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Punjab Kings team huddles before entering the field during Match 32 of the TATA Indian Premier League 2022 against Delhi Capitals at Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday. Image Credit: SAMUEL RAJKUMAR/Sportzpics for IPL

Dubai: Punjab Kings looked good on paper when the big auction happened, but they have once again flattered to deceive in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) too by putting up their lowest total of the season. The Mayank Agarwal-led team were all out for 115 against Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The Kings started this year’s campaign well when they chased down 205 in their first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. They were playing the gungo-style of cricket by going after the opposition bowlers from ball one and had the highest scoring rate in the power play. Players like Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingston were giving them the rollicking start and were not afraid of losing their wickets, but kept going for big shots.

In doing so they were bowled out cheaply against Kolkata Knight Riders, but carried on the same style against Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians and put big totals and defended them, but lost their way against Sunrisers Hyderabad. In today’s (Wednesday’s) game they once again started well, but lost too many wickets up front and by the end of six overs, Punjab had lost half their side and eventually bowled out for 115.

Roller-coaster ride

When the big shots comes off, it looks good but when it does not, it looks like a damp squib. Punjab Kings has been one of those teams this IPL, who are having a roller-coaster ride — high one day and down the other. So far they have lost four games and won three out of their seven games and the latest loss against Delhi by a big margin has dented their net run rate very badly.

Their bowlers looked down and out when Prithvi Shaw and David Warner went after their bowling and scored 80 runs without a loss and it would take a huge task to for Mayank Agarwal to lift his team now.

It’s been the 15th year now and every year Punjab start well, but lose their way in the middle. They have made it to the final only once, which they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders way back in 2014. After that they have struggled to even make it to the play-offs. The fans and management are clueless as to what goes wrong with the team year after year despite having a new captain, new name and this new season.

They have seven games to go and if they need to make it to the play-offs, they need to win five out of them, which looks very unlikely after the hammering they got at the hands of Delhi Capitals.