IPL 2018: Zadran impresses on debut as Kings XI trumps Delhi

Nothing worked for Daredevils, which lost the contest by six wickets to an opposition which played to its strength, underlined superbly by opener K. L. Rahul, who decimated the bowlers by scorching the fastest half century in Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mujeeb Zadran celebrates the fall of a Delhi Daredevils wicket with Yuvraj Singh, in Mohali on Sunday.   -  SPORTZPICS/IPL

An overflowing audience at the I.S. Bindra Stadium here witnessed a regal performance by Kings XI Punjab against a hapless Delhi Daredevils here on Sunday. Nothing worked for Daredevils, which lost the contest by six wickets to an opposition which played to its strength, underlined superbly by opener K. L. Rahul, who decimated the bowlers by scorching the fastest half century in Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mujeeb Zadran lived a glorious dream when he made the biggest impact on this game. It was hard to believe he was making his IPL debut. The 17-year-old Afghan comes across as a confident bowler, sure of his skills, mixing his art with an unpredictable ware, willing to pick up the challenge with the air of a veteran.

The two wickets that Zadran grabbed – Colin Munro with his second ball and the rampaging Rishabh Pant with his 14th – put the shackles on Daredevils’ plans.

 

The two wickets that Zadran grabbed – Colin Munro with his second ball and the rampaging Rishabh Pant with his 14th – put the shackles on Daredevils’ plans to post a competitive total. Even as skipper Gautam Gambhir tackled the attack judiciously the lack of substance at the other end was too apparent.

SCOREBOARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

For Daredevils to make a match of it, a target of 166 was always going to be tough given the potency of its attack. The bowlers had no clue to containing Rahul, who made his intentions known straightaway and launched into a delightful assault. He backed himself to stroke the ball, at times adventurously, as Daredevils presented a pitiable sight.

Put in, Daredevils failed to set the tempo. The openers consumed 20 balls before hitting a boundary – Gambhir off-driving Axar Patel, who conceded 17 off his first over. The first power play fetched Daredevils 45 with 13 dot balls and that defined the trend of the contest. Daredevils lost Pant and Gambhir when the batsmen appeared to promise more. Pant was foxed into an early swipe by Rahman, who also accounted for Gambhir with a direct hit from short fine-leg.

Zadran had dealt the vital blows and Rahul took over the job with an electrifying show. He used his reach to loft the ball with authority and played the pull with impeccable timing. The lanky opener marked his scoring areas well and did not indulge in robust play even though he hit six fours and four sixes. The dominant element in Rahul’s batting was some exemplary timing and the Daredevils bowlers had no answer to his wide range of shots. As observed by team mentor Virender Sehwag, he is going to be an asset to Kings XI.

Yuvraj Singh disappointed his local fans but Kings XI had a solid hand in Karun Nair. David Miller and Marcus Stoinis finished the job, which was begun so well by the energetic Rahman.