Two morale-shattering blows by English pacer Mark Wood in his first five-wicket haul (5-14) as Lucknow Super Giants rode on some disciplined efforts by their bowlers to overpower Delhi Capitals by 50 runs in their first match of IPL 2023 here on Saturday.
Lucknow skipper K.L Rahul brought Mark Wood in the fifth over and the English pacer made an immediate impact as he bowled Prithvi Shaw (12) and Mitchell Marsh (0) off successive deliveries, beating the batsmen with sheer pace.
He came back to claim the wickets of Sarfaraz Khan (4), Axar Patel (16) and Chetan Sakariya (4), getting his first fifer for Lucknow Super Giants as they restricted Delhi Capitals to 143/9 after Kyle Mayers had slammed a 38-ball 73 to help the hosts reach 193/6 in 20 overs.
Skipper David Warner, who won the toss and elected the bowl first, waged a lone battle for a 48-ball 56 as Delhi Capitals struggled to get going. Warner had expected the wicket to ease out in the second innings with the dew coming into play. But the pitch had a lot to offer to the bowlers and the LSG bowlers, especially Mark Wood bowled beautifully as they romped to victory.
Chasing 194 to win the match, Delhi Capitals could manage only 143/9 in 20 overs as Mark Wood scorched them with searing pace and movement, setting an early benchmark for the bowlers.
After they had pulled LSG back a bit after a rampaging Kyle Mayers had blasted 73 off 38 deliveries on his IPL debut, Delhi got off to a good start as they scored 40 runs in the first four overs.
However, a double-strike in two deliveries by English pacer Mark Wood, who rattled the stumps of Prithvi Shaw (12) and Mitchell Marsh, for a first-ball duck, beating both batters for pace with deliveries that nipped back in.
Delhi slumped to 41/2 in the fifth over and got bogged down by the mounting asking rate as they lost Sarfaraz Khan (4) in quick succession.
Skipper David Warner held one end up with an uncharacteristic knock as he raised 38 runs for the fourth wicket partnership with Rilee Rossouw before the South African batter got out for 30 off 20 balls, hitting three fours and one six.
Rossouw, who smacked Ravi Bishnoi for two fours and a six in the 10th over and also pulled him to the midwicket boundary, was out bizarrely, as he shuffled across to attempt a sweep Bishnoi but the ball hit the back of the bat on follow through and popped up for an easy catch by Kyle Mayers. Rovman Powell (1) and Aman Khan, the big-hitting Impact Player, was out for 4 as Delhi failed to make a chase of it.
Warner kept plodding around, completing his half-century off 45 deliveries as Delhi Capitals struggled to get the ball off the square. He had started by hitting Mayers for four off the third delivery of the opening over and handed the same treatment to Jaydev Unadkat, pulling him through midfield. He flicked Unadkat for another boundary in the same over and scored two more boundaries off the Saurashtra bowler in his second spell.
But the going was too slow and with wickets tumbling at the other end, the pressure kept mounting and Warner was finally out in the 16th over, caught by K Gowtham off Avesh Khan for a 48-ball 56. Delhi Capitals were struggling 113/7 at the end of the 16th over from where they failed to recover.
Lucknow Super Giants 193/6 in 20 overs (Kyle Mayers 73, Nicholas Pooran 36; Khaleel Ahmed 2-30) lost to Delhi Capitals 143/9 in 20 overs (David Warner 56, Rilee Rossouw 30; Mark Wood 5-14, Ravi Bishnoi 2-31, Avesh Khan 2-29) by 50 runs.