A tight display with the ball followed by a sensational performance with the bat saw Punjab register a comfortable victory over league-leaders Delhi.
Here are the key talking points from the contest:
Nicholas ends his poor run
With KL Rahul and Chris Gayle back in the pavilion, Punjab needed a hero to guide them through the run chase. The team did have one of the league’s top runscorers in Mayank Agarwal out in the centre but he too returned to the dugout soon after, following an embarrassing mix-up while attempting a quick single. With their three main stars gone, things looked a bit dire for Punjab, but the culprit of the run-out, Nicholas Pooran, smashed a brilliant 53 off 28 to guide his side to a comfortable victory. This was just his second half-century of the season, ending his miserable run with the bat.
Dhawan’s the only one
Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was having a rather average season before his incredible century against Chennai, created history as he became the first man in Indian T20 League history to score a century in back-to-back matches. The veteran smashed 106 off 61 balls with 12 fours and three sixes in what was a brilliant knock. Dhawan has now scored 333 runs in his last four matches and has been dismissed only once - an incredible run of form.
A Shaw-king run of form
While Delhi's one opener is on a historic run with the bat, the other is struggling terribly. After two brilliant half-centuries and a 42-run knock in his five matches, Mumbai native Prithvi Shaw has been cold with the bat, scoring just 30 runs in his past five outings, which include two ducks on the trot against Rajasthan and Chennai. With the business end of the league fast approaching, Delhi and Shaw will be hoping that their talented young opener can turn this shocking run of form around in the upcoming matches.
Punjab mean business
With this dominating victory, Punjab have climbed to fifth on the points table. They trail fourth-placed Kolkata by just two points, having played a game more. Their destiny does not lie in their hands as they need Kolkata to lose two matches while Punjab need to win all of theirs to stand a chance to qualify for the playoffs. However, Punjab have an easier run to close out their season compared to Kolkata, so their bid to qualify is well and truly on. Having looked destined to finish at the bottom, Punjab have gone on and beaten the top three teams in the league in successive matches.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Indian T20 League