AHMEDABAD – Shimron Hetmyer’s late fireworks helped put the finishing touches on Delhi Capitals’ sixth win of the Indian Premier League which propelled them top of the standings in India on Sunday.
Chasing a modest 167 for victory against Chris Gayle’s Punjab Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Delhi eased home by seven wickets with 14 balls to spare, with the left-handed Hetmyer smashing 16 not out off just four balls to finish the game with a flourish.
With Delhi requiring 19 runs at the start of the 18th over, Hetmyer launched fast bowler Riley Meredith for a straight six off the second ball, pulled the next ball over the ropes at mid-wicket before exquisitely driving the fourth delivery to the cover boundary, to accelerate the result.
It was left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan who orchestrated the run chase, however, hitting an unbeaten 69 from 47 deliveries while partner Prithvi Shaw weighed in with 39.
Opener Mayank Agarwal had earlier narrowly missed out on three figures with an unbeaten 99 as Kings gathered 166 for six off their 20 overs, after being sent in.
Gayle failed with 13 to be one of two wickets to fall inside the first six overs, losing his off-stump to a quick Kagiso Rabada (3-36) full toss, as Kings struggled to 35.
Agarwal came to his side’s rescue, hitting eight fours and four sixes in a 58-ball knock, putting on 52 for the third wicket with Dawid Malan (26) and a further 41 for the fifth wicket with Shahrukh Khan (4).
In reply, Dhawan anchored three strong partnerships to ensure victory for Delhi, posting 63 off 37 balls for the first wicket with Shaw, a further 48 for the second wicket with Australian Steve Smith (24) before adding 36 for the third wicket with Rishabh Pant (14).
Dhawan lashed half-dozen fours and a brace of sixes before taking a back seat and allowing Hetmyer to sparkle towards the end.
The victory put Capitals on 12 points, two clear of Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore with Kings three from bottom on six points.