Billings, Anderson dismantle Kings XI
Delhi Daredevils 188 for 6 (Billings 55, Anderson 39*) beat Kings XI Punjab 137 for 9 (Miller 24, Morris 3-23) by 51 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
No side had chased down 189 to win an IPL game at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Having conceded 28 more than the average first-innings score at this venue, Kings XI Punjab needed their batsmen to pull off a heist. Instead, they sunk to 64 for 5 in the 11th over, with Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and Hashim Amla all dismissed. From there on, it was a no-contest and Delhi Daredevils won their first home game of the season by 51 runs.
Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, did the early damage by removing Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha. Amit Mishra used the Kotla surface well, and got rid of Maxwell for the fourth time in five innings. The Kings XI captain came in at No. 6 and fell for a duck. The final nail was though was hammered by Corey Anderson, who trapped David Miller lbw for 24 off 28 balls, to go along with a robust cameo earlier in the day. Axar Patel pocketed his highest IPL score of 44, but it was merely academic.
Kings XI 'Indians' control first half
Daredevils have preferred to invest in young Indian batsmen to take charge upfront. Kings XI Punjab have done the same on the bowling front. This was therefore a contest within a contest.
While Karun Nair was snaffled down the leg side for a duck, continuing his wretched form since scoring a Test triple century in December, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant wasted starts. With Daredevils reduced to 120 for 5 in the 16th over, it was left to Chris Morris and Corey Anderson to provide the final flourish.
Until the last five overs, Kings XI had won the battle of the Indian players, with all of Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel and KC Cariappa among the wickets. But doing half a job is rarely good enough.
Daredevils' overseas players deliver
The platform was set by Sam Billings, who found 40 of his 55 runs on the leg side. He hit six of his nine fours in the Powerplay - all on the leg side - and his belligerence was crucial to Daredevils posting a massive total on a slow pitch.
Billings was not the only batsman who defied the surface though. Anderson, who missed the previous season after going unsold, along with Chris Morris and Pat Cummins had great success muscling the ball in the slog overs. Anderson's unbeaten 39 off 22 balls was particularly damaging for Kings XI. He came in at 103 for 4 in the 13th over and turned it into 188, with three sixes and a four in the last 12 balls of the innings.
Aaron gamble fails
Varun Aaron had an IPL economy rate of 8.79 across 39 matches prior to this game and despite two average outings this season, he was persisted. His erratic lengths, often on the shorter side, were perfect for batsmen looking to exploit the shorter legside boundary.
Billings hit Aaron for three successive fours in his first over - two pulls and a flick behind square leg. Then Iyer hit him for two fours in three deliveries soon after Nair's dismissal. It meant Kings XI couldn't build momentum despite getting wickets.
Aaron conceded 45 off his four overs, with two wickets being scant consolation. Eventually Kings XI paid the price for conceding 68 off the last five overs.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo