DC’s Dhawan scores record century but team still loses to KXIP

A resurgent Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Tuesday comprehensively defeated table toppers Delhi Capitals (DC) by five wickets, despite Shikhar Dhawan’s record consecutive century, to record their third consecutive win of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and kept their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive.

KXIP now have eight points from 10 matches and are placed fifth. Rajasthan Royals (RR), too, have eight points, but KL Rahul’s KXIP has a better net run rate (-0.177) than Steve Smith’s RR (-0.591) in the eight-team competition. Both teams are still to play four matches, same as No.1 Delhi, who have 14 points from 10 games.

Despite scoring a respectable 164/5 wickets, riding on opener Dhawan’s unbeaten 106 off 61 balls (12x4s, 3x6s), DC were at the receiving end, thanks to some collective batting efforts by KXIP, especially Nicholas Pooran (53 off 28 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (32 off 24 balls).

Chasing the target, KXIP endured some early blows as in-form Rahul (15) and Mayank Agarwal (5) fell cheaply while Chris Gayle chipped in with 29 runs.

KXIP were 56/3 wickets in 5.5 overs before Maxwell and Pooran took control of the proceedings and repaired the damage with a crucial 69-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Just after Pooran notched up his half-century in the 13th over, Kagiso Rabada struck to dismiss the KXIP batsman. Pooran’s 53, which came off 28 balls, was decorated with six boundaries and three maximums.

Two overs later, Rabada jolted DC once again, this time accounting for the wicket of Maxwell. However, it was too late for DC as Deepak Hooda (15 not out) and James Neesham (10 not out) didn’t let DC make any further onslaughts and shared an unbeaten 20-run partnership to drive their side home with an over to spare.

For DC, Rabada picked two wickets for 27 runs while Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin settled with one each.

Earlier, Dhawan single-handedly took DC to 164/5 in the allotted 20 overs, thanks to his unbeaten blitzkrieg. In the process, the left-hander also became the only player in the history of the league to smash two consecutive tons. Dhawan’s master class was laced with 12 boundaries and three hits into the stands.

Opting to bat on winning the toss, DC top order failed to fire. However, it was Dhawan, who kept his wicket safe and despite receiving little support from the others, showed grit and determination to lift his side to a fighting total.

DC skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant were the joint second highest scorers after managing 14 runs each.

KXIP pacer Mohammed Shami once again impressed as he bagged two wickets for just 28 runs from his four overs quota while James Neesham, Murugan Ashwin and Glenn Maxwell picked one wicket each.

Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 167/5 wkts in 19 overs (Nicholas Pooran 53, Glen Maxwell 32; Kagiso Rabada 2/27) beat Delhi Capitals: 164/5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 106 not out, Shreyas Iyer 14; Mohammed Shami 2/28) by 5 wickets.

Didn’t know about consecutive IPL tons record, says Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan on Tuesday became the first player to score back to back centuries in the IPL. But his unbeaten 106 off 61 balls went in vain as Delhi Capitals lost to Kings XI Punjab by five wickets. While he hit 12 fours and three sixes, his team mates just scored a combined 54 off 59 balls and DC’s score was 164/5 batting first.

KXIP chased down the total with five wickets and an over in hand. The highest score for DC after Dhawan’s ton was Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant’s 14.

“Today, it happened that way otherwise the boys have been playing very well. I took the responsibility of holding one end up and was also hitting the boundaries when I got the chance,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was player of the match despite his team losing.

Dhawan was, however, unaware of the record he broke. “I didn’t know,” he said when asked about it.

Dhawan scored 69 not out, 57, 101 not out in his three innings before Tuesday and said that he had been batting this fluently when he made his Test debut. Dhawan famously broke the record for the fastest Test century by a debutant in his first game at Mohali against Australia in March 2013, reaching three figures in just 87 balls.

“I really enjoyed it today. I was this fluent on my Test debut. It’s good that I am scoring consistently, you gain confidence. I make sure I take proper rest and am fresh for the match,” he said.

Dhawan acclimatised to the conditions quicker than others: Shreyas

Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer said that opener Shikhar Dhawan adapted better to the wicket than the others on Tuesday after their 5-wicket defeat to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Dubai International Stadium

Dhawan became the first player to score back to back centuries in the IPL with an unbeaten 106 off 61 balls as he pulled DC to 164/5. The rest of the DC players scored a combined 54 runs off 59 balls with Shreyas’ 14 being the joint second highest score behind Dhawan’s alongwith Pant.

“I feel that we fell around 10 runs short, but we got a lot of learnings from this game. Shikhar’s batting was a positive,” said Shreyas after the match.

“Shikhar read the wicket well, adapted to the situation, he went hard from ball one, and passed the message onto the youngsters that the wicket is stopping. He acclimatised to the conditions quicker than others.”

While they still remain top of the table, the defeat gives third-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) the chance to catch up with them on points when they play Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.

“The good thing is that the boys will be charged up for the next game. We weren’t up to the mark, but I’m sure we will be next time,” said Shreyas.

Nice to finish in penultimate over for once: Rahul

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) won their third consecutive match on Tuesday when they beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets. While their first match of this run ended in an eight-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they got over the line only on the last ball.

Their previous win came after an extraordinary two Super Overs against the Mumbai Indians and KXIP captain KL Rahul said that it is nice to not have a close finish for once.

“Nice to finish in the 19th over for once,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. Needing to chase down 165, KXIP had to depend upon their middle order to take them over the line after a rare lapse from Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal. He said that the team will be looking to have one of the top order batsman stay on till the end in the coming matches.

“Especially when you play with six batters and one all-rounder it is important that a set batter, one of the top four, goes on and finishes the game. That something that we need to make sure happens going forward,” he said.

While DC scored 164/5, 106 of their runs were scored by opener Shikhar Dhawan with the rest being limited to scoring just 54 runs off 59 balls by KXIP’s bowling lineup led by Mohammed Shami, who took two wickets. Rahul said that Shami is carrying forward the confidence he took from the previous game against Mumbai Indians in which he stopped them from scoring six runs in the first Super Over, thus forcing another tie-breaker.

“Shami was coming in after some confidence from the last game, the way he bowled in that Super Over,” said Rahul. “As I said, he is one of the senior players and is getting better with ever game. Arshdeep [Singh] bowled two overs in the powerplay and then came back for one over at the death and he nailed six yorkers. Can’t be easy for a fast bowler. Shows how hard guys have worked.”

The win means that KXIP, who lost five consecutive matches after their win in their second match of the season against RCB, have now beaten the top two sides in their last two matches.

“That feels really good. The talk before the last couple of games was to beat two teams were at the top of the points table and bring a lot of confidence into the team,” said Rahul.

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