It was an evening of mixed feelings for Kings XI Punjab wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran, who was guilty of sloppy misfielding, involved in a run-out before he redeemed himself with a decisive 27-ball fifty in the Indian Premier League encounter against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Tuesday.
Off the second ball of Delhi’s innings, Shikhar Dhawan cut away a Glenn Maxwell length ball but Pooran didn’t collect the ball cleanly and conceded a boundary. Dhawan went on to score an unbeaten hundred, becoming the first batsman in IPL history to hit two consecutive tons.
Later, chasing 165, a miscommunication between Pooran and Mayank Agarwal resulted in the latter being caught short of his crease. Pooran pushed a Ravichandran Ashwin ball wide off the off-spinner and took off for a single. Agarwal didn’t respond to his call at first but set off when he saw Pooran charging towards the other end. The brief moment indecisiveness from both batters resulted in Agarwal getting run out. To make matters worse, he was seen limping off the ground.
However, Pooran didn’t let the dismissal affect him. He brought up his second fifty of the season with a boundary off Kagiso Rabada but was caught behind off the very next delivery. However, Pooran’s six fours and three sixes gave the Punjab side a much-needed impetus through the initial overs and had a key role in ensuring the KL Rahul-led side kept its playoff hopes alive with a win over a dominant Delhi Capitals.
“Wonderful game. We spoke about being consistent. Get better in areas that we have not been good. Really happy we didn’t go to the last over again,” Pooran said after the match. “I have been working really hard, and hitting it well. I didn’t finish off, which is disappointing for me. I am a natural aggressive player. if it is in my zone, I hit it. Simple.”