New Delhi: Punjab would rue broken stands against Delhi. By any standards, the Ferozeshah Kotla wicket was not an easy surface to bat on. Punjab were expected to build an innings without thinking too far ahead but lapses at regular intervals made things difficult for them. The ball wasn't coming off the wicket but the Punjab batters tried forcing the pace.
The results of their overambitious approach was in front of them as the team couldn't even 150 and had they batted well, a score of anywhere near 160-165 could have proved to be a winning total. DD realised as early as the third over that the only way to silent the in-form Punjab batters was to employ tricks and vary length to deny them pace.
Despite Aaron Finch's early dismissal, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put on 36 together but Rahul threw away his wicket at a wrong time. Still, things weren't bad for PUnjab as Karun Nair took no time in settling in and displayed stylish drives to open his account. But as it looked that the Karnataka duo will bat sensibly to keep KXIP afloat, Agarwal blinked this time and his innovative approach to manufacture a pull cost him his wicket. Another 18-run stand went a begging.
Punjab's story could be summed up by saying that each batter settled but failed to capitalise. After putting on 25 in the most crucial middle phase of the innings, KXIP derailed again after Yuvraj too lost his wicket trying to craft a pull from a good length.
That was the third stand broken. Lastly, it was David Miller and Nair, who failed to take the game forward after putting 31 runs together. Miller was extremely lucky as in the space of two overs, he was dropped twice off Amit Mishra and Rahul Tewatia. Glenn Maxwell dropped him at cover while Prithvi Shaw fluffed him at point. Having been reprived twice, Miller should have slogged it out there and should have ensured KXIP to a decent total.
But it was Nair here who went out first as he holed a slower delivery off Plunkett to long-on on 34. Miller too followed soon after and Punjab could only struggle to 143 in their quota. Delhi pacers Avesh Khan and Trent Boult picked two each while the star of the bowlers proved to be Liam Plunkett, who struck at crucial times thrice to end with superb figures of 4-0-17-3.