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IPL 2019 | Chris Gayle and Sam Curran Wickets Were Crucial for Delhi: Sandeep Lamichhane

While half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer took the Delhi Capitals over the line against Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla, it would probably have been a very different story had the young Sandeep Lamichhane not got the better off Chris Gayle and Sam Curran in the space of four balls.

Cricketnext Staff |April 21, 2019, 9:38 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Chris Gayle and Sam Curran Wickets Were Crucial for Delhi: Sandeep Lamichhane

While half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer took the Delhi Capitals over the line against Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla, it would probably have been a very different story had the young Sandeep Lamichhane not got the better off Chris Gayle and Sam Curran in the space of four balls.

Gayle, who has been in ominous touch this season, was racing away with the game in his inimitable style before the leg-spinner had him caught by Axar Patel. By the end of the over, young Lamichhane picked up his third wicket to finish as the pick of the bowlers for his side with figures of 3/40.

“We needed it (wickets) because Gayle was in good form and scoring quickly. He was smashing the bowlers no matter where we bowled. To get the wickets of Gayle and Curran in the 13th over was very important,” Lamichhane said in the post-match press conference.

At the end of of the 13th over, Punjab were 106/5 but could not capitalise on the start provided by Gayle and squandered a platform to up the ante. In the final seven overs Punjab added only 56 runs even as the conditions eased up and the usual problems with dew came along.

“Chris is very unique with the kind of power that he has and he is the one guy who can take it away from the opposition. Losing wickets regularly made it difficult to push on but the partnership from Ashwin and Harpreet Brar was very important for us and Mandeep did a decent job as well. Gayle got us to a point where anything was possible, but 163 from there was a decent score in those conditions,” a disappointed KXIP coach Mike Hesson said.

The dew was a factor that both teams were aware of and bowlers of both sides had their problems, especially the spinners.

“The dew factor made it difficult for the bowlers as it was tough to grip the ball and because of that none of the spinners other than Axar did well,” Lamichhane reasoned.

“163 on this surface, I think it was a decent score. Obviously, the dew was going to be the main factor and that was considered at the toss by both sides. We certainly didn't get the hold in the wicket that we were hoping for. The way Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer batted was good, they played low-risk cricket and they played well,” Hesson said.

Hesson though is pleased with the way his side has been playing. Punjab are currently placed fourth, two points behind yesterday’s (Saturday) opposition Delhi and the coach believes they are in the right place going into the home stretch of the league stage.

“We've actually played pretty well. So, I think we're still sitting fourth and our destiny is in our own hands. I think when you come to the back-end of the tournament, that's what you want and you know if you play well, you give yourself a good chance of winning. We gave ourselves a decent chance tonight and I'm pretty proud in terms of the way we hung in there during challenging conditions,” Hesson said.

Punjab have another four games to play with visits Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad next on the agenda.

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2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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