Sam Curran bowled a dream second spell to snare four wickets as Kings XI Punjab recorded a 14-run victory over Delhi Capitals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Monday.
Curran (4/11 in 2.2 overs), who replaced injured Chris Gayle, bowled the 18th over to take the wickets of Colin Ingram (38; 29b; 4×4; 1×6) and Harshal Patel (0), and then came back in the last over to finish the game by removing Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane in successive deliveries to complete a hattrick as seven wickets fell for just eight runs in 17 balls.
Skipper R. Ashwin (2/31) and Mohammed Shami 2/27) also played crucial roles as Punjab scripted their third win in four games to move second in the points table.
Chasing a modest 167 for victory, Delhi were in the hunt for most parts of the match.
But Ashwin first removed Shikhar Dhawan (30) just before the halfway stage, with Shami breaking a potential match-winning partnership between Rishabh Pant (39) and Colin Ingram (38) to keep the home team in the hunt.
Chris Morris was run out in the very next ball with Curran then removing Ingram to start Delhi’s slide.
With 20 runs needed off 15 balls when Ingram got out, Delhi succumbed to some brilliant death bowling by Shami and Curran. In the end, Delhi could manage 152.
The visitors were jolted early when Ashwin removed Prithvi Shaw (0) off the first ball of the innings, the U-19 World Cup winning captain edging to KL Rahul behind the stumps.
Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer (28) then joined hands for a 61-run partnership for the second wicket as Delhi looked to be on course for a facile win.
Iyer dragged a Hardus Viljoen length ball on to his stumps to end the association with Dhawan.
Ashwin then came back to dismiss Dhawan with a carrom ball that clipped the left-hander’s pads for leg for wicket.
After 10 overs, Delhi were 83/3 with Ingram joining Pant at the crease. Viljoen then got Ingram LBW in the 13th over but the South African batsman reviewed it straightaway with replays showing the ball not pitching in line.
Ingram and Pant then added 62 runs for the fourth wicket before Shami knocked off the young stumper’s middle stump to bring Punjab back in the game.
There was no return for the visitors from there on as in the next ball, Chris Morris was run out with Curran removing the dangerous Ingram and Harshal Patel in the same over.
Earlier, David Miller (43; 30b, 4×4; 6×2) missed a half-century as Punjab were restricted to 166/9.
Put into bat, Miller looked good during his stay at the crease but lost his wicket at a crucial juncture with the Punjab scoreboard reading 137/5 in 16.2 overs. From there on, the hosts could only manage 29 runs more with Mandeep Singh’s unbeaten 21-ball cameo of 29 helping them to go past the 160-run mark.
Mandeep hit a four and a six in the last two balls off Kagiso Rabada (2/32) who was excellent otherwise.
Sarfaraz Khan (39; 29b, 4×6) gave Miller good company as the pair stitched together 62 runs for the fourth wicket.
Besides Rabada, Chris Morris (3/30) was simply fantastic, bowling a probing line along with Sandeep Lamichhane (2/27) who kept it tight at the start.
Punjab lost Rahul (15) early. Curran did not face a ball until the third over but once he did, the England all-rounder hit Avesh Khan for three fours in four balls.
The 20-year old southpaw looked to continue the fireworks by smacking Lamichhane for a six down the ground in the fourth over but the Nepal leggie had the last laugh, getting him out leg before with a faster delivery.
Mayank Agarwal (6) was run out just after the Powerplay with the team in a spot of bother at 58/2.
Sarfaraz and Miller then joined hands to steady the ship before the former got out to Lamichhane.
Once the partnership was broken, Punjab never really got going with Miller also getting foxed by a Morris off-cutter that the South African top-edged in the air only for Pant to complete the catch.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 166/9 in 20 overs (David Miller 43, Sarfaraz Khan 39; Chris Morris 3/30) vs Delhi Capitals 152 all out (Rishabh Pant 39; Sam Curran 4/11)