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Cricket-Dhawan's ton in vain for Delhi as Punjab win three on the trot

21 Oct 2020 / 14:07 H.

    MUMBAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Opener Shikhar Dhawan's second straight hundred was not enough as table toppers Delhi Capitals fell to their third defeat in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday against a rapidly rising Kings XI Punjab.

    Dhawan continued his rich vein of form to become the first batsman in the IPL to hit back-to-back hundreds with his unbeaten 106 off 61 balls, following on his knocks of 101 not out, 57 and 69 not out in the last three matches.

    But with 14 being the top score among other batsmen, the Ricky Ponting-coached Delhi only managed to post 164 for five in their 20 overs after opting to bat first.

    West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran then hit 53 off 28 balls while handy contributions from compatriot Chris Gayle and Australian Glenn Maxwell helped Punjab chase down the target with an over to spare for their third consecutive win.

    Punjab had won just one of their first seven matches in this year's tournament, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Tuesday's five-wicket win pushed them up to fifth in the table, a win away from the playoff spots.

    "Guys who haven't really found form so far, it's important that they find form," Punjab captain KL Rahul, the top scorer in this edition among all teams, told reporters. "Things are looking good for the team, lot of things falling in place.

    "The work put in behind the scenes by the boys and coaches is slowly starting to show on the field, which is a great sign. Hopefully we can build from here, learn from our mistakes and move forward with more confidence.

    "We are at that stage in the tournament where we need to beat everybody that we face. It's important we stay hungry and keep getting better every game."

    Delhi have a two-point lead after 10 matches but have played a game more than Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, lead by India captain Virat Kohli. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Richard Pullin)

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