Delhi Capitals had a roller-coaster of a ride to win against their north Indian rivals Kings XI Punjab on Sunday night when the momentum kept on shifting after some breath-taking displays by DC’s Marcus Stoinis and KXIP’s Mayank Agarwal.
While Mayank’s 60-ball 89 was the main attraction, it was overshadowed by Stoinis’s all-round performance on the night. The Aussie first smashed 53 runs in mere 21 deliveries to shift the momentum in DC’s favour who were at once reeling at 87/5 at the beginning of 14th over.
The 31-year-old Oz then again turned the tide in team’s favour with the ball in the second innings when Mayank was all set to take the side home with just one run needed from three balls remaining. Stoinis bowled three dot deliveries including two wickets (Mayank and Chris Jordan) to take the game into the super over. His teammate Kagiso Rabada then took over to bundle KXIP’s two wickets for mere two runs to ensure the win.
Team’s other all-rounder Axar Patel, while speaking to media at the post-match virtual press conference from Dubai, said Stoinis has given the team a lot of confidence for the next game.
“Stoinis really ended the match for us by giving us the momentum and gave us a lot of confidence for the next game. Having someone like Stoinis really impacts the team as he is handy with the position he bats in,” said Axar, who also pulled off economic bowling spell of 14/1 in four overs.
The Gujarat player felt Stoinis’ ability to contribute with the bat and ball equally gives DC a consistent no. 6.
“If you want to play six bowlers in the line-up and you have an all-rounder like him and if that player can also contribute with the bat and ball equally, then that’s of great help for the team. And given how he has started off the tournament, I think we can have certainty with our strategy of playing him consistently at no. 6,” he said.
Talking about the tricky nature of the pitch, which saw both sides losing three wickets in the powerplays, Axar said the team anticipated it due to healthy patches of grass on it but didn’t expect it to offer so much movement and bounce for the pacers.
“Actually we anticipated how the pitch is going to react given there was grass on the pitch but we certainly didn’t expect there will be so much movement and help for the swing bowlers. But we did came in prepared knowing there will be some movement and fast bowlers will be effective. Our pacers also bowled at good length and that helped,” he said.
Axar also appreciated skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant for stitching a 72-run stand for the fourth wicket after the side was left reeling at 13/3 and setting up the innings for Stoinis in the death overs.
“We didn’t expect we will lose three wickets in the powerplay but this happens sometimes when you don’t read the pitch quickly. But the way Rishabh and Iyer contributed with a steady partnership within the middle-over, gave the team the much-needed base for the death overs,” he said.