulling his hair out in frustration after seeing the way his three top-order batsmen Shikhar Dhawan(0), Prithvi Shaw (5) and Shimron Hetmyer (7) lost their wickets inside four overs, reducing his team to 13/3 at one stage.
However, the fourth wicket partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant of 73 runs in 60 balls injected much-needed impetus back in the Delhi innings.
Late flourish by Marcus Stoinis (53 of 21) has given Delhi Capitals a fighting total considering the slow track at the Dubai stadium.
Let us look at five talking points from the first innings between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals
Mohammed Shami and Sheldon Cottrell’s bowling partnership
India’s pace spearhead Mohammed Shami, who finished with 15/3 in 4 over, demonstrated the discipline he adds to the team along with his much talked-about fitness. The Delhi openers did play some loose shots but take nothing away from the class shown by him and Sheldon Cottrell (24/2) on the slow wicket.
Both bowlers rattled the Delhi batting line-up and took 5 wickets giving away only 39 runs in 8 overs bowled between them.
Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer Partnership
Both the batsmen at a moment were batting as if they want a stake in India’s future batting line-up at No. 4 and No.5. They scored 73 runs between them in good time which added a spine to a broken Delhi innings.
However, Rishabh Pant (31 of 29) once again demonstrated his capability of getting out on an incapable delivery. Captain Shreyas Iyer’s promising innings (39 of 32) was undone by a knuckle ball by Mohammed Shami.
Ravi Bishnoi’s maiden IPL wicket
Young leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi was handed his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut for Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
The 19-year-old, who turned heads with his superb performance in the U-19 World Cup earlier this year, was picked by Punjab for INR 2 Crore at the auction. Bishnoi didn’t disappointed and justified the buy with economical performance of 22/1 in four overs. He took the crucial wicket of Rishabh Pant just when DC were starting to accelerate.
Power-house Stoinis’ 20-ball 50
Marcus Stoinis hit a flurry of boundaries towards the end, scoring 53 off 21 balls to power Delhi Capitals to 157 for 8. At one stage, Delhi were looking at a score of about 120 before Stoinis took matters in his own hands smashing everything out of the park to take DC to a very good score, which once looked way out of their reach.
Expect a thriller
With power-hitters like Glen Maxwell and KL Rahul in the Kings XI line-up and Delhi’s impressive pace battery, expect the match to go down to the wire.