Shaw-Shikhar continues to sizzle as Capitals subdue the Kings and move to the top of the board

Captain Mayank Agarwal’s undefeated 99 gave the Punjab Kings some hope at the halfway point. However, his seventh half-century for the franchise was in vain after another excellent shot from Shikhar Dhawan – a sparkling 47-ball 69 – which helped Delhi pull off the 167-point pursuit with 14 deliveries to spare and climb to the top. of the points table.

Dhawan anchors the pursuit of Delhi

After a thunderous winning try – a 92 balls of 49 – against the Punjab Kings a fortnight ago, Dhawan had given a glimpse of his state of mind and the changes he had made in his game. conscious effort on my part to improve my typing rate. I started to take more risks. Not afraid of changes, always open to it. Not afraid to go out too. I worked on a few shots. My slog shot has improved a lot. It was there earlier too, but now I play it more freely. I’m more relaxed now, ”said the left-hander.

Two weeks later, against the same opponents, Dhawan launched another perfectly timed chase for the Delhi Capitals with a lavish stroke. Prithvi Shaw’s pyrotechnics may have propelled them to 63/0 in Powerplay. But with 56 needed for seven overs, it was Dhawan’s aggressive approach that gave the scoreboard the boost it needed. The opening was aimed in particular at Ravi Bishnoi, the leg spinner, hitting him for two sixes and a limit above the gate fence.

Alternate captain avoids Punjab

With 161 races in six games, Agarwal had so far been subdued in the 2021 IPL. Heading into Sunday’s game, the added responsibility of leading the Punjab Kings in the absence of regular skipper KL Rahul, with acute appendicitis, would only have amplified the pressure. The start was far from ideal, with the first Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Gayle starting inside Powerplay. It was a monumental struggle for Dawid Malan on his IPL debut, as the No.4 batsman failed to pivot the strike and break into the infield like the top-ranked T20I batsman for the ‘England. This deprived the acting captain of the strike. Nonetheless, the duo sewed a 52-point alliance at the third wicket. Malan’s exit to Axar Patel for 26 years, and the two deliveries of Deepak Hooda later, caught up with the Punjab. At 90/4 in 14 overs, a score of 150 seemed like a distant dream.

But at the right time, Agarwal intervened. After winding up to a 32 balls 37 so far, he decided to take the controls. The 30-year-old launched his assault with a formidable shot against Kagiso Rabada, and followed it with a limit and a six against Ishant Sharma in the sequel. Agarwal spoke of his half-century of 37 deliveries. In the meantime, he survived a reprieve, abandoned by Lalit Yadav at the back point. The opener continued on his merry streak, drilling a three fours and a six in the final against Avesh Khan to finish undefeated on a 58-ball 99, his contender in stroke play taking Punjab to 166/6. The Delhi pacers were guilty of throwing him into the lunge, which allowed Agarwal to stay low and toss the ball into the stands with ease.

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