Set to chase a challenging 196 to win, DC never looked in trouble, courtesy of Dhawan’s blazing knock, as they got over the line with ten balls to spare. Dhawan’s innings overshadowed a brilliant 69 off 36 balls by Mayank Agarwal earlier in the day.
Openers Prithvi Shaw and Dhawan added 59 in 5.3 overs as DC got off to an impressive start in their chase. In the second over bowled by Mohammed Shami, Shaw lofted a full ball over long-on for the first maximum of the innings.
When off-spinner Jalal Saxena was introduced, the DC openers welcomed him with a four apiece. Shaw lofted one over mid-off, while Dhawan carted Saxena over square leg. Jhye Richardson was punished as well, as a length ball was launched over long-off for a maximum by Shaw.
Dhawan helped himself to three more fours when Shami came back for his second over. The threatening partnership was broken when Shaw top-edged a slower one from Arshdeep Singh to square leg. Meanwhile, Dhawan eased to his 50 off 31 balls, but DC lost Steve Smith for nine when the Australian miscued a short ball off Riley Meredith.
Dhawan helped DC stay ahead in the chase by finding the boundaries at regular intervals. The dew was clearly having an impact, as the PBS bowlers failed to grip the ball to the extent they would have liked to.
After launching Shami for a six over long-on, Dhawan picked three consecutive fours off Meredith as the Australian pacer gave the DC opener too much room to open his arms.
Having whipped Richardson for a six over square leg, Dhawan looked set for a hundred. It wasn’t to be, though, as Dhawan fell for 92 off 49, cleaned up by the same bowler when the left-hander looked to swipe one past square leg.
Marcus Stoinis was caught off a high full-toss from Shami, which was reviewed and ended up being a no-ball. Stoinis hammered the free-hit delivery for a six over long-on. Stoinis (27 not out off 13) and Lalit Yadav (12 not out off 6) took DC home with some comfortable boundaries.
Mayank Agarwal hammers 36-ball 69 as PBKS post 195 for 4
Opener Mayank Agarwal roared back to form with a blistering 69 off 36 balls as Punjab Kings (PBKS) put up an impressive 195 for 4 after being sent into bat by Delhi Capitals (DC).
Agarwal, who was dismissed for 14 and 0 in his two previous matches, blasted seven fours and four sixes in his knock. He was the dominant partner in a first-wicket stand of 122 with his captain KL Rahul (61 off 51).
The right-hander was helped by DC debutant Lukman Meriwala at the start of his innings. A misfield at cover off Meriwala’s bowling gave the PBKS opener his first four. However, it was a no-ball as well, and the free hit was lofted over the bowler for a maximum. The last ball of the over was a full delivery, which was eased past extra cover for a boundary.
It could have been a debut to remember for Meriwala. After Rahul punched the first ball for four through cover, the next ball was hit uppishly to point, but Steve Smith dropped a tough chance.
Growing in confidence, Agarwal went from strength to strength, picking three fours in the next two overs. He took on Ravichandran Ashwin as well, cracking him for a six over long-off and picking a four, courtesy of a misfield from Meriwala at short third man.
Agarwal brought up his 50 off only 25 balls. It was not a convincing shot, but the batsman did enough to get the attempted hook past the keeper for four.
The 11th over of the innings saw Agarwal and Rahul combine to plunder three sixes off Kagiso Rabada. Agarwal first launched the bowler over long-off and then pulled out a short-arm pull over fine leg. He then turned over the strike, allowing the PBKS captain to hook one over backward square for a third maximum.
The brilliant partnership ended when Agarwal sliced Meriwala to sweeper cover, unable to get his timing right on a full and wide delivery.
Meanwhile, Rahul brought up a fifty on his birthday, doing so with a single off Ashwin. He was granted another birthday gift by DC, as Marcus Stoinis dropped him at extra cover off Avesh Khan’s bowling. That was after Prithvi Shaw had put down a very tough one at midwicket, which needed a one-handed leap.
Rahul celebrated his good fortune by swinging Khan over extra cover for six. His luck finally ran out on 61 when the PBKS captain picked out deep midwicket off Rabada’s bowling. DC fought back well in the last overs, as the West Indies duo of Chris Gayle (11) and Nicholas Pooran (9) perished cheaply.
A few clean hits from Deepak Hooda (22 not out off 13) and Shahrukh Khan (15 not out off 5) lifted PBKS to 195 for 4. Khan was impressive in the last over bowled by Chris Woakes, hammering him for two fours and a six over long-on.
IPL 2021: DC vs PBKS - Man of the Match
PBKS opener Mayank Agarwal played an excellent knock for his team. He got PBKS off to a blistering start and gave them the momentum they needed at the top. Agarwal’s 69 off 36, which featured seven fours and four sixes, was crucial in lifting PBKS to an impressive total.
Birthday boy and PBKS captain KL Rahul also did well, scoring a half-century. He made a fluent 61 off 51 balls, with the aid of seven fours and two sixes. If anything, his acceleration could have been a bit better, though.
When DC came out to bat, Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan got the team off to an excellent start. But it was Dhawan who played the substantial knock, blazing his way to 92 off 49 balls, a stroke-filled knock featuring 13 fours and two sixes.
Although he missed out on a well-deserved hundred, Dhawan was declared the Man of the Match for his splendid knock in DC's successful chase.