IPL 2020- Dhawan Stoinis takes DC into the first IPL final

DC and SRH go head to head in the penultimate game of the season in Abu Dhabi. DC is being beaten by MI and they seem to be the underdogs going into the knockout clash. Shreyas Iyer’s army has lost 5 of the last 6 matches and SRH is sublimating with 4 victories in the last 4 matches. On top of that, DC’s batting failed in a number of games and their batting hit new lows as they succumbed 0-3 in a 200+ point chase to MI in Qualifier 1. In contrast, both Warner and Williamson have been in a purple patch throughout the tournament, and the addition of Holders has given the Orange army just the right balance in recent times. In short, things are going well for SRH, while for DC, things are going downhill after a bright start to the league.

It’s strange how a tactical change can turn the tide in your favor. Ricky Ponting saw Marcus Stoinis open in the BBL and hit a fair amount of success for the Melbourne Renegades. In a thrilling match like this, the leadership of the DC team decided to let Stoinis take the lead. These kinds of strategic changes in the big games can prove to be breakthroughs as we saw today or can be detrimental as we saw against RCb last night. Fortunately for Iyer’s men, the move to promote Stoinis to the top of the order worked.

Stoinis provided the initial impetus to the DC innings in strength play – something they’ve horribly missed in the last few games. The burly Australian took on Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder in the power play narration, forcing Warner to turn Shahbaz Nadeem’s situation around in season 6.order end. The aggressive attack from one end gave Dhawan a few steady balls in the twist allowing him to prepare for the long haul.

SRH pitchers were caught dozing off to the onslaught of Stoinis as DC raced 65 in the powerhouse. Rashid Khan must be launched into the attack as early as the 7thorder ended and although he knocked Stoinis out with a nice leg break in the second round, Stoinis had his job done by then. Shikhar Dhawan, who was already starting to figure out the midpoint of the bat at the time, took it upon himself to address the issue and ensure that DC didn’t fall into a lull midway through.

Dhawan showed maturity when he took down Rashid and tore through Nadeem on the other end. The absence of 5order The pitcher hurt SRH badly when the duo Dhawan and Hetmeyer targeted Nadeem and Holder for 99 points from their eight passes. Shikhar Dhawan once again played the 78th round fluently, to keep the DC round from one end. The fact that Dhawan has scored 603 runs during the season despite scoring 3 ducks says a lot about how Shikhar has become a mainstay of the Delhi team this season.

Hetmeyer’s late fireworks threatened to push DC to over 200, but some excellent Natarajan bowling ensured that SRH was capped at 189-3. Amid the carnage of Dhawan and Hetmeyer, 2 archers stood out for SRH. One is the famous Rashid Khan, who is getting so much respect from the opposition that they decided to kick him out. And the other is the very impressive yorker king Natarajan. Conceding just 32 from his 4 pitches, though bowling on the hardest pitches is astounding, especially when the opponent has scored 9.5 points each.

SKSS begins on a somber note. Rabada fired Warner with a yorker, very similar to the yorker from Bumrah that chased Dhawan last night. Rabada & Bumrah- 2 pitchers who assumed legendary status at such a young age removed the mainstay of the opposition hitting the ball with inch-perfect players on consecutive nights. This is why IPL is the best T20 tournament in the world.

Priyam Garg failed to capitalize on the opening opportunity when he fell to a Stoinis crosser, who had a dreamy night on the ball after brisk rounds with the stick. Stoinis dented the SRH further by removing Manish Pandey from scratch. Pandey tried to power another cross-country runner in the field and was knocked out midway through.

With 3 kills in the power game, SRH once again stared at their Williamson banker to rescue them from trouble. Williamson, assisted by Holder and then Samad on the other end started to do what he does best – squeeze out the singles and doubles content by piercing gaps. Williamson was especially strict with Ashwin and Axar as he used his quick footwork to good effect to hit 1-2 boundaries per side against the spinners. In fact, Williamson’s onslaught meant that DC’s spinners conceded 66 goals in their 7 passes.

Abdul Samad is another bright spot in the SRH lineup. He’s a clean hitter and I hope we see a lot more of him at the top. He fueled Nortje’s serious pace over the touchline and he shone almost as brightly as Williamson tonight. Just when Williamson threatened to kick the game out of DC, as they only needed 30 points from 2 rounds, that’s when Superman Stoinis hit back.

To be fair, Stoinis’ clever bowling got DC through to the finals, as with Williamson in a tough spot, SRH will be chasing that. Overshooting for a boundary earlier in the first half, Stoinis slowed and threw it wider towards Williamson, who mistakenly hit it at Rabada and covered it. The match ended soon after and there, Rabada’s trio of goals in the penultimate round set the official mark for the match.

Will Stoinis’ excellence overpower the Mumbai Indians? Or will it be the 5th title for the men in blue? We’ll wait to find that out.


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