Having just recovered from a horrid start, set batsman Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer fell in consecutive deliveries to leave Delhi reeling at 5-87 with less than six overs to go. Enter Marcus Stoinis.
With Kings XI Punjab needing one run to win off the final three balls, the game appeared lost again. Enter Marcus Stoinis.
Kagiso Rabada made light work of the Super Over; his second ball dismissing Lokesh Rahul in the outfield, his third sending Nicholas Pooran’s off stump cartwheeling. Kings XI Punjab could only rue their decision to not bat hot batsman Mayank Agarwal.
Rabada goes bang, and it's a pair of ducks for Pooran
Delhi required just three runs to win, and with Mohammed Shami’s second legal delivery Pant hit the winning runs, but it was the lead up to the Super Over that was far more enthralling.
The Capitals were on the ropes at 3-13 after four overs, continuing last season’s alarming trend of losing wickets in clusters, courtesy of naïve strokeplay from Prithvi Shaw and Shimron Hetmyer, as well as a lapse in concentration that saw Shikhar Dhawan run out.
Take nothing away from Mohammed Shami, who wreaked havoc with his superb opening spell, finishing with 3-15 (all top four batsman) from his four overs.
Iyer (39) and Pant (31) both played mature hands to steady the ship, striking at just over a run a ball before falling in quick succession.
With little support from the tail, Stoinis (53 off 21) shouldered Delhi’s revival brilliantly.
Called upon for the last over, Chris Jordan (0-56) crumbled under the heat. Stoinis just had to get bat on his on-pace deliveries and they found the rope, and when he finally fell back to his slower ball it was a full toss dispatched into the empty grandstand.
In fact, the eight balls Jordan bowled to Stoinis yielded 36 runs, helping lift Delhi to a defendable 8-157 from their 20 overs.
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Bowling the last over of the powerplay, Ravi Ashwin did a number on his former side. Karun Nair (1) was caught at short fine leg, before an arm ball went straight through the gate of Nicholas Pooran (0).
Ashwin finished with 2-2, but in yet another twist couldn’t continue as he sustained a shoulder injury diving to stop a single in a seeming innocuous incident.
Punjab finished the powerplay at 3-35, but soon found themselves in an even more precarious position than Delhi at 5-55 after 10 overs. Glenn Maxwell (1) and Sarfaraz Khan (12) having been dismissed.
Still at the crease was opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (89 off 60), who was central in Punjab plundering a match-tying 102 runs from their final 10 overs, finishing on 8-157.
As Agarwal continued to reign the total in ball by ball, stress crept into Delhi’s game. Personified when their captain Iyer dropped a straightforward chance to dismiss the danger man on the boundary, not only gifting him a life but four runs.
Entering the last over, Punjab needed 13 to win. A serious nail-biter. Agarwal sent Stoinis over his head for six on the first ball, then picked up a two and four to tie the game with three balls remaining.
He failed to get bat on Stoinis’ short ball, and was then caught, slicing a low full toss to the lone fielder patrolling the off-side boundary.
Suddenly Delhi had a sniff again, with Punjab needing one run off one ball Jordan was on strike. Adding to the theatre, Stoinis pulled out of his run up at the last second.
When he did bowl, it was a slightly overpitched yorker that Jordan flicked off his pads and astoundingly into the outstretched hands of square leg fielder Kagiso Rabada for a ripping catch.
A blue chorus of disbelieving joy erupted. Stoinis had the done the impossible.
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But not without controversy.
In a tied game, every moment comes under scrutiny, none more so than contentious umpiring decisions.
In the third ball of the 19th over it was deemed Jordan fell short of the crease as he was turning for the second run. Replays revealed he had indeed made his ground, just.
Millimetres in it
Had the correct decision been made, Kings XI Punjab would’ve won with three balls to spare, not that the mutual viewer’s complaining.