Shikhar Dhawan smashed 92 to lead Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings in a high-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.
Half-centuries from KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal helped Punjab post 195-4 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after being put into bat by Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant.
However, Delhi – who came into the contest having alternated between defeat and victory across their previous seven IPL games – bounced back from a three-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals last time out in stunning fashion.
Dhawan dominated the Kings attack in a well-paced chase, following up his 85 in his side's opener against Chennai Super Kings with a marvellous knock that included 13 fours and two sixes.
Opening partner Prithvi Shaw contributed 32 at the top of the Capitals' order while Marcus Stoinis finished the job in a hurry, the all-rounder making 27 not out from just 13 balls.
Punjab's total had been built on the solid foundation provided by openers Rahul and Agarwal as they shared a 122-run stand, the latter the more aggressive of the pair as his score of 69 came from 36 deliveries.
West Indian duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran made just 11 and nine respectively as the innings briefly stuttered, but late cameos from Deepak Hooda – who hit two sixes to make 22 not out from 13 deliveries – and Shahrukh Khan (15 off five balls) lifted the Kings.
Delhi had lost five of the past seven meetings between the franchises but Dhawan made sure they prevailed this time, in the process becoming the competition's leading run-scorer in 2021.
Kings run into a spot of trouble
Rahul hit seven fours and two sixes while at the crease, but his 61 runs came from 51 deliveries at a strike-rate of 119.60.
Punjab Kings would have had designs on making in excess of 200 following the start they were given by their openers, but an inability to get after Ravichandran Ashwin – his four overs of spin went for just 28 runs – saw them come up just short.
Capitals gain from in-form opener
Dhawan received the orange cap after the game as he moved above Glenn Maxwell of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the run-scoring table. The left-hander is scoring at 163.15 runs per 100 deliveries in the 2021 edition of the Twenty20 tournament, despite having only hit four sixes.
Bowled within sight of a century as he attempted to sweep Australian seamer Jhye Richardson, Dhawan then watched on as Stoinis rushed his team home with 10 balls to spare.
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