Marsh, Sarfaraz and Shardul deliver for Capitals in crucial game

The Aussie scores his second successive half-century while the opener makes a 16-ball 32; seamer derails Kings’ chase

The Aussie scores his second successive half-century while the opener makes a 16-ball 32; seamer derails Kings’ chase

Mitchell Marsh arrived late, contracted COVID-19 and was forced to miss a few games of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season.

However, the Australian has started to make up for lost time, becoming Mr. Dependable for Delhi Capitals in the middle-order.

After an impressive show against Rajasthan Royals in the previous outing, Marsh’s 63 (48b, 4×4, 3×6) guided Rishabh Pant’s men to 159 for seven and eventually paved the way for the team’s 17-run win at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on Monday.

The victory also brightened Capitals’ playoff chances.

Expectations were high from a star-studded Punjab Kings batting line-up, but the target proved too steep despite a 41-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Jitesh Sharma (44, 34b, 3×4, 2×6) and Rahul Chahar, who remained unbeaten on 25.

With Shardul Thakur claiming four wickets and the Kuldeep Yadav-Axar Patel spin duo two each, the Kings innings collapsed despite openers Jonny Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan scoring 38 within the first four overs.

After Bairstow fell to Anrich Nortje, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dhawan were sent back by Shardul off the fourth and sixth deliveries of the sixth over as Kings slid to 54 for three in the PowerPlay. Axar and Kuldeep tightened the noose, dismissing captain Mayank Agarwal and the big-hitting Liam Livingstone cheaply.

Livingstone strikes first ball

Earlier, despite Livingstone picking up three wickets, Marsh’s efforts guided Capitals to a competitive total.

Opting to bowl, Kings started the proceedings with Livingstone and the England all-rounder struck off his first delivery, dismissing the in-form David Warner.

Marsh rebuilt Capitals’ innings, forging a 51-run stand with Sarfaraz Khan. While the former held fort at one end, the latter went after the Kings bowlers, hitting Harpreet Brar for a six and two fours in the third over. Sarfaraz was gearing up for more before falling to Arshdeep Singh off the penultimate ball of the fifth over.

Off the next delivery — a sharp bouncer — Lalit Yadav was caught by Bairstow in the deep.

Lucky Lalit

However, the Kings players’ joy was shortlived as Arshdeep had overstepped. Lalit made the most of the reprieve to score 24 before falling to the same bowler in the 11th over.

Despite the middle-order failing to show intent, Marsh propelled Capitals to 159, a total that proved adequate.

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