David Warner's life as captain of the Delhi Capitals has started in ignominious fashion, as teammate Mitch Marsh was dismissed for a golden duck in brutal scenes in the IPL. Warner scored a laboured half-century on Saturday against Lucknow Super Giants, but his knock was in vain as the Capitals were thumped by 50 runs.
English bowler Mark Wood ran through the Capitals' middle order, taking 5-14 and snaring the prized scalp of Marsh for a first-ball duck. Warner, the third-highest run scorer in IPL history, top-scored for his side with 56 off 48 balls.
However his innings never looked like getting Delhi close to the Super Giants' imposing total of 6-193, and the Aussie star came under fire for failing to accelerate. Warner's half-century was the 56th of his IPL career, however it didn't exactly come at a blistering pace.
His seven boundaries and a strike rate of 116.66 never looked as if they were going to be enough to keep Delhi in touch with the formidable required run-rate, and the Capitals eventually finished at 9-143. Warner, who is captaining Delhi in the absence of Rishabh Pant, eventually fell to the bowling of Avesh Khan.
A jersey of Pant, who was injured in a car crash in December and continues to recover from his injuries following surgery, was hung in the Delhi dugout as a mark of solidarity with the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Wood took two wickets in consecutive balls in his first over, rattling the stumps of Prithvi Shaw and Marsh. The Aussie all-rounder played a very loose stroke on the first ball he faced and was castled by 147km/h in-swinger.
Wood, who will likely face Australia in the Ashes, finished with 5-14 off his four overs - the best-ever figures by an Englishman in the IPL. Remarkably, it was his first appearance in the competition for five years.
"Last time I was here, I played for Chennai Super Kings (taking 0-48 in his one appearance) and it didn't go quite so well, so I wanted to try to make an impact this time. I'm delighted that it's gone well," said Wood.
David Warner suffers brutal start to Delhi Capitals captaincy
Warner was impressed by his potential Ashes foe, saying: "We talk about building partnerships but you can't take it away from Wood. He's an exceptional bowler and he showed his true talent and experience tonight. I felt like you were bowling on two different surfaces from either end.
"For us it's about going back to the drawing board now. It's one game. We go back to Delhi in front of our home crowd."
Lucknow captain KL Rahukl said: "It was Wood's day today. It's a dream for a fast bowler and a team. He made it count." Warner and Marsh both came in for some criticism on social media, with many calling out Warner's slow innings and Marsh's first-ball brain fade.
Other than that 2nd over, @DelhiCapitals went nowhere with their chase. Very off-key innings from Warner.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 1, 2023
Yes horribly out of touch. Even Mitch Marsh opened even when he was available. Almost out of the test team as well.
— Preetish Kumar Nayak (@nayak_preetish) April 1, 2023
I am very curious to know whether David warner is playing for a win or run rate!
Absolutely shocker of a stat padding!
And Mitch marsh was supremely overconfident#DelhiCapitals #LSGvsDC #IPL2023OpeningCeremony #IPl2023 #LucknowSuperGiants
— ಅಹಂ ದೇವಸ್ಮಿ| AHAM DEVASMI (@AhamDevasmi) April 1, 2023
— Mark Puttick (@GryllidaeC) April 1, 2023
But lack of acceleration.
— Shekhar (@shekhar_tiwarii) April 1, 2023
Slow innings by David Warner and bad batting performance by whole lineup
— Nazia Sheikh (@n_sheikh007) April 1, 2023
In the day's early rain-interrupted game, Arshdeep Singh starred for the Punjab Kings in a seven-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method. Left-armer Arshdeep took 3-19 as Kolkata - in pursuit of a 192-run target - had reached 7-146 in 16 overs before heavy rain ruined the rest of the match.
Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit a 30-ball half-century, while captain Shikar Dhawan made 40 and Sam Curran 26 not out in Punjab's total of 5-191. Aussie bowler Nathan Ellis made a useful contribution to the Kings' win, taking 1-27 off his three overs before the rain set in.
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