Aussie ‘Hulk’ Marcus Stoinis stars in thrilling IPL semi-final

Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis starred with bat and ball as Delhi Capitals made their first ever Indian Premier League final after a 17-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad this morning (AEDT).

Stoinis, nicknamed “The Hulk”, took three wickets including Kane Williamson’s key scalp for 67 with his pace bowling after scoring 38 in Delhi’s 3/189 in the second qualifier in Abu Dhabi.

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Stoinis’ 86-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan, who made 78, paved the way for Delhi setting up a title clash with reigning champions Mumbai Indians, who had beaten Delhi in the first qualifier, on Wednesday.

“This has been a roller coaster,” Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer said of his team, coached by Australian icon Ricky Ponting, who lost matches towards the business end before making the play-offs.

“We were lacking with the opening partnership. Needed a rocket start. We thought if Stoinis plays the maximum deliveries, he could give us a push.”

Hyderabad, the 2016 IPL winners and led by Australia’s David Warner, signed off the Twenty20 tournament after managing 8/172 in the knockout game.

Delhi quick Kagiso Rabada struck first with the key wicket of Warner for two and returned figures of 4/29 to get back to the top of this IPL season’s bowling chart with 29 wickets.

Delhi started off cautiously but Stoinis changed gear after being dropped on three by Jason Holder at silly mid-on off medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma.

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Marcus Stoinis | Man of the Match | 38 runs and 3/26. #IPL2020 #DCvSRH pic.twitter.com/GuBVbdCHfo

Stoinis, who opened the innings after Prithvi Shaw was dropped due to poor form, hit five fours and one six in his 27-ball knock before being bowled by a Rashid Khan googly.

Dhawan raised his fifty off 26 deliveries with a six off spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who gave away 48 runs from his four overs.

The left-handed Indian opener went past 600 runs this season in the IPL, which is being played behind closed doors in the United Arab Emirates due to the coronavirus pandemic.

West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer played a crucial cameo as he hit an unbeaten 44 off 22 deliveries.

In reply, Hyderabad were in trouble at 4/90 before Williamson raised his team’s hopes with his second successive fifty and a 57-run fifth-wicket partnership with Abdul Samad, who made 33 off 16 deliveries.

Williamson smashed five fours and four sixes in his 45-ball knock before falling to man-of-the-match Stoinis, who believes Delhi’s “best cricket” should be enough to win against a “very good” Mumbai team.

AFP

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