IPL TOSS LOAD : Mayank Agarwal’s 99* VS Delhi Capitals beats Punjab Kings to take first place in the table

Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings by seven wickets in the IPL on Sunday, with Shikhar Dhawan’s 69 dwarfing Mayank Agarwal’s unbeaten 99, to move to the top of the points table. In the absence of usual skipper K L Rahul, Agarwal led Punjab Kings to a score of 166 for six with the straight bat in his lone side. In the run chase, the Delhi Capitals hardly broke a sweat, cruising to victory in 17.4 overs, their sixth win in eight games.

Punjab Kings’ fifth defeat in eight games summed up their inconsistent season so far.

Prithvi Shaw (39 off 22) and Shikhar Dhawan (69 not out off 47) provided a flying start for Delhi, who raced to 63 for no loss in six overs. On the off-side, all delivered lovely drives and kicks.

Harpeet Brar, the left-arm spinner, continued from where he left off against RCB to dismiss the set Shaw on his very first ball, which spun just enough to clip the off-stump.

Punjab were able to reduce the scoring rate after that wicket by conceding almost a run-a-ball from over 7 to 10.

They did, however, want daily wickets to stay in the game, which they never had.

Dhawan stepped on the gas after Steve Smith’s dismissal and swept Ravi Bishnoi for a six to complete his 44th fifty in the IPL. In the same across, there were a pair of fours.

There was no stopping Delhi from then on, as West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer (16 off 4) smashed two sixes and a four in the 18th over to help DC win by 14 runs.

Earlier, Agarwal’s vital knock of eight fours and four sixes brought the team past 160 runs on his own.

In the powerplay, Delhi held things close, conceding 39 runs and sending back Prabhsimran Singh (12) and Chris Gaye (13). After pulling Rabada for a huge six, Gayle missed a quick full toss from the South African.

As Rahul recovers from acute appendicitis, Agarwal, who will lead the team, steadied the innings with IPL debutant Dawid Malan (26) in a 52-run partnership. Capitals took complete charge of the game in the 14th over when Axar Patel found Malan’s stumps before Deepak Hooda was run out at the other end due to a mix-up with Agarwal, leaving Punjab at 88 for four.

After that, Agarwal did not get much help from the other end, so he took it upon himself to get the team to a successful total. One of the best shots of Agarwal’s innings came when he made a small space for himself and sent Rabada for a straight six in the penultimate over.

In the 20th over, he was ruthless on Avesh Khan, smashing a pair of boundaries and a six to finish the innings on a high note. The final over yielded 23 runs, and the Delhi Capitals surrendered 64 runs in the final 30 frames.

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