In cricket, luck matters a lot. One good ball can send a batter back to the Pavillion, irrespective of what kind of form he is in or the opponents he faces. But when luck favours a batter, no bowling team can withstand what is coming next. Especially when world-class players like David Warner and Mitchell Marsh fetch it, it can cost a whole game for the opponents.
RR, armed with an above-average total of 160 on that pitch, looked to have the upper hand when they scalped the wicket of KS Bharat in the very first over of the chase. Eventually, it brought down Mitchell Marsh into the middle to join David Warner. The ball was seaming and swinging viciously at that time and the conditions made the Australian duo struggle for a start.
Trent Boult was fiery with bounce and swing. The second ball Mitchell Marsh had to face was a ripper that came straight into his pads in no time. Here is where the luck factor commenced its own game; the umpire signalled not out whilst the bowling team wasn’t even convinced to go upstairs for a plumb.
Prasidh Krishna, from the other end, made use of his speed and surface and built the pressure with a maiden. Again the Boult factor made Marsh struggle in the third over, but from the other end, David Warner looked comfortable, but he was ready to step back and respect the excellent spell.
Sanju Samson’s idea of bringing in R Ashwin early in the innings was good. Because Marsh wasn’t that good using feet against spin and Warner is a lefty. What happened then wasn’t expected. A carrom ball on the slot ripped off all the ropes tied over Marsh for the last three overs. A six over the long-off region created the pump required for Marsh.
Still, Marsh wasn’t comfortable playing Boult, who was tailing the ball into his pads. Finally, Marsh got one from P Krishna, smoking the ball over the fine-leg region while waiting for his slot balls.
The game was on from then. Kuldeep Sen was thrashed in the next over with two sixes by Marsh. The tempo required for the chase was all set at the end of the powerplay. That’s where the international experience paid off.
Warner took the back seat and suddenly took a chance when he saw the leggie, Y Chahal; a missed catch took that for a six.
The next ball was a chance dropped by the excellent fielder, Jos Buttler. Again, Warner was outplayed by a terrific delivery of Chahal, but still, the bails didn’t come off. What was happening for DC seemed like the match was destined for them.
Things got easier when the Aussie duo played on their strength. Mitchell Marsh was sharp in picking his slot balls that were short and on stumps. The run flow from Marsh took him easily over the fifty runs mark. While on the other end, Warner followed his mantra, leaving nothing outside off. Rotating strike.
The left-hand, right-hand combo played a trick on the bowlers’ minds. At one point, it became 47 runs needed off 30 balls. It was not even a challenge when two batters were at the crease with wickets in hand.
Marsh’s vengeance against Boult was taken care of at the 17th over. Marsh went on to belt a sparkling four and a six, followed by Warner with a four. This heroic act against Boult brought runs required lesser than the ball count.
The match was unofficially done when Marsh got trapped off a tossed up-fuller length delivery from Chahal. The macho Aussie batter was too good for a T20 game with the kind of shots and techniques he had. Only two things bothered him, the start and the spinners.
The Anchor role was well defined by Warner. In fact, he enjoyed Marsh’s innings more than any others. Helped him whenever Marsh needed it. Most importantly, Warner played off Chahal. Ended up with a match-winning knock of 52 off 41 balls.
Once again, Warner proved himself to be a team player. He could have easily gone for runs, considering his current form. But looking at Marsh’s display, Warner decided to be supportive. The duo looked completely dangerous, not only for RR but for every other team that will face them in the playoffs. These Australians are pretty good at big games. This duo has had a successful history in Australia. And it is getting continued in the IPL, too, now. Watch out for them.