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Four-star Sandeep decimates Delhi

Wisden India logo Wisden India 30-04-2017

Sandeep Sharma took 4 for 20 in four overs to set up a massive 10-wicket win for Kings XI Punjab over Delhi Daredevils on Sunday (April 30) in the 36th match of the Indian Premier League 2017.

After the right-arm seamer, fresh from a one-match break, wrecked Delhi’s top-order to contain them for 67, the third lowest score in the IPL, Martin Gupill and Hashim Amla made light work of the chase, hunting the target down in just the eighth over without the loss of wicket at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

In his 27-ball knock, Guptill smashed three sixes and four fours scoring an impressive unbeaten 50. Hashim Amla remained unbeaten on 16 off 20 balls, comfortably sidelined by Guptill’s pyrotechnics.

The afternoon began badly for Delhi with Zaheer Khan, their captain, being ruled out and Karun Nair taking charge. It was a Sandeep show after that, the paceman taking three wickets in his first spell of three overs and setting the stage for Delhi to be skittled for their lowest total in IPL history.

Sam Billings, who made a comeback to the side after being dropped for two games, didn’t do much to redeem the selectors’ faith, falling for a two-ball duck. Sanju Samson was sent back for five before Sandeep took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his left to have Shreyas Iyer removed for six, leaving Delhi in disarray.

At the end of the Power Play overs, Delhi had only 25 on the board with the top-order dismantled. Axar Patel then removed Nair and Chris Morris in successive overs, while Glenn Maxwell, the captain, saw the back of the dangerous Rishabh Pant.

At 33 for 6, Delhi were realistically poised to seize the dubious record for the lowest total in the IPL, set by Bangalore only last week when they were bundled out for 49 in Kolkata, but Corey Anderson and Kagiso Rabada steered them past the mark.

Anderson started looking set to attack and add some weight to Delhi’s total, but chopped a Varun Aaron yorker onto the stumps for 18 off 25. Delhi finally folded for 67, way too little to make a match of it.

There was not even token respite for them as Guptill teed off from the beginning, smashing the bowling to all parts of the ground to ensure in Amla’s company that Punjab registered their first 10-wicket victory in the history of the tournament.

Their fourth win allowed Punjab to climb a spot to fifth on the points table while Delhi fortified their position at the bottom after slumping to their sixth loss in eight games.

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