BENGALURU: The IPL season has moved into the business end with teams scrambling to grab the Playoff spots.
Two such teams — Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings — were in action at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Hence, this clash was looked upon with huge interest.
A win for either would increase their Playoff hopes while a loss could push that franchise to the brink of elimination.
With both teams on 12 points each, it was time for the big names to deliver in their respective penultimate game.
However, things did not look any good for Delhi, who was asked to bat first, as Liam Livingstone scalped star batter David Warner for a golden duck in the first over.
Eventually, Mitchell Marsh’s 63 helped Delhi reach 159/7.
And that Marsh's innings proved to be a match-winning one as Delhi won by 17 runs to move fourth on the table.
His half-century gave Delhi bowlers something respectable to bowl at.
The target was always achievable, but the bowlers rose to the occasion big time and took wickets at regular intervals.
After Jonny Bairstow's dismissal for 28 runs, Delhi ran through their key batters, and were reduced to 59/4.
Then Punjab pinned all their hopes on in-form Livingstone, but when the Englishman was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav, Delhi were favourites.
As the Chinaman scalped his second of the night, dismissing Harpreet Brar, the faces in the Punjab dugout narrated a sorry picture.
Despite a brave innings of 34-ball 44 from Jitesh Sharma, his innings did not prove to be enough as Shardul Thakur delivered big time in the contest, scalping four wickets.
Kuldeep (3-0-14-2) and Axar Patel (4-0-14-2) also played their part in the win.
Though the bowlers played a huge role in the win, full credit to Marsh.
Even when the Punjab spinners were not allowing any freebies, the Australian hung in there, taking singles.
More importantly, even with wickets falling around him, the all-rounder opted to play the senior man's role and stayed for a longer period at the crease and put a decent score on the board.
Marsh did manage to get a move on, especially in the 18th over as they hit 16 runs but Kagiso Rabada dismissed the Australian in the next over for 63, comprising four fours and three sixes.
Brief scores: DC 159/7 in 20 ovs (Marsh 63; Livingstone 3/27) bt PBKS 142/9 in 20 ovs (Jitesh 44; Thakur 4/36).