Delhi Capitals (DC) have squeezed past Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in a nail-biting thriller that went right to the wire and was eventually decided in a one-sided Super Over. Marcus Stoinis was at the crux of DC's remarkable comeback, first with the bat where he smoked a whirlwind 53 off 21, and then with the ball at the rear-end of the game where he defended 1 run off the last 3 deliveries to take the affair into a Super Over.
Earlier in the match, Delhi Capitals were rocked back by a scintillating opening spell from Mohammad Shami. Shreyas Iyer's men teetered in a major portion of their innings before Marcus Stoinis strolled out into the middle and struck the ball to all parts of the ground - taking his team to a just-about-par total of 157 in the process.
In response, Kings XI Punjab got off to an equally troublesome start and were reduced to a meager 55-5 at the halfway stage. Just when it was looking like a walk in the park for DC, Mayank Agarwal began to stamp his authority and took the attack to the DC bowling battery. He fell for a terrific 89 on the penultimate delivery of KXIP's innings when they needed 1 off 2 balls.
Kagiso Rabada made quick work of KXIP's batsmen who walked into the middle for the Super Over - reducing them to a mere 2 runs. This is, in fact, the lowest total in a Super Over in IPL history. Rishabh Pant didn't have much trouble dusting off the small target and sealing a magnificent victory for the Delhi Capitals.
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It is bittersweet. At the end of 10 overs I would have taken the Super Over. We wish to learn from our mistakes and build as a team. Mayank was unbelievable. to get the game that close is a magical effort. That is the type of innings we expect from someone like him. Nice to see him bring his confidence to the IPL. Obviously this gets the group closer. Like I said at the toss, we didn't really know what to expect of the pitch. Didn't think it would be sticky, but both teams got 150+. [Captaincy] I'd gladly take it as a captain, most important is the effort. We made a few mistakes, but that's a learning for the group. If you saw the dressing room, even at 55 for 5 it was a calm dressing room.
It was difficult to see the game turning in different directions. We are used to this. Even last season we faced these. KG is the winning performer, and the way Stoinis batted was game-changing. Our top-order batsmen are difficult to stop like Prithvi. It wasn't easy from the outset to start hitting immediately, and Rishabh and I batted well in the middle to anchor the innings. Catching has been difficult because of the lights right in our eyes, but that's not an excuse because we have had practice, so we need to strengthen that area. It was important for us to get wickets, since the total was small, and I knew if I saved KG's over for the end it would be helpful. Ashwin's over was a key one, and it changed the game in our favour, but that's what T20 cricket is. Ashwin says he'll be ready for the next game, but in the end the physio is going to decide. Axar was fantastic with those middle overs too, stifling the runs in the middle after Ashwin was injured. We generally go by left-right combination in the team build-up. The way Stoinis assessed the wicket and played that innings was commendable.
Marcus Stoinis was awarded Man of the Match award for his all-round heroics. Here is what he had to say in the post-match presentation:
It's a weird game, sometimes the luck goes your way, but it's easy to become the villain from the hero. So it's important to enjoy the good days. I try to close down the areas where the bowlers can bowl, and it worked today. It's important to feed off everyone's energy. It's nice that the IPL has gotten going again, and tonight has been great entertainment. I thought KG bowled a beautiful over, and I don't have any qualms about not batting in the super over - I think the left-right batting combination was the right thing.
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