Kyle Mayers and Mark Wood got their Indian Premier League campaigns off to brilliant starts as Lucknow Super Giants beat Delhi Capitals by 50 runs.
The Super Giants boasted the best performers with both bat and ball, as Mayers' 73 from 38 deliveries and Wood's 5-14 led them to a comfortable win on Saturday.
Lucknow's hopes were hit when key man and captain KL Rahul dismissed for 19 in the fourth over, and his replacement Mayers was hugely fortunate not to be sent packing on 14 when he was dropped by Khaleel Ahmed.
Mayers took advantage of that reprieve, plundering 59 more runs before finally succumbing to a peach of a delivery from Axar Patel that clipped the top of off stump.
Though that wicket slowed Lucknow's progress, they smashed 62 off the final four overs.
Delhi's chase got off to a fantastic start, racing to 33 for no loss off the first three overs, but a magnificent spell from Wood saw him dismiss Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Sarfaraz Khan to halt the Capitals' momentum.
Avesh Khan landed the hammer blow when he removed David Warner (56) with the Capital's captain caught by Krishnappa Gowtham.
Warner's men would tack on just 30 more runs, falling 50 short of the winning total as Wood sealed his five-for with the penultimate ball of the innings.
First game and first five-for— Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) April 1, 2023
Wood surely left a big Mark in our opening game #LSGvDC | #IPL2023 | #LucknowSuperGiants | #LSG | #GazabAndaz pic.twitter.com/iOywKYe64O
Mayers punishes Khaleel drop
The game could have been very different had Khaleel held on after Mayers tried to slog a slower ball from Chetan Sakariya.
Instead, the ball agonisingly hit the turf and Mayers went on to register two fours and seven maximums on his IPL debut, reaching his half-century after just 28 balls to truly exploit Khaleel's mistake.
Lightning quick pace from Wood halts Capitals' chase
A sublime couple of overs from Wood completely altered the momentum in Delhi's chase and put his team back in the ascendancy.
Wood's first game for Lucknow saw him earn player of the match honours.