Mitchell Marsh slammed his second successive half-century as Delhi Capitals outclassed Punjab Kings by 17 runs to inch closer to the IPL play-offs on Monday.
- Scorecard: DC-PBKS
It has been a good comeback by Marsh, who had a difficult start to IPL 2022, as he was hospitalised after contracting COVID-19 on April 19 after playing his first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Ruled out of action for nearly 10-12 days till he recovered fully, Mitch was drafted straight into the Delhi Capitals team with Head Coach Ricky Ponting entrusting him with the crucial No 3 position.
Things didn’t work to plan in the first few games as some critics felt Marsh would once again fail to live up to his billing in the IPL.
The turning point came in the crucial match against the Rajasthan Royals when Marsh blasted 89 from 62 balls to power Delhi to an emphatic eight wicket victory with 11 balls to spare.
He made sure to continue his form with another vital fifty against the Punjab Kings on a difficult pitch at the D Y Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai.
David Warner perished off the very first delivery before Marsh’s brilliant counter-attack in the company of Sarfaraz Khan bought Delhi back on track.
Marsh hit Kagiso Rabada for successive sixes in his first over and Sarfaraz went on a spree of boundaries from five successive deliveries, including a six and four fours.
Sarfaraz perished after a quickfire 32 from 16 balls, but Marsh ensured he didn’t fritter away the good start.
He slowed down in the middle overs against the Punjab spinners, not wanting to take any unnecesary risks as Delhi kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Marsh thrashed left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar through the covers for a four to bring up his fifty in grand style from 40 balls before he hit pacer Arshdeep Singh for a couple of fours in the 18th over.
Marsh perished in the penultimate over, caught at deep midwicket off Rabada after a superb 63 from 48 balls.
It turned out to be a match-turning knock, as Marsh stayed at the crease for more than 18 overs, which was instrumental in steering Delhi to 159/7 on a difficult pitch despite the middle order wobble.
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