21 Sep 2020

Delhi Capitals draw first blood after a rip-roaring ‘STON-WALL’ show!

By cricinsane

What an eventful day of play! The second day of the IPL 2020 was completely action packed. The nerve wracking game which ended in a tie, saw the Delhi Capitals seize the game in the super over. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium witnessed a ‘STON-WALL’ show.  Marcus Stoinis was the standout performer of what looked like a subpar DC team where he shone both with bat and bowled the most crucial over of the match to tie the game. He was the game changer in a game that changed directions so many times. The Karnataka talisman Mayank Agarwal, though, played one of the season’s chartbuster innings to almost see his team through the chase. Overall it was a picture perfect game and that leaves us expecting much more from this edition.

It was the UAE’s most beloved team, Kings XI Punjab who played against the highly spirited Delhi Capitals. Punjab had a complete revamp of their squad selling most of their older players and KXIP became fondly renowned as ‘Karnataka X1 Players’  having Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Krishnappa Gowtham, coach Anil Kumble and skipper KL Rahul. Rahul remained the second player to lead, keep wickets and open the innings for his side after the Australian legend Adam Gilchrist. While Kings were merrily riding on their midas’ touch of the past with UAE, this time they were not welcomed by the hosts amicably. The Delhi Capitals, the dark horses of the tournament, boasting a strong Indian contingent, roped in some serious big hitters for the match.

Delhi Capitals who took the field first to bat, had their top 3 batsman sitting back in the dugout within the first 4 overs when the scorecard read 13/3 courtesy Mohammad Shami. The pitch supported the seam and the pace, and with the ball, Shami was breathing fire. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, the most bankable middle order, played steadily reviving their situation. Unable to withstand the second period of collapse, coach Ricky sent his countryman Marcus Stonis with the message ‘STOINIS, SMASH!’. He was striking the ball cleanly and scored a quick fire 53 of 21 balls at a strike rate of 252.38 leaving them a modest total of 157/8 to defend with.

Punjab got onto a blistering start, but their middle order fell like 9 pins in the magical web spun by the man with golden arm Ravichandran Ashwin. Ash’s run didn’t last long as he was taken out of the game with an injury. With 56/5 within 10 overs, Punjab never looked like reaching the total and the game was slowly slipping off their hands. However, Mayank had other ideas who kept resisting the belligerent bowling from Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje to take the game into the last 6 balls. It was once again big Marcus who stepped up and bowled beautifully defending 5 runs from the last over taking the wickets of Agarwal and Jordan and made scores level. The energy level was very high in both the troops.

The Kings came down to bat for the second time in the evening, with a trio of KL, Pooran and Maxxie nominated for the super over. DC handed the ball to their most trusted bowler Kagiso and he did not upset the management, wrapping the Punjab batting order within 3 balls. Iyer and Pant walked to easily complete the chase of 3 runs making DC open their account in Dream11 IPL 2020. The match witnessed a lot of twists and turns, racking up some interesting stats mentioned below in the Stats Corner!

Stats Corner

  1. Coincidence in schedule (2018 & 2020)

IPL 2018

Match 1 – CSK vs MI (CSK won batting second)

Match 2 – DC vs KXIP (KXIP won batting second)

IPL 2020

Match 1 – CSK vs MI (CSK won batting second)

Match 2 – DC vs KXIP (KXIP nearly won chasing)

  1. DC scored their third lowest Powerplay score (23/3).
  2. Stoinis recorded the third fastest fifty for DC (20 balls).
  3. Third most runs scored by a batsman in the last 3 overs of an innings in IPL (49 off 14 by Marcus Stoinis).

Despite the game being enthralling, there were a few serious points that were subject to criticism after the end of the game. Primarily during the penultimate over of KXIP’s batting, umpire signalled one run short because the batsman did not make his crease, however, the replay confirmed that it was a valid run. Secondly, the Kings did not send Agarwal to bat in the super over. He was in tremendous touch timing the ball sweetly but did not feature in the 6 ball battle. It was much anticipated though. A few others criticized why Ashwin went for a dive when it was obvious that he could have not stopped the ball. But as a cricketer, he has to give his heart and soul for the game as every single run is crucial! With much discussed and much of drama witnessed, the Dilli wale fans can happily look forward to their encounter!