Mark Wood scarred the Delhi Capitals top-order with scorching pace as his five-wicket haul beautifully complemented debutant Kyle Mayers‘ superb 73 in Lucknow Super Giants’ comfortable 50 run win in their IPL opener, in Lucknow on Saturday. Mayers, who got a chance to showcase his exploits because of Quinton de Kock‘s absence, hit seven sixes in his 38-ball knock which was largely responsible for solid 193/6 in 20 overs. In reply, Delhi Capitals managed only 143 for 9 with David Warner (56 off 48 balls) fight hardly being any sort of consolation.
Wood (5/14 in 4 overs) bowled back-to-back lethal in-cutters at 147 clicks which Prithvi Shaw (12) and Mitchell Marsh (0) failed to even bring their respective bats down before the ball hit the ‘wood’ work.
In case of Sarfaraz Khan (4), his weakness against pacey short-pitched stuff is well documented and Wood directed one at his body, which could have blown his head off and he tried a non-existent ramp shot getting himself into a tangle and the easiest of catches was taken at fine-leg boundary.
From 41 for no loss to 48 for 3, it happened in a space of couple of overs DC weren’t able to make a comeback after Wood had destroyed their confidence with raw pace.
Skipper Warner and Rilee Rossouw (30 off 20 balls) did add 40 runs before a freak dismissal off Ravi Bishnoi‘s (2/31 in 4 overs) delivery brought about his downfall.
Bishnoi and ‘Impact Substitute’ Krishnappa Gowtham (0/19 in 4 overs) bowled admirably well in dew-laden conditions and the later in fact showed his multi-skill worth with a last ball six during LSG’s batting innings.
DC, on the day, didn’t look the part as the momentum slipped out of their grasp, way too many times. The 16 sixes conceded by DC bowlers was a testimony to their inconsistency.
They did enjoy a good bowling Powerplay, Mayers announced his grand entry on IPL stage with a scintillating knock.
The left-hander from Barbados, who was included in absence of South African opener Quinton De Kock, made Capitals pay a heavy price for dropping him on 14, by blazing his way to a 28-ball fifty.
Deepak Hooda (17, 18b) at the other end was a mere spectator to Mayers’ fury as they stitched 79 runs in 42 balls to accelerate the run-rate in the middle overs.
The duo departed in the space of one ball, while Marcus Stoinis (12) got out cheaply in the middle overs.
But LSG maintained the momentum with Nicholas Pooran (36; 21b) and Krunal Pandya (15 not out; 13b) taking the charge, before Ayush Badoni‘s mini assault (18; 7b, 1×4, 2×6) and a last ball six from ‘Impact Substitute’ Krishnappa Gowtham yielded 22 runs from the 20th over bowled by Chetan Sakariya (2/53).
The last five overs produced 66 runs, primarily due to Pooran and Badoni using long handles to good effect.
Playing their first-ever home game since joining IPL last year, LSG were in a spot of bother with DC bowlers making full use of the two-paced tricky Ekana wicket after opting to bowl.
It took LSG openers, KL Rahul and Mayers, 16 balls to get going and hit their first boundary.
They were reduced to 19/1 inside four overs when left-arm pacer Sakariya prolonged Rahul’s lean patch by dismissing the Indian opener with a slower one. It was Sakariya’s third dismissal of Rahul in four IPL match-ups.
But things soon tilted in the home team’s favour after Khaleel Ahmed grassed a sitter off Mayers in the last over the Powerplay.
Mayers unleashed his fury against debutant Mukesh Kumar, crunching him for two massive sixes in the very next over.
There was no stopping Mayers as he continued his assault on their frontline spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav in his knock studded with seven sixes and two fours.
Patel however had the last laugh when he cleaned up Mayers with a ball that turned almost square from an imaginary fifth stump line.
Thereafter, it was his West Indies teammate Nicholas Pooran who seized the momentum in his 21-ball 36 (2X4, 3X6) as he along with Krunal Pandya kept the run flow.