Marcus Stoinis already had his bags packed ready to go home before his stunning effort against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday night lifted Delhi Capitals into their first IPL final.
The Australian all-rounder set the tone for his side's win with a quick fire innings opening the batting, then took three wickets with the ball, including that of in-form Kane Williamson.
The 17-run win meant Delhi will face defending champions Mumbai Indians in the final on Tuesday at the Dubai International Stadium.
Defeat would have meant a quick relocation from one bio-secure bubble in Dubai to another.
The Australia and India players who will face each other in a bilateral series of international matches are currently sharing the same hotel in Dubai Marina, before they depart.
“Us Aussie boys had to pack our bags just in case we lost and had to go straight to the hotel, so this is a nice feeling right now,” Stoinis said after the win in Abu Dhabi.
Stoinis shared a brisk 86 with Shikhar Dhawan, after being moved to the top of the order for the first time in the tournament.
“Ricky [Ponting, Delhi’s coach] has spoken to me a couple of times about the possibility of opening the batting, and it just worked out that during this time was the time to do it,” Stoinis said.
“We tried it once earlier where I was batting No 3, but it didn’t come off when we were chasing 220. Fortunately it worked tonight.”
Hyderabad fell short of reprising their feat of 2016, when they took the title following a fine run of form at the end of the campaign.
“[Delhi] are a very good side,” said Williamson, who made 67 in the run-chase.
“They’ve been trying to find a rhythm to their play, a little bit like we managed to for a period of time.
“Tonight they put it all together and played very, very well, and put a very competitive total on the board which, going into the second innings, means there are always risks that need to be taken.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get off to the best of starts, but we managed to build a few partnerships through the middle period and still had an opportunity.
“It’s a real shame not to kick on in the tournament and make the final, but, particularly in the last three weeks, the guys can be pretty proud of themselves.”