Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets in IPL; Dhawan's historic hundred goes in vain

News Network
October 21, 2020

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Dubai, Oct 21: Shikhar Dhawan's historic hundred went in vain as Kings XI Punjab outplayed table leaders Delhi Capitals by five wickets for their third straight win to keep their play-off hopes alive in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.

Dhawan became the first batsman to hit back-to-back IPL hundreds with his unbeaten 106 off 61 balls being the sole bright spot in Delhi's 164 for five.

For a change, it ended up being a straightforward chase for KXIP despite a rare failure from their opening pair of K L Rahul (15) and Mayank Agarwal (5), who had done the bulk of the scoring for the team in the earlier games.

Nicholas Pooran (53 off 28) came up with another blinder of a knock and Glenn Maxwell (32 off 24) finally found some form to set up the win.

Jimmy Neesham (10 not out off 8) hit the winning six as KXIP got home in 19 overs.

With KXIP's in-form top three gone cheaply, it was a stiff test for their shaky middle-order which came good on the night.

Rahul mishit one to mid-on while Agarwal got run out after a big mix-up with Pooran.

Gayle once again looked in ominous touch but departed soon after hammering Tushar Deshpande in his opening over that went for 26 runs. R Ashwin found the Jamaican's stumps with a slider.

With KXIP at 63 for 3 inside the powerplay, it was left to Pooran and Maxwell to bail the team out.

Pooran eased the pressure with another display of clean hitting. His blitzkrieg propelled KXIP to 101 for three in first 10 overs with only 64 to get from the last 60 balls.

The West Indian was not able to see the team through but Maxwell finally got some runs under his belt to take the team close to victory.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan's sensational effort took Delhi Capitals to 164 for five after his team opted to bat. His memorable innings included 12 fours and three sixes.

It seemed he was batting on a different surface with the second highest score of the innings coming from skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, who made 14 each.

KXIP bowled well at the back end of the innings to restrict DC to below 180 with lead pacer Mohammed Shami (2/28) being the stand out performer.

Fresh off a hundred in the last game, Dhawan began by slog sweeping offie Glenn Maxwell in the opening over.

Shaw, who failed to get off the mark in the preview two games, perished cheaply once again, trying to smash Jimmy Neesham over extra cover when he was in no position to play that aerial stroke.

Iyer too did not last long after getting off the mark with a lofted cover drive that went for a six with Delhi reaching 83 for two in 10 overs.

At the other end, Dhawan grew in confidence and an example of that was the way he drove a full ball from Shami over mid-off.

The southpaw crossed the 5000-run mark in the IPL by sweeping leggie Ravi Bishnoi for a six over deep square-leg, becoming the fifth batsmen to do so in the tournament's history.

He got to his century, another landmark, with a double off left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh.

However, he did not get the required support from the other end as Delhi ended with a below-par total.

Brief Score:

Delhi Capitals: 164 for 5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 106; Mohammed Shami 2/28).

Kings XI Punjab: 167 for 5 in 19 overs (Nicholas Pooran 53; Kagiso Rabada 2/27).

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Agencies
November 21,2020

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Colombo, Nov 21: South Africa's performance in ICC events, barring the 2019 50-over World Cup, has been nothing short of 'so close, yet so far' episodes. Playing top-class cricket through the tournament, the Proteas have somehow managed to choke every single time in the business end.

Now with the 2021 T20 World Cup set to be played in India in a year's time, former opener Herschelle Gibbs feels the players need to work on their mental strength if they wish to finally break the jinx. Speaking to ANI from Sri Lanka as he is busy preparing for his role as a coach in the Lanka Premier League (LPL), Gibbs threw light on factors responsible for South Africa's failure to win a World Cup, his latest love for coaching T20 franchises and his ferocious knock against Australia in 2006 which took the world by storm as smashing boundaries and sending bowlers on the leather hunt wasn't so mainstream back then.

The recently concluded 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) once again saw some quality performances from South African players such as Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. But Gibbs believes the problem has never been with producing talented players. "South Africa always produces world-class players. But it's the big match temperament and dealing with the pressure that's been lacking over the years... until that changes I can't see anything changing," the Colombo Kings head coach said.

Appointed head coach in the LPL, Gibbs had initially landed in the country for a commentary stint. Throwing light on the change of role, the former opener said: "Well, an interesting turn of fate, I would say. I learned that Dav Whatmore, who was earlier named the coach of Colombo Kings had to pull out due to some personal reasons. "Even his replacement, Kabir Ali, tested positive for Covid-19, so when I was approached, I readily agreed to it. It's my ambition to coach in all the T20 leagues."

