New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils rode on an all-round effort to register their second successive win, beating Kings XI Punjab by 51 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Saturday.
Chasing a mammoth 189, Punjab could never recover from the three early jolts for just 31 runs and were restricted to 137/9.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem rocked the visitors with two early wickets — Manan Vohra (3) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (7) — before South African all-rounder Chris Morris dealt another blow with the wicket of opener Hashim Amla (19) inside the first five overs.
Amla looked good during his brief 12-ball stay, slamming four boundaries before a flick off a slower full toss from his countryman Morris landed on Sam Billings’ hands at deep square leg.
Saha, however got out to a stunning low catch by Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan at extra-cover after facing five balls and sending the ball to the boundary once.
With the team struggling at 31/3, David Miller (24) and Eoin Morgan (22) put on 33 runs for the fourth wicket to take the visitors past the 50-run mark. Morgan and Miller batted cautiously, striking the occasional boundaries to take the Punjab side to 64 before Australian pacer Pat Cummins packed back the South African after facing 20 balls and hitting three fours.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra then jolted Punjab with the key wicket of skipper Glenn Maxwell for a duck in the very next over.
Mishra couldn’t have asked for a better occasion to claim his 50th wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla as Punjab were found tottering at 65/5 midway through their innings.
Miller then survived a low catch by Zaheer off Corey Anderson but failed to capitalise and got out to the same bowler trapped in front off a full toss after facing 28 balls and hitting a four.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel, 44 from 29 balls raised Punjab’s hopes for a little by lofting the likes of Mishra, Anderson and Zaheer for three sixes but it was too late for the visitors as the asking rate kept on mounting.
For Delhi, Morris was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/23 while Nadeem and Cummins took two wickets apiece. Mishra and Anderson chipped in with one wicket each.
Earlier, Daredevils rode on opener Sam Billings’ half century and a breezy unbeaten 39 from New Zealand’s Corey Anderson to post 188/6 after winning the toss and electing to bat. Anderson’s electrifying knock came from just 22 deliveries and included three fours and as many sixes after Billings set the platform with a 40-ball 55.
Delhi were off to a flier with the opening duo of Billings and last match’s centurion Sanju Samson (19) putting on 53 runs.
Both mostly dealt in boundaries as the Punjab bowlers erred in line and length in the early part of the innings.
Young Samson started the onslaught from the first over when he flicked medium pacer Sandeep Sharma for four down the legs before adding another to bring up eight runs. Billings on the other hand, started with a pull over mid-on off Mohit Sharma before meting out special treatment to pacer Varun Aaron, slamming three consecutive boundaries in his first over.
Playing his first match of the season, Shreyas Iyer (22) raised 41 runs with Billings for the third wicket.
South African all-rounder Morris struck an 8-ball 16 to help Delhi cross the 150-run mark before Sandeep induced him to pull a short ball only to find Mohit’s safe hands at the square leg boundary.
Anderson then added the late surge, sending Patel to the cleaners for two consecutive sixes as the 19th over yielded 16 runs before pacer Pat Cummins (12 not out) joined the party in the final over, fetching 19 runs. Despite taking two wickets, Aaron was quite wayward in his line and length, leaking four wides and a no ball in his four overs which cost 45 runs.