An insipid performance by Delhi Capitals (DC) against the searing Mark Wood (5/14) saw them lose their IPL 2023 season opener to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 50 runs at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday evening.
Put into bat, LSG made 193 runs in their 20 overs thanks to opener Kyle Mayers’s 73 (38 balls, 2x4s, 7x6s).
LSG lost skipper KL Rahul, the other opener, in the fourth over with the team total on just 19.
But the Barbadian batsman, dropped on 14 by Khaleel Ahmed at short third-man in the sixth over, pounded the Capitals’ bowlers. He hit Mukesh Kumar for two sixes in an over, hammered Axar Patel for three sixes including two in an over to help LSG step up the run rate.
Such was the power in his batting that by the time Deepak Hooda, another power hitter, was dismissed on the last ball of the 11th over, the score had moved to 98 with Mayers contributing over 70% of the runs. The two had added 79 in seven overs for the second wicket with Mayers contributing 62 and Hooda scoring 17 off 18 balls.
Nicholas Pooran then scored 36 (21 balls, 2x4s, 3x6s) and Delhi Ranji player Ayush Badoni hit a whirlwind 18 off seven balls to take LSG into the vicinity of 200 runs.
Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers for DC, taking two for 30 in four overs.
In response, DC were restricted to 143/9 in 20 overs.
The visiting side began on a strong note, scoring 40 in the first four overs. But the introduction of Wood rattled them.
The England pacer picked two wickets in his first over, the innings’ fifth, beating the defences of Prithvi Shaw and Mitchell Marsh on successive deliveries. In the next over, he had Sarfaraz Khan off a short delivery to leave DC struggling at 48/3 after seven overs.
The Delhi franchise could never recover from there and was further not helped by the slow scoring rate of skipper David Warner, who made 56 off 48 balls.