Warner out cheaply, Smith sidelined again in IPL
Top-of-the-table Delhi pick just three overseas players in their XI, leaving Steve Smith on the sidelines again
26 September 2021, 07:27 AM AEST
The Delhi Capitals have returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a 33-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals, but Australia's Steve Smith was again left out of the side ahead of the start of the T20 World Cup next month.
Delhi scored 6-154 in Abu Dhabi after being asked to bat first on Saturday, their innings propelled by Shreyas Iyer's 32-ball 43, Rishabh Pant's run-a-ball 24 and West Indian Shimron Hetmyer's 28 off 16 deliveries.
Rajasthan could only reach 6-121 in reply after collapsing to 2-6 in the second over and 4-48 by the 11th, with only captain Sanju Samson restoring some stability to the innings with a 53-ball 70 not out.
Capitals coach Ricky Ponting opted for just three overseas players in his team, replacing the injured Marcus Stoinis with Indian allrounder Lalit Yadav.
It meant there was again no room for Smith, who has played six of Delhi's 10 games this season and struggled to win a permanent spot in the top order that also includes local stars Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw.
In addition to being eager for Smith to get some game time ahead of Australia's World Cup opener on October 23, national selectors will also be waiting for details of a hamstring injury suffered by Stoinis in Delhi's match against Hyderabad last week.
The allrounder was due to have scans on what was believed to be a minor hamstring complaint, which ruled him out of Saturday's match.
In the second game on Saturday, the Punjab Kings beat the last-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Punjab moved to fifth place after being put into bat and scoring 7-125, before containing Hyderabad to 7-120, with David Warner once again failing to make a contribution, dismissed third ball for just two.
Jason Holder was the biggest threat to Punjab, first taking 3-19 with the ball and then scoring 47 not out off 29 deliveries with the bat, including five sixes, but he had to settle for the rare accolade of winning the player of the match award in defeat.
Australian Nathan Ellis continued his remarkable rise by making his IPL debut for Punjab, finishing with 0-32 from four overs.
Warner has posted scores of 0 and 2 in his first two games since the tournament resumed, having controversially been dropped in the first half of the tournament.
While Jonny Bairstow opted out of a return to the second half of the competition, the Sunrisers have fellow Englishman Jason Roy in reserve should they wish to make another change at the top of the order.
"He’s our spare overseas batter,” coach Trevor Bayliss said of Roy.
"The management will get together tomorrow and pick a team. I'm not going to select a team right now. We'll sleep on that and think about it and have a selection meeting tomorrow."
Hyderabad are out of playoff contention following their eighth defeat in nine games.