Rossouw overhauls Livingstone as PBKS suffer a setback

Rilee Rossouw and Liam Livingstone lighted up the night sky over Dharamsala on Wednesday (May 17), but Delhi Capitals triumphed to end Punjab Kings’ playoff dreams. PBKS lost a high-scoring game by 15 runs, leaving them with little choice but to rely heavily on other outcomes to advance to the playoffs.

Capitalization ups the PP count

The Capitals’ inability to capitalize on the powerplay was one of the factors contributing to their poor tournament performance. In Dharamsala, that situation was different. Even though the openers struggled in the first two overs with Prithvi Shaw back in the lineup, David Warner’s back-to-back boundaries in the third over opened the door for a charge in the second half of the PowerPlay. The Capitals scored 60 runs off of their first six overs thanks to Warner’s two sixes off of Kagiso Rabada and Shaw’s 16-run over against Arshdeep Singh. To go to 34 off only 14 balls, he smashed Rabada for a couple of sixes and then backed that up with another massive one that flew clean over Rahul Chahar’s head. At the opposite end, Shaw reached his fifty before hitting a 54-run catch to the fielder in the deep.

Destruction at the death

Shaw’s dismissal didn’t significantly slow down the action as Phil Salt and Rossouw teamed up in the middle to punish PBKS. Rossouw set himself up for a strong finish by reaching fifty off just 25 balls. While it was anticipated that PBKS would utilize Arshdeep at the very end, Dhawan surprised everyone by choosing Harpreet Brar’s left-arm spin. Rossouw made some excellent adjustments in the final over against the spinner to shift the pressure back onto the bowler, even if Brar did bowl a commendable 18th over giving out just a single boundary. The final score was a 23-run excess, pushing the Capitals well above the 200-run threshold. Salt hit Ellis for two sixes and a four to make the penultimate over count.

PBKS begin the pursuit ineffectively

DC eventually scored 60 points in the PowerPlay, while Punjab Kings stumbled as the new ball moved around. Dhawan was eliminated for a golden duck after edging one behind, and Ishan Sharma was responsible for his dismissal. Atharva Taide and Prabhsimran Singh struggled to reach the boundary after the dismissal, leaving PBKS at 11/1 after 3.3 overs. By the end of the PowerPlay, they had moved up to 47 after scoring a hat-trick of boundaries at that point. But it was obvious that wasn’t enough. The needed rate merely continued sharply increasing. Liam Livingstone began to stumble as Prabhsimran struggled to get things going, and PBKS had only made 75 at the midway point.

Did they finally find a spark?

They did, indeed. Livingstone, who was given a break when he was batting on just three runs, eventually got rolling by pulling Mukesh Kumar for a six, and Taide took on Axar Patel. PBKS had 100 on the board after 12 overs and needed to really pick up the pace. Taide reached his half-century while Livingstone kept having fun at the opposite end of the room. But with a scant margin for error, Kuldeep Yadav again pulled PBKS ahead with a tight over. Even though they scored 53 over that five-over stretch, PBKS still needed a miracle to win because the final equation was 86 off 30.

An exciting conclusion

In terms of strategy, PBKS made sure Taide retired out of the way so Jitesh Sharma would have a shot at the target. The decision was sensible, but when Jitesh left for a duck, they were dealt a severe blow. After fetching a six early on, Shahrukh Khan found the fielder, and Livingstone was now solely responsible for the situation.

By humiliating the DC bowlers at the very end, he came close to succeeding. When PBKS needed 59 runs from 18, the English hitter hammered Mukesh for three sixes to keep the crowd glued to their seats. Khaleel Ahmed was hit for two sixes and a four. When a fantastic penultimate over from Anrich Nortje reduced the tumultuous match to an unlikely 33 from 6 balls, it seemed as though things had finally settled down.

Livingstone’s inability to connect on the first ball of the final over made the outcome all but certain. It certainly seemed to be one. But there was still more to come as Livingstone smashed two sixes and a four off the following three balls and Ishant overstepped once, reducing the equation to 16 off 3. The chase eventually came to an end as Livingstone once again failed to connect the ball at a key moment.

What will these two sides do next?

When DC plays Chennai Super Kings at home on Saturday, they hope to have a similar influence to that which they had on PBKS’s playoff chances. against Friday, May 19, PBKS will take against Rajasthan Royals at Dharamsala. Both teams are at stake in this game.


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