A lacklustre Delhi Daredevils suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat following a pathetic batting show during which they were shot out for just 67 runs by Kings XI Punjab, here today. After bowling out Daredevils in 17.1 overs for the second lowest score in this edition of IPL, the hosts knocked off the runs in 7.5 overs with Martin Guptill smashing 50 off 27 balls. Guptill’s seven fours and two sixes meant that Kings XI Punjab just manage to keep their Playoffs hopes alive with eight points from nine games. Daredevils slumped to their sixth defeat in eight games and are languishing at the bottom of the eight-team table.
After RCB, Daredevils are another team that is looking distinctly out-of-depth which was evident in their performance where the players simply looked disinterested. The match as a contest was over in the first 10 overs during which Daredevils were reduced to 33 for six. Most disappointing aspect was complete lack of gumption to fight it out.
Kings XI Punjab’s chase was a walk in the park with Guptill making a mincemeat of the bowling. With no pressure of a target, he used the Powerplay overs well. Mohammed Shami looked rusty after finally getting to play another match. It’s not only the players but even team management including chief coach Rahul Dravid would have to answer a few tough questions pertaining to planning.
Every year, some team or the other loses out on key players but Daredevils from the start looked like a team that was only adding up the numbers. The two victories achieved were partly due to some good late-order hitting. Lacking quality in batting department with confidence hitting the lowest ebb, Daredevils looked like a rudderless ship with none of the batsmen getting past 20-run mark.
The highest individual score was 18 from Corey Anderson. This was the second lowest score in this year’s IPL after 49 by Royal Challengers Bangalore. Daredevils batting show is even more disappointing considering their coach is Rahul Dravid — one of the finest batsman to have graced the cricket field. Injured Zaheer Khan did not play today and in an inexplicable decision, the team management named Karun Nair the skipper. Nair has been out of form since his triple hundred in Test cricket and did nothing to inspire the confidence of his colleagues.
Sam Billings nicked one behind off Sandeep Sharma (4/20), who had his first good day in office after having a terrible tournament so far. The distinct lack of positive intent was evident among the batsmen. The two-paced track also made matters worse as Sanju Samson closed his bat face to a delivery from Sandeep that stopped on him.
Shreyas Iyer (6) also committed early to a delivery and Sandeep took a good return catch diving to his left. Out of sorts Karun was played on going for a cover drive. Rishabh Pant (3) got a straighter from Glenn Maxwell that caught him partially committed on frontfoot. It was another day where Daredevils were caught napping both on and off the field in their planning and execution.