Billings on song as Delhi thump Kings XI
Delhi Daredevils built on Sam Billings' fluent fifty to beat Kings XI Punjab by 51 runs on Saturday and leapfrog their opponents in the Indian Premier League table.
In their first game of the season on home soil at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi were grateful for Billings' 55 and an unbeaten 22-ball 39 from Corey Anderson as they posted a healthy total of 188-6.
Anderson, who offered a tough caught-and-bowled chance to KC Cariappa on two, combined with Pat Cummins to add 31 runs from the last eight balls of the Daredevils innings, the New Zealand all-rounder hitting three sixes.
The Kings XI then slumped to 31-3 in reply and never looked likely to pull off a successful chase, finishing well short on 137-9.
After Delhi had elected to bat first, England international Billings took three successive fours from Varun Aaron in the fifth over to help his side end the powerplay on 49 without loss.
Sanju Samson (19) - promoted to open after his superb hundred against Rising Pune Supergiant last time out - and Karun Nair (0) fell in successive overs, the latter to a superb catch down the leg side from Wriddhiman Saha off Aaron.
Yet Billings, who survived a stumping appeal on 31 when Cariappa over-stepped, continued to shine, sharing 41 with Shreyas Iyer (22) before bringing up his half-century from 36 deliveries.
Although Billings soon picked out David Miller at long-on off Axar Patel, Rishabh Pant (15) and Chris Morris (16) lifted the tempo with brief cameos before Anderson and Cummins (12 not out) provided further momentum.
Things soon got worse for the Kings XI as Shahbaz Nadeem struck in each of his first two overs to remove Manan Vohra (3) and Saha (7), prior to Hashim Amla (19) picking out Billings at deep backward square off South Africa team-mate Morris.
When Eoin Morgan (22) and skipper Glenn Maxwell (0) departed in quick succession to Cummins and Amit Mishra respectively, Punjab were in huge trouble at 65-5, with the required run-rate above two a ball.
Miller was given a life by Zaheer Khan at cover on 18, but added just six more runs before falling to Anderson and Axar's 44 only delayed the inevitable.