During his playing days, Gibbs was famous for his power hitting. The swashbuckling batsman's ferocious knock of 175 off 111 balls in 2006 when the team chased down Australia's total of 434 runs will always be the guiding light for any player on how to master the art of chasing. Reminiscing that 'kind of a T20' knock Gibbs said Australia had left the South Africans with no options but to fire on all cylinders in order to set another world record in the same match.

"Oh yes! You can't forget that kind of a knock, and that too coming against Australia and batting second. It was a good wicket to bat and the Australians left us with no options but to go all guns blazing, and that is what we did. "Graeme Smith too was brilliant that day in the chase. And yes, that was really kind of T20 innings, we reached 150 in the 19th over," he signed off. 

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News Network
November 28,2020

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New Delhi, Nov 28: Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding has said that Virat Kohli's line-up needs a player like MS Dhoni in the middle if they want to be able to chase big totals in white-ball cricket.

Holding's remark came as India stumbled to a 66-run loss against Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia scored 374/6 in the fifty overs and Kohli's side was restricted to 308/8.

"India has some good players but one thing I know for sure is that Kohli's team will struggle with the loss of MS Dhoni. As we know when Dhoni used to come to bat midway, he used to take control of the chase. India have chased so well in the past with Dhoni in the team and they have never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what Dhoni is capable of. This batting lineup that they have got is still very talented, we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just Dhoni's skills but his strength of character," said Holding on his YouTube channel.

"We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting lineup, but MS Dhoni was a special man with the bat in the run-chase," he added.

Chasing a monumental target of 375, the visitors were never really in the game except for a brief stage when opener Shikhar Dhawan (74) and Hardik Pandya (90) put on 128 runs for the fifth wicket. But the top half of the innings had already left a lot to be desired even though openers Mayank Agarwal and Dhawan did get off to a flier and added 53 in the first five overs.

But as soon as Pandya and Dhawan were sent back to the pavilion, the job was done by the Australians, and going through the last few overs remained just a formality. India and Australia will now lock horns in the second ODI of the three-match series on Sunday.

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News Network
November 29,2020

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Mount Maunganui, Nov 29: New Zealand displayed an all-round performance to defeat West Indies by 72 runs in the second T20I of the three-match series on Sunday here at the Bay Oval.

With this win, New Zealand have gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. While batting first, New Zealand smashed 238 runs in the allotted twenty overs, and then the bowlers did not let West Indies' batters settle at the crease.

Chasing 239, West Indies got off to a bad start as the side lost its first two wickets with just 28 runs on the board. Andre Fletcher (20) and Brandon King (0) both failed to leave a mark with bat in hand.

Shimron Hetmyer and Kyle Mayers stitched a brief partnership of 32 runs, but James Neesham ended Mayers' (20) stint at the crease. In the very next over, Mitchell Santner dismissed Nicholas Pooran (7), reducing Windies to 72/4.

Skipper Kieron Pollard came into bat next, and he played a quickfire knock of 28 runs off 15 balls. He even hit Santner for three consecutive sixes, however, in trying to hit the fourth successive one, he lost his wicket and West Indies was once again left starring down the barrel.

No Windies batsman was able to stay at the crease for a long time, and in the end, New Zealand wrapped up a win by 72 runs.

Earlier, Glenn Phillips scored his maiden T20I century to power New Zealand to 238/3 against West Indies. Phillips played a knock of 108 runs in the match to take New Zealand to their third-highest T20I total. Also, he completed the century from just 46 balls, the fastest T20I hundred by a New Zealander.

After being asked to bat first, openers Martin Guptill and Tim Seifert handed New Zealand a brilliant start. Both struck regular boundaries and formed a 49-run partnership before Oshane Thomas bowled Seifert (18) in the sixth over.

In the next over, Guptill (34) too was sent back to the pavilion as Devon Conway and Phillips took the field. The duo played some amazing shots, taking New Zealand over the 100-run mark in the 11th over.

Phillips struck three back-to-back sixes to Fabian Allen in the 13th over to complete his half-century. Phillips and Conway proved too good for the West Indies bowlers, who struggled to restrict the batsmen from scoring runs. Continuing their brilliant form, Phillips went on to score his century while Conway brought up his 50 as New Zealand went past the 200-run mark.

Kieron Pollard dismissed Phillips in the final over but the damage was already done as New Zealand set a very competitive target of 239 runs for the West Indies.

Brief scores: New Zealand 238/3 (Glenn Phillips 108, Devon Conway 65*, Oshane Thomas 1-44) defeat West Indies 166/9 (Kieron Pollard 28, Shimron Hetmyer 25, Kyle Jamieson 2-15) by 72 runs.

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