The Mumbai Indians (MI) climbed to second position in the VIVO IPL 2019 standings after they defeated the Delhi Capitals (DC) by 40 runs at the Feroze Shah Kotla Ground on Thursday night. After their captain Rohit Sharma had won an important toss and elected to bat, the Mumbai posted 168-5 and then restricted DC to 128-9.
Realising that the playing surface was extremely dry and would give the batsmen no pace, the MI opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock took toll of the hardness of the new ball and got their team off to a flying start; they added 57 runs in the powerplay. But spin was introduced in the sixth over — in the form of Amit Mishra — and the opening pair was separated; the Delhi leg-spinner breached the defences of Rohit Sharma (30 of 22 balls) with his first ball.
The decision to promote Ben Cutting — a forced inclusion in the MI XI — didn’t yield the desired results as the Australian was dismissed for 2. Two overs later de Kock (35 from 27 balls) was involved in a mix-up with Suryakumar Yadav and was dismissed for 35. MI were 75-3 at the half-way mark, and added 43 runs in the next eight overs.
The final flourish was provided by the Pandya brothers. The brothers took 17 runs off the 18th over bowled by Keemo Paul and added a further 15 runs in the 19th over bowled by Chris Morris. There was plenty of action in the final over which produced 18 runs and a wicket; Hardik struck a six and perished, after which Krunal collected boundaries of the fourth and fifth deliveries. MI added 50 in the last three overs to finish strongly.
A read of the Delhi Capitals’ bowling figures will reveal that it was a well-calculated approach by the Mumbai Indians batsmen. They took 131 from the 13 overs bowled by the quick bowlers, and only 35 runs from the seven overs bowled by the two spinners. It was perhaps an error in calculation that the Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer did not utilise Amit Mishra’s fourth over. Kagiso Rabada, with two wickets, was the most successful bowler for hosts, while Mishra and Axar Patel picked up a wicket each.
Delhi’s pursuit of 169 was never going to be easy, given the nature of the pitch. Though Dhawan (35 from 22 balls) got off to a brisk start and dominated a 49-run opening stand, none of the Delhi Capitals batsmen could cope with the slowness of the surface or the mounting required run rate. Axar Patel’s 23-ball 26 would be the second-highest score of the DC innings. The Delhi Capitals, despite scoring at eight runs an over in the powerplay, could only add 80 runs in the remaining 14 overs; they finished their 20 overs at 128-9.
For MI, Rahul Chahar picked up three wickets, Jasprit Bumrah collected two wickets, while Lasith Malinga and the two Pandya brothers picked up a wicket each.
Standout batting performance
Hardik Pandya did the finishing job for the Mumbai Indians – yet again. On Thursday, he scored 32 in quick time; his 15-ball knock contained two boundaries and three sixes. The standout shot of his innings was the helicopter. Second ball of the final over, Kagiso Rabada bowled a 149.9kph length delivery, but Hardik stood deep in the crease and unleashed the helicopter, his strong wrists carrying the ball over the midwicket boundary.
Krunal Pandya found it hard to cope with the slowness of the surface and struggled for timing early on in his innings. He was 20 from 18 balls at one stage – which included eight runs from two boundaries off poor deliveries – before he collected three boundaries in the last three overs to finish unbeaten on 37 – the highest individual score in the match.