Warner stars as Covid-hit Delhi crush Punjab in IPL
|| AFP ||
Australia's David Warner smashed an unbeaten 60 to lead the Covid-affected Delhi Capitals to a thumping nine-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
Delhi's New Zealand import Tim Seifert tested positive for Covid-19 just hours before the start of the match at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.
Seifert became the second overseas player of the side to test positive after Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh who was admitted to the hospital on Monday. Four support staff members have also contracted the virus.
But Delhi, led by Rishabh Pant, put on an inspired performance to bowl out Punjab for 115 after electing to field first and then overhaul the target in 10.3 overs.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel stood out with figures of 2-10 as he took the key wickets of England big-hitter Liam Livingstone, stumped for two, and Punjab top-scorer Jitesh Sharma, lbw for 32.
Openers Prithvi Shaw, who hit a 20-ball 41, and Warner smashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground in an opening stand of 83 in 39 deliveries.
The left-handed Warner went on to register his third successive half-century and his 53rd in the tournament. He hit 10 fours and one six in his 30-ball knock.
Delhi improved their net run-rate at the venue which was changed from the original Pune stadium due to the Covid outbreak.
Seifert's positive result has forced another change of venue as Delhi will play their next match, which was scheduled in Pune, on Friday against Rajasthan Royals at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
The league matches in the tournament are being played across four venues in Mumbai and Pune, with 50 percent capacity crowds allowed inside stadiums.
India has recorded a jump in the number of Covid cases in recent weeks but the spike is nowhere near the peak seen between March and May last year.
Thousands of Indians died of Covid every day in 2021, when the IPL began in India but was moved to the United Arab Emirates.
On Wednesday, India's health ministry reported over 2,000 new cases.