'Was brainless thinking. Time to sack': Ponting, Ganguly blasted left, right and centre for 'horrible' Axar Patel move
Head coach Ricky Ponting and director of cricket Sourav Ganguly were later blasted for the "horrible" call to hold back Axar Patel in the chase.
Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad wrapped up their rivalry in IPL 2023 by trading away victories over this week. Delhi won five nights back in Hyderabad while Aiden Markram's men scripted a clinical performance on Saturday to script a 9-run at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. SRH's win was eventually down to the impressive death bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Natarajan given how Delhi had threatened to race away with a double over SRH. Mitch Marsh and Phil Salt had posted a 112-run stand that kept DC well within the chase before a bizarre move from the management cost them the match. Head coach Ricky Ponting and director of cricket Sourav Ganguly were later blasted for the "horrible" call to hold back Axar Patel in the chase.
In the chase of 198 at home, Delhi lost captain David Warner in the second ball of the innings for a duck. But the sensational partnership from Salt and Marsh, both of whom scored their respective fifties, not only revived DC's innings, but also put them well in hunt for the target. Hence, even as Salt departed in the 12th over, Delhi required 76 runs off 52 balls.
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SRH crawled back into the game with wickets of Manish Pandey and Marsh in the next two overs. But Delhi still had another card left, with in-form batter Axar Patel waiting in the dug out. With SRH deploying their two left-arm spinners and a wrist-spinner in the middle overs, left-handed Axar should have been the perfect call for Delhi. Yet it was Priyam Garg and Sarfaraz Khan who walked in next.
The two youngsters struggled against the spin attack as the asking rate touched double figures and then kept soaring with each delivery. By the time Axar had walked in to bat, post Garg's dismissal for 12 off 9, he had a lot on his shoulders. Delhi then required 58 off 26 balls. Natarajan and Bhuvneshwar then took over the duties for the death over and together successfully restricted Delhi to 188 for six with Axar managing 29 off 14.
Here is how Twitter reacted at Delhi's puzzling tactic to hold back Axar with fans lambasting Ganguly and Ponting…
With the loss, DC remained in the bottom most place in the IPL 2023 points table, having managed only two wins in eight games while SRH jumped to the eighth spot with their third win this season.