Punjab's players celebrate after taking the wicket of Delhi's Rishabh Pant. Photograph:( PTI )
Ashwin-led Punjab beat Delhi by four runs in a nail-biting encounter on Monday at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and opted to bowl in front of Delhi audience as it was the first game Delhi is playing at its home ground.
Gautam Gambhir had made five changes for today's match but it went in vain as the batting order of Delhi team failed miserably.
Apart from Shreyas Iyer, no other players contributed to the team. Shreyas kept hopes for Delhi fans till the last but end up losing his wicket on the last ball of the innings.
Prithvi Shaw b Rajpoot 22
Gautam Gambhir c Finch b A Tye 4
Glenn Maxwell c A Tye b Rajpoot 12
Shreyas Iyer c Finch b Muheeb 57
Rishabh Pant b Mujeeb 4
Daniel Christian run out 6
Rahul Tewatia c Rahul b Tye 24
Liam Plunkett c Karun b Sran 0
Amit Mishra not out 1
Extras: (LB-2, WD-7) 9
Total (For 8 wickets in 20 overs) 139
Fall of Wickets: 1-25, 2-41, 3-42, 4-61, 5-76, 6-123, 7-124, 8-139
Bowling: Ankit Rajpoot 4-0-23-2, Barinder Sran 4-0-45-1, Andrew Tye 4-0-25-2, R Ashwin 4-0-19-0, Mujeeb ur Rehman 4-0-25-2.
Earlier Delhi stated the game well, the bowlers especially, Liam Plunket and U-19 champ Avesh Khan thrashed the top batting order as Punjab put up a modest 143-run target.
In the absence of Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch opened the innings with KL Rahul but could not give a required start to the team.
KL Rahul, who has been tremendous so far, scored 23 runs off 15 balls but Aaron Finch failed to fill Gayles space as under-19 star pacer Avesh Khan took his wicket in the second over itself.
Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh and David Miller scored 21, 34, 14 and 26 runs respectively.
Playing the first game of IPL 2018, Liam Plunkett produced his best bowling figures, he took three wickets by giving 17 runs in his 4-over spell. Also, Avesh Khan contributed well with some splendid deliveries and took two crucial wickets as well.