IPL 2021: Dhawan trumps Agarwal as Delhi Capitals win by 7 wickets

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on May 2, 2021
Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Capitals plays a shot against the Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad on Sunday night. — BCCI/IPL

The opener makes a well-crafted unbeaten 69 from 47 deliveries after Agarwal's unbeaten 99

Shikhar Dhawan seems to be in the form of his life. The southpaw came up with his third half-century of the season and his 44th in the IPL to guide the Delhi Capitals to a convincing win over Punjab Kings on Sunday night.

The Delhiite scored a well-crafted unbeaten 69 from 47 deliveries with six boundaries and two sixes to shepherd the chase of 167, with seven wickets in and 14 balls to spare, in Ahmedabad.

With Punjab Kings regular skipper KL Rahul indisposed after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, Dhawan retook ownership of the Orange Cap from the Bangalorean. The 35-year-old now has 374 runs from eight matches and has struck 43 boundaries, the most this season, and eight sixes. Rahul has 331 runs from seven games after making four fifties.

Dhawan is also second in the all-time list with 5577 runs from 184 matches, behind Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, who has 6076 runs from 199 games.

Dhawan put on 63 runs from 38 balls with opening partner Prithvi Shaw, who scored a 22-ball 39 with three fours and an equal number of sixes.

Dhawan then stitched together 48 from 41 with Steve Smith for the second wicket with the Australian playing the anchor, for 24 from 22 balls with one boundary. Shimron Hetmyer remained not out on a four-ball 16 with two sixes and a boundary after skipper Rishabh Pant had made 14.

Their sixth victory moved the Delhi Capitals to the top of the league table, while Punjab Kings suffered their fifth loss.

“I’m really happy the way we chased down the score,” Dhawan told the host broadcaster.

“Prithvi (Shaw) and myself gave a great start, what we needed. Smith chipped in nicely. I knew I had to go to the end because for the new batsman it was a little difficult. Once we knew that we could close the game quickly, we planned that we should finish in 19 overs," he added.

Earlier, stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal led from the front to help the Punjab Kings post a decent total.

Opener Agarwal, who replaced his good friend KL Rahul as skipper, conjured an unbeaten 99 from just 58 deliveries, studded with eight boundaries and four sixes as the Punjab Kings made 166-6. It was his second half-century of the season and the ninth fifty in the competition.

Agarwal was involved in a crucial 52-run stand from 47 balls for the third wicket with Dawid Malan to help the Punjab Kings recover from 35-2 after they had lost opener Prabhsimran Singh (12) and the big-hitting West Indian Chris Gayle (13).

They were not out of the woods yet as Punjab Kings lost two quick wickets, those of Malan and Deepak Hooda, castled by left-arm spinner Axar Patel and a run out respectively, in the 14th over. Agarwal then added 41 runs from 23 deliveries with Shahrukh Khan for the fifth wicket with him doing the bulk of the scoring during that stand, smashing 37 from 18 balls.

Malan made a run-a-ball 26 which had one boundary and a six.

South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada finished with 3-36.

Malan made his IPL debut with the ‘Universe Boss’ handing him the cap during the team huddle. The Englishman replaced Nicholas Pooran after the West Indian had been going through a string of poor scores, lately. The Delhi Capitals, meanwhile, went in with the same line-up.

The Punjab Kings lock horns with the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday, while the Delhi Capitals take on the Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

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