Insipid batting display leaves the defending champion languishing at the bottom of the table

Delhi Daredevils registered a comfortable victory over Mumbai Indians in yet another low-scoring match of the Indian Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday evening.

After halting the reigning champion at 125 for six, Daredevils rustled up the required total with six wickets in hand and seven balls to spare.

The Daredevils took their time, openers Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay providing the right platform in the pursuit of a not very sizeable target.

Mike Hussey’s blinder at point stopped the South African in his tracks, while Vijay, by now at home against the conventional attack was undermined by Rohit Sharma’s part-time off-spin.

Pietersen anchors chase

Although a shade sluggish with the scoring rate, even if it was steady, it called for captain Pietersen to let off some steam with a six and a couple of boundaries.

His South African partner Duminy’s approach was however diametrically opposite and low-key, his 24-ball 19 containing not a boundary.

Dinesh Karthik’s prod off Malinga was picked up by short mid-wicket Rayudu, leaving his side with the target well within range but saddled with a few anxious moments. Pietersen proved to be a pillar of stability, hardly in awe of the bowling, experiencing a little discomfort now and then against Malinga’s scorching yorkers.

Kedar Jadhav, on his first outing for the Daredevils, kept his composure, not attempting anything fancy but stealing singles and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.

The winning runs however came when he flicked Zaheer Khan to the fine leg fence.

For his role  in the forefront of Delhi’s victory, Vijay was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Disastrous start

Rohit Sharma, after opting to bat, promoted himself to be an opener and perished in a run out for a single he simply could have done without. Aditya Tare and Corey Anderson paid the price for playing across, hitting straight to mid wicket de Kock of Parnell and Unadkat respectively.

The Mumbai Indians, arrayed with an army of advisors, Ricky Ponting being the latest arrival, failed to find answers to their batting woes, taking more than 17 overs to reach three figures.

The western India squad has lost every match it has played this season, ironic for a team that claimed the trophy last year.

There was hope on the horizon though with the re-emergence of Kieron Pollard, whose unbeaten 33 (30b, 2x4, 2x6) rendered respectability to a side so replete with batsmen.

The Daredevils brought in Jadhav for Manoj Tiwary, in the sole change to both sides.