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Livingstone's quickfire 94 goes in vain as Delhi beats Punjab in IPL

DHARAMSALA, India (AP) — Delhi Capitals hung in against Liam Livingstone’s onslaught in the final overs to record a consolation 15-run win over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

Livingstone bludgeoned nine sixes and five fours in scoring 94 off 48 balls but couldn’t get enough support from the other end before holing out at long off of the last ball as Punjab ended up at 198-8.

Delhi, already out of knockout contention, finally managed to breach a total of 200-plus this season by posting 213-2. Rilee Rossouw smashed an unbeaten 82 off 37 for his maiden IPL half century and Prithvi Shaw, returning to the side after almost a month because of lack of form, made 54 off 38 balls.

Punjab has 12 points and needs a miracle to qualify for the playoffs. It not only needs to beat Rajasthan Royals by a heavy margin in the last league game, but also hope other results go in its favor.

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Livingstone turned the game on its head in the last four overs with Punjab still needing 79. The next two overs from fast bowlers Khaleel Ahmed and Mukesh Kumar went for 20 and 21, respectively, before Anrich Nortje bowled at hard lengths and conceded just five off the penultimate over to finish with 2-36.

Livingstone smashed 17 off the first three legitimate balls from Ishant Sharma (2-36) before he missed out a full toss off a free hit in the final over which sealed the game in Delhi’s favor.

Delhi’s poor fielding let Punjab sneak in when Nortje dropped a sitter of Livingstone when the Englishman was on three and then Atharva Taide was also dropped before he finally got retired out after scoring 55 off 42 balls in the 15th over.

Earlier, Shaw and captain David Warner (46) raised Delhi’s best opening stand of the season when they shared 94 runs. Warner, who got dropped in the 30s, couldn’t last long as Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan took a stunning running catch.

Shaw also holed out in the deep to give Sam Curran (2-36) his second wicket before Rossouw and Phil Salt smashed 65 runs in the last five overs. Dhawan’s decision to give left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar the final over also backfired as Rossouw and Salt smashed 23 runs to propel Delhi’s total.

Rossouw hit six fours and six boundaries while Salt, demoted in the batting order to accommodate Shaw upfront, made 26 off 14 balls.

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More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports