Sandeep: Stoinis' strikes the turning point

Marcus Stoinis' three wickets were the turning point that enabled Kings XI Punjab to ensure a nine-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils in a close contest on Saturday, believes fast bowler Sandeep Sharma.

Marcus Stoinis took the crucial wickets of openers Quinton de Kock and Sanju Samson, and Sam Billings.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma pointed to Marcus Stoinis’ three wickets as the 'turning point' in Kings XI Punjab’s stunning nine-run victory over Delhi Daredevils here on Saturday night.

>Report: Kings XI Punjab ekes out nine-run win

At one stage, Daredevils was looking well in control of its chase of 182. At 121 for one, the team needed 61 more runs off 39 deliveries. But thereafter, some disciplined bowling that fetched a couple of crucial wickets tilted the scales in favour of the host.

“I think the turning point was Stoinis’ wickets. The wicket of (Sam) Billings, in particular, and in that over, he went for less than six runs. And in the next over, Mohit Sharma bowled brilliantly. When I came to bowl (the last over), there were plenty of runs and I had to only save two or three balls for us to win the match,” said Sandeep after the match.

Right combination

Looking at the brighter side of the campaign so far, Sandeep said, “We’ve have been playing good cricket. We came close in a few matches but lost. I think we have now got the right combination and the captain also knows how to use bowlers. Our batting is also clicking. (Glenn) Maxwell and (David) Miller didn’t make runs at the start of the tournament, but now they’re also making runs. So that’s a positive sign for us.”

Daredevils’ opener Quinton de Kock, whose brisk 52 proved in vain, praised Sandeep Sharma and a wicketless Mohit Sharma for their efforts with the ball. “I think that (death overs) was kind of where we lost it a little bit. With the new ball, it was quite nice to play and then towards the end of the game, it got a lot harder (to score). Obviously they bowled pretty well also.

“We tried our hand but Mohit and Sandeep bowled well and to their fields. They also hit their yorkers. But we were in a good position at that stage. It happens I guess,” said the South African with disappointment writ large on his face.

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