Australia’s Mitchell Marsh on Monday said it’s about “peaking at the right time” after he helped Delhi Capitals win their second straight IPL match to stay in race for the play-offs.
Marsh’s 63 off 48 balls guided Delhi to 159-7 against a disciplined Punjab Kings attack led by England’s Liam Livingstone who returned figures of 3-27 with his off and leg-spin in Mumbai.
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Delhi defended the total with fast bowler Shardul Thakur returning figures of 4-36 from his four overs to restrict the opposition to 142-9 and win by 17 runs.
The Rishabh Pant-led Delhi are making a late dash to enter the play-offs as they jump to fourth in the 10-team table led by Gujarat Titans who have already booked a top-two finish.
“It’s been one of those seasons where we’ve been stop start. In long tournaments like this, it’s about peaking at the right time,” Marsh said on his team’s first back-to-back win this season.
“I think about the last week or 10 days, we’ve played some really good cricket and that’s a really good sign. We’ve got one more to go.
“We know if we win that, we’ll be in the finals (play-offs) and we can give it a real good shake. I’ve got great belief in this team.”
Punjab are on seventh spot with one game remaining and have a slim chance of making the final four.
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Delhi, searching for their maiden Indian Premier League title, got off to a horror start after being put into bat first when David Warner fell first ball to Livingstone’s off spin, giving away catch to backward point.
It was not an ideal look for Warner after he had specifically taken strike given Livingstone’s part-timer status as a bowler.
Fellow opener Sarfaraz Khan hit back with a 32-ball 16 before falling to left-arm medium-pace bowler Arshdeep Singh who ended with three wickets.
Marsh, who made a match winning 89 in Delhi’s previous match, stood firm as Livingstone rattled the middle order with key wickets of skipper Rishabh Pant (7) and Rovman Powell (2).
Marsh attacked, batted with composure when wickets fell and then accelerated in his knock laced with three sixes to boost Delhi’s total.
In reply, Jonny Baristow smashed a 15-ball 28 but his departure and twin strikes in the sixth over by Thakur to send back Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan hurt Punjab’s chase.
“I always like to perform in the crunch times,” Thakur said after being named man of the match.
“These last two games, 13 and 14, are important for our team. I always feel happy when I rise to the occasion for our team.”
Slow bowlers soon took over with left-arm orthodox Axar Patel and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav getting the big wickets of skipper Mayank Agarwal, for nought, and Livingstone, for three.
Axar and Kuldeep took two wickets each.
Punjab slipped to 82-7 before wicketkeeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma gave Delhi a scare with his 34-ball 44 but Thakur got him out with Warner taking a good low catch at long-off.