Navi Mumbai: Delhi Capitals (DC) kept their hopes for a play-off berth alive defeating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by 17 runs at the DY Patil Stadium here Monday. Riding on Mitchell Marsh’s (63, 48b, 4×4, 3×6), DC scored 159 for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs and then restricted the opposition to 142 for nine wickets.
With the victory, DC reached 14 points from 13 games, the same as Royal Challengers Bangalore. So it may well boil down to the wire when the two sides play their last group matches. In case, both DC and RCB lose their last games, and PBKS win theirs, they will also go to 14 points and the net run-rate may well determine as to which of the three go into the play-offs. Gujarat Titans (20 points) look set to top the group while Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Supergiants (both on 16 points) have one foot already in the play-offs. But both of them also cannot afford to lose their last games and get stuck at 16 points with some other team.
In spite of a fine start provided by Jonny Bairstow (28, 15b, 4×4, 1×6), the other PBKS batters lost the plot. Except for youngster Jitesh Sharma (44, 34b, 3×4, 2×6), in the middle, none of the others could really contribute. Both Axar Patel (2/14) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/24) spun a web around the batters and PBKS did not manage to come out of it. However, the main damage was done by Shardul Thakur (4/36) who picked up the vital wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Sharma.
Earlier when DC batted pacer Arshdeep Singh (3/37) and part-time spinner Liam Livingstone (3/27) bowled well to restrict the opposition. DC lost opener David Warner (0) to the first ball of the game by Livingstone, but then Marsh held the innings together with three fruitful partnerships.
Marsh added 51 runs with runs for the second wicket with Sarfaraz Khan (32, 16b, 5×4, 1×6) to steady the innings. Then he put on 47 runs for the third wicket with Lalit Yadav (24) to put DC on a firm pedestal. He then put on 37 runs with Axar Patel (17 n o) for the sixth wicket to ensure that Delhi at least went past the 150-run mark.
DC scored at a brisk pace at the start after being asked to bat but they suffered a middle-order collapse, losing three quick wickets. Otherwise they would have comfortably gone past the 175-run mark. However, in the end that did not matter.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 159 for 7 (Mitchell Marsh 63, Sarfraz Khan 32, Liam Livingstone 3/27, Arshdeep Singh 3/37) beat Punjab Kings 142 for 9 (Jitesh Sharma 44, Shardul Thakur 4/36, Axar Patel 2/14, Kuldeep Yadav 2/14) by 17 runs.