Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) : Livingstone’s breathtaking knock of 94(48) proved to be insufficient in the final over against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the HPCA Stadium on Wednesday.
The deciding moment of the match was the free hit delivery in the final over. A boundary would have kept PBKS in the game, but Livingstone failed to find a boundary on a ball that was destined to end in the stands. While chasing 214, Punjab Kings stuttered at the start as they lost captain Shikhar Dhawan early. Khaleel Ahmed bowled a fantastic first over for a maiden and then Ishan Sharma struck with his first ball, having Dhawan caught at slip in the second over. Prabhsimran Singh then took the aggressive route as he combined power with placement to hit four fours, including three back-to-back fours off Ishant Sharma.
Atharva Taide took the attack to Anich Nortje in the next over, cracking a four and a six and then hitting a four and a six off Mukesh Kumar but PBKS got lucky off the last ball of the over as the keeper missed a run-out with Prabhsimran set off for a bye but was sent back by Taide. A direct hit would have been curtains for the PBKS opener. The home side reached 47/1 at the end of the Powerplay.
Axar Patel came into the attack and struck straightaway to provide the breakthrough as he had Prabhsimran (22 off 19) caught at wide long-on. DC could have had a couple more but Nortje dropped Liam Livingstone and Yash Dhull dropped Atharva Taide in one Kuldeep Yadav over. Livingstone rubbed salt into the wounds cracking a huge six off the penultimate ball of the over as PBKS reached 75/2 at the halfway stage. Luck continued to favour PBKS as Livingstone and Taide survived run-outs off the same ball trying to run through for a risky single and then an overthrow.
Taide and Livingstone were playing dangerously as a couple of mistimed shots fell short of the fielders. The duo hit 15 runs off Axar and 12 runs off Nortje as Taide brought up his fifty off 38 balls. Kuldeep then bowled a tight over, conceding just five off the over.
The required run rate crept over 16 and then Livingstone cracked a couple of fours off Mukesh Kumar before a tactical move saw PBKS retire out Atharva Taide in the 15th over which brought in Jitesh Sharma. He didn’t last long though as he departed without opening his account. The new batter Shahrukh Khan opened his account with a six off first ball to bring the equation to 79 needed off 24. Livingstone then switched on the fifth gear as hit a four off a no-ball from Khaleel to bring up his fifty off 30 balls and then smashed a massive six straight down the ground off the Free Hit.
Khaleel though bounced back to have Shahrukh Khan caught at long-on. Livingstone smacked another six as PBKS amassed 20 off the over.
With 59 needed off 18, Livingstone and Curran hammered three sixes off Mukesh Kumar to bring the equation down to 38 off 22. Curran cracked a four off the first ball of the penultimate over from Nortje but the South African pacer hit back hard to knock down his leg stump off the next ball.
PBKS lost two in two as Harpreet Brar was run out at the bowler’s end, scampering through for a bye to get Livingstone on strike. Nortje bowled a brilliant over, giving away just five. With 33 needed off the last over, Ishant started off with a dot. But it all got nervous for the DC camp as Livingstone smacked a six over long-on and thumped a four-over covers. Ishant then bowled a waist-high no ball which Livingstone smashed over extra cover for another six as the equation came down to 16 off 3.
Livingstone then missed his swing off a full toss as DC heaved a sigh of relief. The England batter mistimed the next one over cover and didn’t run. He smashed the last ball straight into the hands of the long off fielder as DC won the match by 15 runs.
PBKS ended their innings with a score of 198/8 in 20 overs.
Earlier, Put to bat first, the Delhi Capitals got off to a great start. The DC openers David Warner and Prithvi Shaw gave a solid base to the innings, they added 50 runs in the powerplay.
The duo together posted 94 runs to the scoreboard before Warner got dismissed on Sam Curran’s bowling in the 10.2 over. He scores 46 off 31 balls.
In place of Warner, Rilee Rossouw came to the crease and started hitting boundaries quite early in his innings. In the 12th over, Rossouw punished Rabada for two sixes and a four, collecting 17 runs in his over.
Prithvi who was struggling from his bad form has finally scored his first fifty of IPL 2023. He clinched his half-century in 13.4 overs. Prithvi’s innings came to an end after Curran took his second wicket in 14.6 overs. Rossouw playing an attacking innings quickly reached his half-century which he scored in 25 balls.
Phil Salt also joined Rossouw as he struck two sixes and a four in Nathan Ellis’s bowling in the 19th over.DC batter collected 23 runs in the last over, posting 213/2 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 198/8 (Liam Livingstone 94(48), Atharva Taide 55(42) and Anrich Nortje 2/36) vs Delhi Capitals and Delhi Capitals (Rilee Rossouw 82*, Prithvi Shaw 54, Sam Curran 2/36) Vs Punjab Kings.