Despite an improved show, Delhi Daredevils fails break the losing streak

Kevin Pietersen chanced his arm, came up with big blows and kept Delhi Daredevils in the contest with the ultimate aim of winning for the sake of pride against Mumbai Indians in IPL-7 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

The home team put down a couple of difficult chances as Pietersen flayed the bowlers in the initial Power Play part.

The Daredevils raced to 47 for the loss of Murali Vijay, but once Pietersen left the scene, falling to a failed switch-hit off off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, his team’s chances of getting the better of Mumbai Indians faded away.

Splendid resolve

Manoj Tiwary and Jean-Paul Duminy showed splendid resolve and ability to clear the long boundary in the course of a strong fourth-wicket stand of 85, but the target of 174 became stiff and their side went down by 15 runs.

Both teams played three spinners, with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha replacing a suddenly-injured seamer Praveen Kumar after the toss. It was a much-needed victory for MI, its sixth one.

There was more than a glimpse of attractive and bold strokeplay from the renowned batsmen on either side, enthralling the near-capacity crowd.

A seasoned campaigner in the league, but sporting the blue shade of Mumbai Indians for the first time in seven years, the 38-year-old Michael Hussey employed his willow beautifully to demonstrate that there is some more steam and sting left in him.

Rousing start

The left-hander, along with Trinidadian Lendl Simmons, gave a rousing start yet again and at 120 for one at the start of the 12th over, the defending champion seemed well on way to post a 200-plus total.

But, in a dramatic turnaround, especially after the on-the-line run-out dismissal of Hussey, the home team suicidal tendency saw it crash to 173, three balls short of the full quota of 20 overs.

After scoring his first century against Kings XI Punjab at Mohali and also the first three-figure mark in the current edition, Simmons was determined to put up another good show. In the shadow for a few overs, when Hussey flashed his blade and sent the rival fielders on a leather hunt, Simmons played some powerful shots and contributed heavily in the first-wicket stand.

Skipper Rohit Sharma sustained the onslaught to keep the run-rate at nearly 10 an over, but he gifted his wicket to left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat. His departure set off a slump with the lower-half managing to make only 33 runs in almost six overs.

Pollard began with a clean straight hit six off off-spinner Duminy, before he too fell to Unadkat. Ambati Rayudu lifted left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem straight to Murali Vijay at long-off and Tare whipped leg-spinner Imran Tahir to mid-wicket where Kedar Jadhav held a smart catch.

Scoreboard

Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons c Parnell b Tahir 35 (25b, 5x4), Michael Hussey run out 56 (33b, 7x4, 2x6), Rohit Sharma b Unadkat 30 (21b, 4x4), Kieron Pollard c Karthik b Unadkat 11 (8b, 1x6), Ambati Rayudu c Vijay b Nadeem 2 (3b), Aditya Tare c Jadhav b Tahir 14 (8b, 3x4), Harbhajan Singh c Vijay b Parnell 2 (3b), Shreyas Gopal run out 11 (10b, 1x4), Marchant de Lange c Karthik b Tahir 1 (2b), Pragyan Ojha run out 2 (2b), Jasprit Bumrah (not out) 0 (2b); Extras (lb-6, w-3): 9; Total (in 19.3 overs ): 173.

Fall of wickets: 1-87 (Simmons), 2-120 (Hussey), 3-140 (Rohit), 4-141 (Pollard), 5-151 (Rayudu), 6-157 (Tare), 7-161 (Harbhajan), 8-168 (de Lange), 9-171 (Ojha).

Delhi Daredevils bowling: Wayne Parnell 3.3-0-26-1, Siddharth Kaul 2-0-21-0, Jaydev Unadkat 2-0-24-2, Shahbaz Nadeem 4-0-28-1, Jean-Paul Duminy 4-0-31-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-37-3.

Delhi Daredevils: Murali Vijay st. Tare b Gopal 8 (12b), Kevin Pietersen b Harbhajan 44 (31b, 6x4, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik b de Lange 7 (13b, 1x4), Manoj Tiwary c Hussey b de Lange 41 (31b, 5x4, 1x6), Jean-Paul Duminy (not out) 45 (29b, 4x6), Kedar Jadhav (not out) 7 (5b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3, nb-1, w-2): 6; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 158.

Fall of wickets: 1-43 (Vijay), 2-59 (Pietersen), 3-61 (Karthik), 4-146 (Tiwary).

Mumbai Indians bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-36-0, Marchant de Lange 4-0-32-2, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-33-0, Shreyas Gopal 3-0-20-1, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-30-1, Kieron Pollard 1-0-4-0.

Man-of-the-match: M. Hussey.

MI won by 15 runs.