NEW DELHI, April 15 (IANS): Leg-spinner Amit Mishra's 4/11 proved crucial as Delhi Daredevils thrashed Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Friday.
After Delhi won the toss and opted to field, Mishra, coming in to bowl in the seventh over, rocked Punjab's boat. When he started his spell, they were 37 for one in six overs, and at the end of his three-over haul, the visiting side was 59 for five in 11 overs. His victims included Shaun Marsh (13), David Miller (9), Glenn Maxwell (0) and Manan Vohra (32).
Punjab batsmen showed lack of intent and discipline and fell one after another. Opening batsman Vohra was the only one who showed the will for a fight even as his team was restricted to 111/9 in 20 overs.
In pursuit of the low total, Delhi were led by South African opener Quinton de Kock (59 not out), who shared a 91-run stand for the second wicket with Sanju Samson (33) in 10.4 overs, as the hosts overhauled the target with 6.3 overs and eight wickets to spare. De Kock milked nine fours and a six of the 42 deliveries he faced.
It was Delhi's first win in two matches, while Punjab suffered their second loss on the trot.
In the match between the teams who have lost their first matches, Punjab failed to gather any momentum right from the start. In the second over bowled by left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, Zaheer Khan dropped Vohra's catch at the point and as the ball neared towards the boundary, the openers decided to take three runs.
But Murali Vijay was found to be short of the crease as the relay throw between Zaheer and Karun Nair reached wicketkeeper de Kock in time for the stumps to be dislodged, leaving the team at eight for one in 1.3 overs.
Even though Zaheer seemed to be lethargic while dropping the catch, the veteran left-arm seamer maintained a tight line and length. The captain conceded only 14 runs in his four overs, taking a wicket.
After the powerplay overs, which yielded 37 runs, Zaheer brought in Mishra and the leg-spiner struck in his first delivery. Left-handed batsman Marsh danced down the track, only to miss the line before being stumped by de Kock.
Mishra dealt a double blow in his second over, removing skipper Miller (9) and Maxwell (0). While left-hander Miller was trapped in front of the wickets in the first ball of the ninth over, Maxwell was holed out by Carlos Brathwaite at long-off.
Mishra's next victim was right-hander Vohra, who moved back at the crease while fending off a sharp googly.
Following this, the tail-enders tried their best but the damage was already done. Spinner Jayant Yadav and fast bowler Chris Morris chipped in with a wicket each.
During the chase too, Delhi were in control, thanks to de Kock. At the start, he went through some anxious moments. He not only lost his partner Shreyas Iyer (3) early but also survived following a dropped catch at square leg by Vijay when the left-hander was at seven in the fifth over bowled by left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
De Kock tried to forge a partnership with Samson and they were successful in doing so. They scored at a decent pace and took their total to 28 for one in six overs.
Growing in confidence, the duo put out their attacking shots and reaped a lot of runs - highlighted by three fours hit off Patel in the eighth over.
Samson took confidence from his partner and hit leg-spinner Pradeep Sahu for a maximum, before thrashing Maxell with two consecutive fours. By this time, Delhi were 79/1 in 11 overs.
Knowing, they are very much in control, de Kock turned the heat on Punjab's pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson, who went for two fours and a huge six, which completed the South African's fifty in 38 deliveries.
Later, Samson was bowled by Patel but it was a matter of just 12 runs and de Kock and Negi made it with ease.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 111/9 (Manan Vohra 32; Amit Mishra 4/11, Zaheer Khan 1/14). Delhi Daredevils: 113/2 in 13.3 overs (Quinton de Kock not out 59, Sanju Samson 33; Sandeep Sharma 1/6).