Mumbai Indians leapfrogged Delhi Daredevils into second place as they registered an emphatic 40 run victory over Ricky Ponting’s men at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.
The Kotla is historically a poor ground for MI- it has the worst away win percentage for them amongst all IPL grounds, but the visitors stormed to victory here thanks to fine cameos with the bat from the Pandya brothers and a fantastic spell of bowling from spinner Rahul Chahar.
Mumbai included Ben Cutting and Jayant Yadav in place of Ishan Kishan and Jason Behrendorff, while Delhi went in with an unchanged XI.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock got off to a flier and added 57 runs in the power play. However Amit Mishra broke the stand with his very first ball, getting Rohit bowled with a beauty of a delivery.
Ben Cutting who was promoted at No 3, was dismissed leg before wicket to Axar Patel for just 2. De Kock, who looked really fluent in his innings of 35, was run out following a horrible mix up with Suryakumar Yadav as Mumbai slumped to 74/3.
When the 28 year old Yadav fell to Kagiso Rabada in the 16th over, the visitors were in a spot of bother at 104/4, but the Pandya brothers revived the innings with some fine power hitting.
MI took 50 runs off the last three overs as Rabada, Morris and Keemo Paul were all treated with disdain. The tactics from Delhi were bizarre- Mishra did not bowl his fourth despite the pitch appearing to assist spin, and the extra pace on the ball from Rabada and Morris played into Mumbai’s hands. When Rabada did dismiss Hardik, it was with a slower one, but the damage had already been done.
Krunal remained unbeaten on 37 as MI reached a competitive 168/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Rabada was Delhi Capitals’ best bowler as he claimed 2/38 in 4 overs, while Mishra and Axar Patel claimed a wicket each.
Chasing a target of 169, Delhi’s Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan made a fantastic beginning as they added 49 runs for the opening wicket before Rahul Chahar broke through by dismissing Dhawan for 35. The left handed attempted to reverse sweep Chahar, but only ended up dragging the ball back onto his own stumps.
Chahar had been taken for 10 in his first over during the power play, but broke the back of the Delhi innings in his second spell. He accounted for both Shaw and opposition skipper Shreyas Iyer, while Krunal Pandya’s spin also took care of Colin Munro.
When Jasprit Bumrah got Rishabh Pant bowled in the 14th over, Delhi were staring down the barrel at 76/5.
Axar Patel and Chris Morris provided some resistance lower down the order but failed to take their team past the finishing line, and Delhi could only muster 128/9 in their 20 overs.
Chahar was Mumbai Indians’ best bowler as he claimed 3/19 in 4 overs, while Bumrah took 2/18 in his spell.
Hardik Pandya was declared the Man of the Match.
The 35th Match of the IPL will be played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kolkata on April 19, Friday.