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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Delhi Daredevils fail to 'cross the line' as Kings XI Punjab move top of IPL table

Defeat in the low-scoring game keeps the hosts bottom of the eight-team league

Kings XI Punjab bowler Ankit Rajpoot, second left, was named man of the match against Delhi Daredevils. Manish Swarup / AP Photo
Kings XI Punjab bowler Ankit Rajpoot, second left, was named man of the match against Delhi Daredevils. Manish Swarup / AP Photo

Kings XI Punjab moved to the top of the Indian Premier League table following a four-run victory over Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday.

After losing the toss and being put in to bat, Punjab posted 143-8 in their 20 overs – a total widely deemed short of what was an average score for the wicket.

However, apart from a valiant half-century from Shreyas Iyer (57), Delhi’s batsmen collectively failed to chase down Punjab’s score.

The defeat was Delhi’s fifth from six games and keeps them rooted to the bottom of the eight-team table.

In the first innings, Australian batsman Aaron Finch (2) was the first wicket to fall for Punjab, off the bowling of Avesh Khan, before fellow opener Lokesh Rahul (23) followed in the fifth over, becoming the first of England bowler Liam Plunkett’s three wickets.

Plunkett then bowled Mayank Agarwal (21), before Khan claimed his second wicket as Yuvraj Singh (14) was caught behind by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Karun Nair (34) top-scored for Punjab but fell to Plunkett at the start of the 17th over.

A brisk 26-run knock from David Miller helped Punjab toward a defendable total, but their progress was halted when New Zealand bowler Trent Boult removed both Ravichandran Ashwin (6) and Andrew Tye (3).

Delhi’s run chase got off to a difficult start when they lost three wickets inside the first six overs.

Prithvi Shaw (22) and Glenn Maxwell (12) were both removed by man-of-the-match Ankit Rajpoot before captain Gautam Gambhir (4) was dismissed by Tye.

Were it not for Iyer’s knock, the Delhi response may not have reached the final over, with Pant (4), Daniel Christian (6), and Plunkett (0) all failing to trouble the scorers much.

Rahul Tewatia (24) did provide some resistance from the Delhi lower-order. “When you lose three wickets in the first six overs, it’s always difficult,” Gambhir said.

“We’ve got to win seven games. Our bowling was good today, but we couldn’t cross the line”

Tuesday’s game sees Mumbai Indians host Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.