Delhi beats Punjab to keep alive IPL playoffs hopes

Mumabi: Shardul Thakur took 4-36 to bowl Delhi Capitals to consecutive wins for the first time in the Indian Premier League after beating Punjab Kings by 17 runs on Monday.

The win kept Delhi in the hunt for a top-four playoffs spot, while Punjab’s hopes took a massive blow.

Delhi was fourth, climbing over Royal Challengers Bangalore on run-rate. Delhi and Bangalore need to win their final round-robin games to vie for the last playoffs berth.

Punjab was seventh and its last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday could be rendered moot.

Mitchell Marsh scored 63 off 48 balls to help Delhi total 159-7. Punjab could make only 142-9 at DY Patil Stadium.

Put in to bat, Delhi's David Warner was out caught off Liam Livingstone off the very first ball.

Warner's new opening partner Sarfaraz Khan scored 32 off 16 balls and put on 51 for the second wicket with Marsh. Marsh, who hit 50 off 40, added 47 runs with Lalit Yadav for the third wicket.

Arshdeep Singh took 3-37 to slow down Delhi’s middle order, and Livingstone preyed on the end batting to snatch 3-27 be Punjab's standout bowler.

Chasing 160, Punjab's Jonny Bairstow was removed on 28 in the fourth over by Anrich Nortje, and the real damage was done in the sixth when Shardul Thakur dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajpaksa.

Punjab, down to 54-3, lost five more wickets for 14 runs in the space of 24 deliveries.

Delhi spinners Axar Patel (2-14) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-14) shared four wickets in seven overs.

Jitesh Sharma provided some late fireworks in 44 off 34 balls, including two sixes, to raise Punjab hopes, but he hit Thakur straight down to long off and Warner charged in for a smart diving catch and end to the threat.


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