Delhi Capitals capitulated to Kings XI Punjab in another low scoring match much the same way they did the second and almost lost the third. The reason was that their lower order batsmen could not keep their wickets intact even when the asking rate was well within their reach.
The Capitals bowlers did well to restrict Kings XI to a not so big score of 166 for 9 wickets off their allotted 20 overs. Chris Morris accounted for KL Rahul early. Sandeep Lamichhane, the leg spinner got rid of Sam Curran who was included into the side to replace the rested Chris Gayle. Mayank Agarwal also could not contribute much but Sarfaraz Khan (39 off 29 balls) and David Miller (43 off 30 balls) put together a partnership 62 runs for the fourth wicket to see Kings XI stage a recovery.
Mandeep Singh, who came at the fall of Khan’s wicket thereafter, waged a lone battle scoring 29 off 21 balls. The remaining Kings XI batsmen could score but 5 runs before their allotted fifty overs were up. Kings XI ended up with a total of 166 runs on a green top wicket. Chris Morris took 3 Kings wickets while conceding 30 runs in his quota of 4 overs while Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed 2 wickets each. On a green top where the ball was coming onto the bat nicely, this was one match that Capitals had all but wrapped up.
Delhi suffered their first set back when Prithvi Shaw was dismissed off the first ball of the inning by Ravichandran Ashwin. He had the star Capitals opener caught by KL Rahul behind the stumps. Shreyas Iyer joined Shikar Dhawan and the duo compiled 61 runs for the second wicket before Iyer (28 off 22 balls) was bowled by Hardus Viljoen. Dhawan (30 off 25 balls) too was trapped lbw by Ashwin and Capitals were reduced to 82 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. Rishab Pant and Colin Ingram then set about rebuilding the Delhi inning and put together a partnership of 62 runs for the fifth wicket.
Rishab Pant (39 off 26 balls) was bowled by Mohammed Shami with the Capitals score on 144. At that stage, Delhi Capitals needed 23 runs off 20 balls. But then Delhi lost their last seven wickets, including that of Pant for a mere 8 runs. Chris Morris was brilliantly run out by R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari who was the only hope for Delhi was bowled by Shami. Sam Curran then claimed the wickets of Harshad Patel, Kagiso Rabada and Lamichhane in a hat trick. Hanuma Vihari who was the only hope for Delhi was bowled by Shami. Curran finished the match with 4 wickets for 11 runs and Capitals were all out for 152 runs.
In their previous match against KKR Delhi Capitals were lucky to win in the super over. They are in a good position after four matches having won two of them. But they have so far lost two matches that they could have one easily due to poor finishing by the lower order batsmen. The Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer, admitted that he was left “speechless” after seeing his batsmen give in easily.