DC were cantering along at a brisk pace and looked likely to emerge winners after restricting KXIP to 166/9 in the first innings.
Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram – arguably two of the most destructive hitters in DC – had put together a 62-run stand for the fourth wicket which came to an end when Mohammad Shami bowled Pant in the 17th over.
Ashwin then ran out Chris Morris on the next ball at which point the nerves seem to set in for DC. Yet with Hanuma Vihari and Ingram at the crease and just 23 runs needed, the game was still in their control.
However, Sam Curran bowled an inspired spell that saw him end the game with figures of 2.2-0-11-4, including a hat-trick claimed over the course of two overs.
Curran first got rid of Ingram in the 18th over, making the South African hole out to Karun Nair at long-off before getting Harshal Patel to edge one behind the stumps on the final ball of the over.
After Shami bowled an inspired 19th over, conceding just 4 runs and taking a wicket, Curran came on to bowl the final over with DC needing 15 to win with 2 wickets in hand.
But after two well-placed yorkers rattled the stumps of Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane, Curran was celebrating a hat-trick that handed KXIP what at one point looked like an unlikely win.
The chase started poorly for the away side as Prithvi Shaw, who scored 99 in the previous game against the Kolkata Knight Riders, was dismissed for a golden duck this time by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer joined Shikhar Dhawan out in the middle and the two did enough to steady the run chase for the time being.
They put together a 61-run stand before Iyer was bowled by Hardus Viljoen in the eighth over of the match. Dhawan soon followed suit, getting trapped in front of the stumps thanks to a quicker carom ball from Ashwin.
Pant and Ingram looked likely to hand DC what would have been their third consecutive win before the shocking collapse occured.
Earlier, KXIP were asked to bat first after Iyer won the toss and could only muster 166 in their 20 overs as DC struck early and then regularly took wickets throughout the innings.
With Chris Gayle given a rest, Curran was sent to open the innings with KL Rahul. The Indian opener came out of the gates swinging but was trapped in front of the stumps by Morris, with even a review failing to save him.
Curran didn’t last long either, failing to latch on to a quicker one from Lamichhane that trapped him plumb in front of the stumps.
The onus was now on Mayank Agarwal and Sarfraz Khan to rebuild the innings. The latter smashed Morris for 2 fours in the sixth over after also taking a boundary off Rabada in the previous over.
However, a moment of brilliance from Dhawan in the field saw him run out Agarwal and the home side were once again in trouble.
Sarfraz continued to attack, slamming Avesh Khan for two boundaries in the next over. Miller, aware that his dismissal could be a game changer, started patiently but eventually began taking on the bowling.
The two put together a valuable 62-run stand which ended when Sarfraz played a lazy poke at a Lamichhane leg-break, thus giving Pant a simple catch behind the stumps.
Miller followed not long thereafter, triggering a lower order collapse that threatened to see KXIP not complete their quota of overs.
But Mandeep Singh held strong and his 21-ball 29 – which included a four and a six of Rababa on the last two balls of the over – helped the home side put up a total that turned out to be enough on the day.
First Published: April 2, 2019, 7:20 AM IST