IPL 2020, DC vs KXIP: The last over saga starts and ends with Marcus Stoinis
IPL 2020: KXIP also struggled on the Dubai pitch but Mayank Agarwal was playing beautifully and looked like taking his team to victory. The saga of the last over just could not finish without Stoinis on Sunday. 13 runs were needed off 6 balls as Stoinis came on to bowl the crucial over.
Delhi Capital were in a precarious position in the first innings in their opening match of IPL 2020. They were reduced to 96/6 with all their top batsmen inside the pavilion. As the saying goes – ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ and Marcus Stoinis was ‘The man’ for DC in Dubai. On a pitch were top batsmen were struggling to middle the ball, Stoinis was smashing the ball all over the park. It looked like he was playing on a different pitch altogether.
In 16 overs, DC had only managed 96 and it looked like a target of 120 or 130 would be the realistically achievable score. But then the Stoinis show started. First, he targetted K Gowtham to get his innings started as other batsmen continued to struggle. At the end of the second last over, the score read 127/7 with Stoinis on the crease.
England seamer Chris Jordan came into bowl the last over and he bore the brunt of Stoinis’ bat. He smashed 30 runs off Jordan in the final over to take DC’s total to an impressive 157 runs. Stoinis was run-out on the last delivery while trying to go for an impossible double but he had already done his job. He scored 53 runs off just 21 balls.
“We were sort of looking for 130-140 after the early wickets. Yeah, it was handy, that can happen in cricket. A lot of bowlers are going wider to me these days, so I’ve got to work on that stuff. [Walking across the stumps] was part of the game plan,” Stoinis said after DC innings.
The significance of the innings would be highlighted in KXIP’s run-chase.
KXIP also struggled on the Dubai pitch but Mayank Agarwal was playing beautifully and looked like taking his team to victory. The saga of the last over just could not finish without Stoinis on Sunday. 13 runs were needed off 6 balls as Stoinis came on to bowl the crucial over.
The first ball was smashed for a six by Mayank as it looked like a sure-shot victory for KXIP as only 7 were needed in 5 balls. The next two balls yielded 6 runs as the equation came down to 1 needed off 3 balls. Surely KXIP would win with a set Mayank on the crease. But Stoinis had other plans. The next ball was a dot ball with the atmosphere becoming tense. Stoinis then picked up the wickets of Mayank and Chris Jordan in successive deliveries to take the match to a Super Over.
“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,” Stoinis said at the post-match ceremony.
Kagiso Rabada then restricted KXIP batsmen to just 3 runs as DC won an intense and closely-fought battle against KXIP. But it was Stoinis who took all the plaudits. He was the Game-changer, the Super Striker and the Man of the Match on Sunday and he surely deserved all the adulations.
“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,” Stoinis said.