Kings XI Punjab’s big-money signing Sam Curran proved his worth with an incredible spell at the back end as the home team pulled off a miraculous 14-run victory against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

It was an inexplicable batting collapse by Delhi as they lost their last eight wickets for seven runs.

Curran picked up 4/11 in 2.2 overs including a hat-trick and was ably supported by Mohammed Shami as Delhi Capitals were shot out for 152 in 19.2 overs in pursuit of 167.

From 144/3, Delhi capitulated meekly and this is a match that will haunt them for days to come especially after Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram set up what looked like an easy win.

“Really disappointing,” a visibly shaken Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer said after the match. “We didn’t play smart cricket. They outplayed us in all departments. They were really cool and calm in that situation. I’m speechless. Losing such games is not going to help us at the end.”

Pant muscled a couple of sixes into the deep mid-wicket stand during his 39 off 26 balls as Ingram (38 off 29 balls) bisected the off-side field with some precision cut shots during their stand of 62 in 6.5 overs that took Capitals closer to victory. However there were more twists and turns on store than what most anticipated.

In the space of nine deliveries from the 17th over, Capitals lost four wickets for only 4 runs. The ball also started reversing more and DC’s lower-middle was incapable of handling the movement in the air.

Once Pant was bowled by Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris was needlessly run-out off the very next delivery by a superb direct hit from R Ashwin, things started going downhill for Delhi.

Curran dealt twin blows removing Ingram and Harshal Patel while Hanuma Vihari (2), a surprise selection in this format with very limited range of strokes, was dismissed by Shami as the match swung in KXIP’s favour.

Earlier, Prithvi Shaw couldn’t replicate his performance against KKR while Shikhar Dhawan (30 off 25 balls) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (28 off 22 balls) added 61 for the second wicket to set a platform.

Iyer looked a better player of the two on the day with his shot arm pull and the powerful slash over point but played away from his body off a Hardus Viljoen delivery while Dhawan padded a carrom ball from Ashwin.

Below par total from KXIP

Chris Gayle’s absence at the top of the order did have an impact as Kings XI Punjab could only manage a below par-score of 166/9 after being put into bat.

With the ‘Universe Boss’ ruled out due to back injury (lat strain), KXIP batsmen despite being good at times could never really take the Delhi bowling apart. Save David Miller (43 off 30 balls) and Sarfaraz Khan (39 off 29 balls), other batsmen didn’t have a good day against the trio of Chris Morris (3/30), Kagiso Rabada (2/32) and young Sandeep Lamichhane (2/27 in 4 overs).

Morris was the pick of the bowlers, removing KXIP’s last-match hero KL Rahul (15) with an inswinger as he played across the line.

Sam Curran (20 off 10 balls) opened for the first time in his professional career and hit a couple of lusty blows but Lamichhane got him with a flipper. Mayank Agarwal went for a non-existent single and couldn’t beat Shikar Dhawan’s direct throw at the non-striker’s end. Miller and Sarfaraz however didn’t get bogged down as they added 62 in 6.4 overs carrying out a recovery process from 58 for three.

While Miller attacked Lamichhane hitting him for a six over long-on, Sarfaraz played a mixutre of orthodox and non-orthodox scores to help himself to another good score. But Lamicchhane had the last laugh as Sarfaraz edged one to Pant behind the stumps while Miller offered an easy skier to the ‘keeper, trying to hit Morris out of the park.

In the end, Mandeep Singh (29 no off 21 balls) took the team past 160-run mark which did not feel to be a convincing score.

“Not many times you defend that equation,” Ashwin said, regarding the late comeback. “We know they have a weak tail. We’ve seen Avesh bat before, Lamichhane bat before, so we just needed to hang on. We were 25 short [batting first]. We backed ourselves to defend that with three spinners. But we lost too many wickets in the end. We were going to bat first even if we’d won the toss. We wanted to give Sam the license to go out and bat.”

In the end, it was Curran, the bowler, who did the star turn for Ashwin.