IPL 2017: Sandeep Sharma stars as KXIP thrash hapless DD

Kings XI Punjab stormed to a ten-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils with a thumping display in Mohali. The heroes of the evening for KXIP were the bowlers, very well led by Sandeep Sharma who took four for 20, as they bowled out Delhi Daredevils for a paltry 67. Hashim Amla and Martin Guptill knocked off the runs with an unbeaten opening stand that saw them win with 73 balls to spare.

Where are all the batsmen?

Suddenly the IPL seems shorn of quality batsmen. RCB’s batsmen have lent their masks to some amateur cricketers and gone off on a trip. Now Delhi Daredevils have, it seems, followed suit.

Asked to bat first, Delhi Daredevils fell like a pack of cards to be bundled out for an embarrassing 67, their lowest IPL score ever.

Sandeep Sharma was the wrecker-in-chief, taking four wickets for just 20 runs as Delhi had no answers about how to bat on a two-paced wicket. Sam Billings fell in the very first over, while Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Risabh Pant and Chris Morris all followed in quick succession. They were reeling at 33/6 in the ninth over and looked set to be bundled out for the lowest IPL score, 49 held by RCB.

Corey Anderson and Kagiso Rabada helped them stave off that embarrassment, but all they could muster was 67, a total that was never going to be enough.

How good was Sandeep Sharma

Outstanding! Sandeep Sharma was dropped from the squad from the previous game in order to let him gather his thoughts and come back strong. He did that perfectly and was on the mark from the very first over.

He outsmarted Billings with an away swinger to pick up his first wicket and had the other opener, Sanju Samson, with some tight bowling. Samson had hardly got any deliveries to get off to his usually brisk start and the frustration showed as he manufactured a shot and was out caught at mid-off.

Off his next over, he pulled off an superb one-handed catch to send back Shreyas Iyer to leave Delhi reeling, and them came back to nip Kagiso Rabada’s knock in the bud.

Was it a case of bad batting or good bowling?

A combination of both, but probably more of the former. Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris and Corey Anderson were all out to soft dismissals, a result of lack of execution and intent, rather than being out foxed by the bowlers. A little more application from Delhi Daredevils could have helped them make the match a close contest.

KXIP ensured they never let the advantage slip having wrested it early on. They bowled the right areas and forced the batsmen to try something unconventional. Not surprisingly, they came out winners.

Where there any hiccups for KXIP?

None whatsoever. In Martin Guptill and Hashim Amla they had two experienced batsmen who knew how exactly to handle the situation. Guptill went on the offensive, slamming six fours and three sixes, while Amla was happy playing second fiddle as KXIP won by 10 wickets and with more than 12 overs to spare.

How does this affect the points table?

KXIP close in on the top four with the big win, and also give their Net Run Rate a mega boost. They are now placed at fifth spot, two points behind fourth-placed Rising Pune Supergiant. Delhi, meanwhile, remain firmly attached to the bottom of the table with just four points in eight games. They will need a miracle to make it to the playoffs from here.

Brief Scores

Delhi Daredevils 67 all out (Corey Anderson 18; Sandeep Sharma 4/20) lost to KXIP 68/0 in 7.5 ov (Martin Guptill 50*) by ten wickets

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