With just 250 km separating the two cities, Delhi and Mohali, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab are not located too far apart. But the matchup billed as the as the North Indian derby presented a different picture.

On the field, the two teams seemed to have come from two completely distinct worlds, one looking good in all departments of the game while the other performed dismally on every front. In what was one of the most one-sided encounters of the season, Daredevils beat Kings XI by 9 wickets at Feroz Shah Kotla to move up to fourth in the table. Kings XI, now at the bottom, look set to crash out of the competition soon.

Top order in a shambles, again

Punjab brought Virender Sehwag back to the side in place of Murali Vijay. But he lasted for just two balls. An uncertain prod to a ball from Zaheer Khan outside the off stump landed safely in the hands of Angelo Mathews at point.

Shaun Marsh looked good as he started his innings off with a four. Marsh always looks good when he is at the crease. But somehow he manages to find a way to get out. This time he found two ways, that too off a single ball.

JP Duminy came on to bowl as early as the second over, and he had Marsh plumb in front with a full one that angled into the batsman. Marsh was out of the crease and preoccupied with the vociferous appeal. He did not make an immediate attempt to get back to the crease. Yuvraj Singh was alert at first slip and he collected the ball and broke the stumps to find Marsh short of his crease. The umpire, by that time, had considered the appeal and raised his finger. But Marsh would have been given run out had he not been given LBW.

This has been the story of Shaun Marsh. One good innings followed by a string of failures. After his first match of the season against Rajasthan Royals when he set up a win, Marsh’s form has been awful. On his day, he looks like a world-beater. But such days are few and far between all the low scores.

Manan Vohra’s ambitious attempt to flay Zaheer Khan left Kings XI reeling at 10 for 3 and soon it became 10 for 4 after the lone fighter from the last match, Wriddhiman Saha, edged Nathan Coulter Nile to give him the first of his four wickets on the day.

Miller fights a lost battle

Captain George Bailey started the resurrection act for the umpteenth time this season. David Miller gave him good company. Bailey was punishing the loose balls for boundaries and for a while it looked like Kings XI could get their innings back on track. But the introduction of Amit Mishra derailed their plans again.

Bailey tried to sweep one and missed the ball completely. It was a pretty straightforward LBW decision for the umpire to make.

Thisara Perera was roped in to the team to replace the expensive Mitchell Johnson. Perera never looked comfortable against Coulter Nile, who was varying his pace and bounce cleverly. Perera tried to heave across the line and unsuccessfully, and when he finally got one off the middle, it was straight to deep square leg. Saurabh Tiwary took a good sliding catch as the ball was dying on him to leave Kings XI at 45 for 6.

It is not a good sign for any team when the seventh wicket partnership yields more runs than the first six combined. Miller and Axar Patel added 57 for the seventh wicket.

Imran Tahir had an off day for Delhi Daredevils, and his three-over spell costing 35 runs was largely helpful in Kings XI crossing the 100-run mark. Miller targeted the cow-corner and kept hitting there, so that one Tahir over cost 18 runs. But even an uncharacteristically erratic day from the South African leggie was not enough to hurt Delhi as the damage had already been done by their opening bowlers.

After Coulter Nile removed both Miller and Patel in the 19th over, Kings XI laboured to 118.

Delhi batsmen help themselves to victory

Low-scoring matches have not been rare in this IPL. Small totals have been defended too. But all such hopes evaporated soon after the start of the Delhi innings. Bowler Shardul Thakur got his first game of the season and his rustiness was fully exploited by Shreyas Iyer. Thakur banged it way too short, allowing Iyer to free his arms outside the off stump. He was hit for sixes off two consecutive balls. His first over went for 19 runs and with no Mitchell Johnson to call upon, Bailey’s cupboard looked empty.

Mayank Agarwal complemented Iyer well and the opening duo all but sealed the match for Delhi with their stand of 106 from just over 12 overs.

With only two wins under their belt, Kings XI have reached a stage where they will need to win all the remaining matches to stay in contention for a play-off place.