Prabhsimran’s impeccable technique to counter spinners on a track that gripped and took prodigious turn proved the difference as the ever-susceptible succumbed to the vicious turning deliveries from left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar and leg-spinner Rahul Chahar. David Warner’s onslaught of 54 off 27 balls on the Kings seamers up front in the chase had little significance as Brar bowled through his spell for 4/30 and Chahar finished with 2/16.
Until Saturday evening, Prabhsimran was on a journey that blew hot and cold for large parts of his rather nascent career. For every frustrating glimpse of promise that he has shown for these many years, his talent was finally realized on a rather dry Kotla pitch that had Capitals field three frontline spinners in Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Praveen Dubey. In a matter of 18 overs, he did enough to resurrect his stocks that fell to a contract worth Rs 60 lakhs in 2022 from his maiden IPL deal that was pegged at a dizzy Rs 4.8 crore in 2019.
It was always going to be tough for Kings’ overseas recruits on this surface once skipper Shikhar Dhawan was holed out at deep square-leg off Ishant Sharma in the second over. It got all the more difficult when a red-hot Jitesh Sharma was cleaned up by Axar’s turning delivery that reduced Kings 45/3 inside the Powerplay.
As It Happened
For a change, Prabhsimran was down to building an innings. As the struggle to middle the ball continued at the other end, he decided to take it upon himself to pace the innings like only a seasoned domestic player could on a quintessential semi-tired pitch that offered grip and turn for the slow bowlers. Every time the Capitals spinners went about choking the Kings batting, the young boy had an answer to break the shackles.
The innings consisting six sixes and 10 boundaries may have been aided by a couple of dropped catches but it screamed of thorough understanding of prevailing conditions. Sitting deep in his crease on a comparatively slower Kotla track, Prabhsimran forced the bowlers to pitch fuller as he pulled them in front of square. He got the innings rolling when he hammered Mitchell Marsh’s slow leg-cutters for 21 in an over before taking down Kuldeep in his last over.
Kings’ batting coach Wasim Jaffer had lamented the inconsistency from his domestic talent on the eve of the match. He would be thankful to Prabhsimran’s clinical effort that put his team ahead.
Watch Prabhsimran, Brar shine as Punjab Kings end Delhi Capitals’ IPL hopes