353 days – that is how many days it took Delhi Daredevils to put the brakes on their losing streak. They tasted success on Wednesday – for the first time since 27 April 2014 – when they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 5 wickets at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Set to chase 166, Delhi Daredevils were slow off the blocks, but accelerated through Mayank Agarwal and Yuvraj Singh, who added 106 from 66 balls.
Though DD lost opener Shreyas Iyer to a short-pitched delivery from Sandeep Sharma and skipper JP Duminy was run out in unfortunate circumstances – backing up too far, they had a platform which set up the chase. Agarwal, who had picked up three boundaries in the first two overs, reined himself and appeared to be batting with the intention of batting through to the end. He kept ticking the scoreboard over, while Yuvraj raced off the blocks hitting four boundaries in his first 21 runs.
KXIP skipper Bailey bowled out Sandeep and Johnson by the 15th over in search of wickets. Once Agarwal and Yuvraj had survived past the 15 overs, there was going to be only one winner. The former became the first batsman to post 50 in the match with an audacious hook shot off Johnson. Yuvraj turned on the heat in the 16th over when he deposited the left-arm spinner Axar Patel into the stands twice – once over long on and then over the square-leg fence. He then whipped a full length delivery from Anureet Singh into the stands to bring up his half-century; the 33-year old left-hander consumed 39 balls for his 55, and his association with Agarwal yielded the team 106 runs. Both the half-centurions perished in the 19th over – off consecutive deliveries – with their team needing seven more runs to win. Angelo Mathews struck the winning hit off Axar Patel to see his team past the finish line – with a solitary ball to spare.
For DD, Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 1-30 in his four overs. Johnson was sharp, and clocked a fastest speed of 151.1kph on the speed gun – but unfortunately for KXIP, the Australian went wicket-less and conceded 43 runs in his four overs. Anureet Singh was the most successful bowler for KXIP, returning figures of 2 for 33.
Earlier in the evening, KXIP skipper George Bailey won the toss and decided his team would bat first. Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag saw the team off to a sound start, adding 33 runs in 29 balls, before the former was dismissed by Angelo Mathews. Sehwag – who did not bat in his usual flamboyant ‘see ball, hit ball’ style but was rather conservative for major part of his innings – carried on, and in the company of Wriddhiman Saha (who batted at number three) added 71 runs. Saha was enterprising of the two batsmen, scoring 39 off 28 balls, including hitting three sixes, while Sehwag chipped in with 29 runs from 25 balls. The partnership was broken when Saha attempted to slog sweep Amit Mishra, but was beaten by a quicker and flatter delivery, made no contact with the ball and had the woodwork behind him rearranged.
From 105 for 2 after 14 overs, DD could only add a further 60 runs in the final six overs. Sehwag, who was severe on Imran Tahir scoring 15 runs from four deliveries, was dismissed in the 15th over, immediately after he had hit JP Duminy for a six over midwicket; he made 47 from 41 balls, studded with four boundaries and two sixes.
Glenn Maxwell picked up two sixes off Imran Tahir, but the leg-spinner had the last laugh, dismissing the Australian caught at covers. David Miller made 5 from 7 balls before he became Duminy’s second victim. Axar Patel and George Bailey picked up 19 runs off the 19th over bowled by Amit Mishra, and that helped KXIP finish with 165 runs on the board. There were six overs where the KXIP batsmen amassed 10 runs or more in the over, and six other overs in which the batsmen failed to score less than run-a-ball.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the most impressive of the KXIP bowlers; the Australian paceman bowled his three overs (which had 13 dot deliveries) for 14 runs, but surprisingly did not get to complete his quota of four overs. Amit Mishra (1-34) bowled his first three overs for 15 runs, before conceding 19 in his final over. Imran Tahir, who conceded 34 in two overs, finished his four overs with figures of 3-43 to firm up the Purple Cap on his head.
Kings XI Punjab 165-7 in 20.0 Overs (Virender Sehwag 47, Imran Tahir 3-43) lost to Delhi Daredevils 169-5 in 19.5 Overs (Mayank Agarwal 68, Yuvraj Singh 55, Anureet Singh 2-33)
Man of the Match: Mayank Agarwal, for his 48-ball 68.