Stoinis faces anxious wait after injury in IPL return
A left hamstring concern forces allrounder from field a month out from Australia's first T20 World Cup game
23 September 2021, 07:38 AM AEST
Australia will eagerly await news of the severity of an injury to Marcus Stoinis after he suffered a hamstring strain during the Delhi Capitals' first match of the Indian Premier League's resumption in Dubai.
Stoinis hurt his left hamstring while bowling early in his second over, limping off the field and playing no further part in Wednesday's match.
The Ricky Ponting-coached Capitals went on to notch their seventh win of the tournament with a thumping eight-wicket victory over virus-hit Sunrisers Hyderabad, with the recalled David Warner falling for a duck.
Australia's first match of the T20 World Cup is a month away, with Stoinis expected to play a key role in their bid to win the trophy for the first time.
His hamstring strain is thought to be a minor one, with the allrounder expected to go in for scans within the next 24 hours.
Stoinis looms as a particularly crucial ingredient in Australia's T20 plans given his ability to bat in the lower-order, a position the Aussies have struggled to fill.
"My next phase, the way I see it, over the next three years I want to be not only the best finisher in Australia, I want to be the best finisher in the world," Stoinis told ESPN recently.
Stoinis was hobbled during Australia's last World Cup tilt, playing in the semi-final of the 50-over tournament with two side strains in 2019.
Sunrisers fast bowler Thangarasu Natarajan had tested positive for COVID-19 and was put in isolation hours before Wednesday's match and the team were also without allrounder Vijay Shankar, who was identified as a close contact of Natarajan.
Without their two key players, Hyderabad were limited to 9-134 thanks largely to some fine pace bowling from Delhi's two South African pacemen Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada.
After they'd won the toss and opted to bat, Warner fell third ball to Nortje (2-12) in the opening over, the paceman going on to allow no-one in the top order to score freely off his four overs.
Captain Kane Williamson (18) couldn't capitalise on two dropped catches before finally holing out in the deep halfway into the innings off left-arm spinner Axar Patel (2-21).
Rabada (3-37), who earlier had removed Wriddhiman Saha inside the batting powerplay, restricted Hyderabad to a below-par total with the wickets of Manish Pandey (17) and Abdul Samad (28).
In reply, Shreyas Iyer (47 not out) and captain Rishabh Pant (35 not out) led the run-chase with a clinical unbroken 67-run stand as Delhi went atop the standings with 14 points by reaching 2-139 in 17.5 overs.
"Our bowlers did a pretty good job to restrict them," Pant said. "We have one of the quickest bowlers in the world (and) I'm pretty happy as the skipper."
Shreyas raised the victory by hammering West Indies fast bowler Jason Holder to long-on boundary for six to hand Hyderabad their seventh loss in the tournament.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was left out by India for next month's Twenty20 World Cup, continued his rich form in this season's IPL by scoring 42 off 37 balls.
- with AP