Sam Curran claimed a stunning hat-trick as Kings XI Punjab snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to register a dramatic 14 run triumph against the Delhi Capitals in Mohali.
The visitors were 144/3 at one stage, requiring just 23 runs in 21 balls, but a late meltdown saw them lose their last seven wickets for just 8 runs, leaving coach Ricky Pointing and skipper Shreyas Iyer shocked on the sidelines. It was a collapse of epic proportions on All Fools’ Day, and even the jubilant home supporters at the PCA Stadium couldn’t quite believe their eyes.
The home side, somewhat surprisingly, excluded Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye, with Sam Curran and Mujeeb Ur Rahman coming into the XI, while Delhi brought in pacer Avesh Khan at the expense of spinner Amit Mishra.
After being sent into bat by Shreyas Iyer, KXIP opener KL Rahul started off with a flurry of boundaries before a quick one from Chris Morris had him trapped LBW for 15.
The young Curran, opening for the first time in T20’s, carried on from where Rahul had left. He was particularly harsh on Avesh, whom he hit for three fours. Spin however proved to be his downfall, with Sandeep Lamichhane getting him for 20.
Two wickets became three when the in-form Mayank Agarwal went for a non-existent single and was run out by a direct hit from Shikhar Dhawan.
Sarfaraz Khan and David Miller then rebuilt the innings with a crucial 62 run stand for the fourth wicket before Lamichhane again broke through, getting Khan to edge one to Rishabh Pant.
Miller threatened to take Punjab over the 175 run mark but he was dismissed by fellow Proteas teammate Morris in the 17th over.
KXIP lost their way a bit afterwards, with Hardus Viljoen and both Ashwins falling cheaply. However Mandeep Singh took ten runs off the final two deliveries of the game, and that propelled them to a competitive total of 166/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
For Delhi, Morris claimed 3/30, while Kagiso Rabada and Lamichhane bagged 2 wickets each.
Chasing a target of 167, Delhi lost Prithvi Shaw for a golden duck as Ravi Ashwin sent him back to the pavillion on the very first ball of the chase.
Dhawan and Iyer added 61 runs for the second wicket, before Hardus Viljoen got the Capitals skipper to chop on for 28.
Dhawan looked fluent in his knock of 30 before a carrom ball from the returning Ashwin had him LBW.
Dashing wicket keeper batsman Pant and Colin Ingram stitched together a 62 run stand for the fourth wicket and just when it looked like Delhi were coasting towards victory, Mohammad Shami bowled Pant for 39.
Chris Morris was needlessly run out on the very next ball while attempting to steal a quick single.
The twin dismissals triggered panic in the Delhi ranks and what followed was an example of how NOT to finish an innings. The well-settled Ingram holed out to long off, Harshal Patel edged a Curran delivery to Pant and Hanuma Vihari had his stumps re-arranged by Shami as Delhi slumped to 148/8.
Avesh Khan gave Delhi a glimmer of hope by scoring a boundary off the fifth ball of the 19th over, but it was short lived as Curran completed his hat-trick (the first one of IPL 2019) by getting Rabada and Lamichhane bowled in successive deliveries
Delhi had also messed up their chase against Kolkata earlier in the season, but Kagiso Rabada saved them in the Super Over that evening. This time around, luck wasn’t on their side, and they were bowled out for for 152 in 19.2 overs.
Curran was declared the Player of the Match for his magnificent spell at the death (4/11 in 2.2 overs)
The 14th Match of the Indian Premier League will be played between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Jaipur on Tuesday.