Dinesh Karthik, Rohit carve out big scores; Daredevils keep losing
The changeable and volatile nature of a Twenty20 contest once again impressively presented itself at a full-house Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Local hero Sachin Tendulkar ran himself out for the second time in three matches soon after his captain Ricky Ponting had left the scene, outwitted by a superb first over by left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan.
Both were gone by the ninth ball of a mellow evening’s first session, but the jolted Mumbai Indians quickly recovered ground.
It pummelled the Delhi Daredevils attack to post the season’s highest total of 209 and eventually scored a runaway 44-run victory.
David Warner swung his bat around to make an aggressive half-century, but a third consecutive defeat was on the cards for Daredevils once Ponting came up with an acrobatic catch to send back Unmukt Chand off the first ball from Harbhajan Singh and then left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson dismissed Mahela Jayawardene.
Fearless in his approach, the in-form Dinesh Karthik thumped the ball from the meat of his bat and was the chief architect of the home team’s buoyant recovery phase.
Rohit Sharma got over some early nervous moments with mighty hits for sixes and maximised his and his team’s potential with an undefeated 74.
Ambati Rayudu seemed ruthless in his execution of an eight-ball 24, while Kieron Pollard brought more cheer with a soaring six into the first tier stand behind long-on.
It was a batting exhibition of the highest order and almost all the Daredevils bowlers suffered under the onslaught after skipper Jayawardene had played a big part in the dismissals of Ponting and Tendulkar.
Ponting, Tendulkar flop
The former Sri Lankan skipper held a comfortable catch at mid-off to end Ponting’s misery against an accurate and clever Pathan.
Then he showed remarkable alacrity to make Tendulkar’s tenure a one-ball affair.
Thereafter Karthik — who made 60 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and 37 against Chennai Super Kings — seized another opportunity to show his mettle in circumstances that were adverse and forged a partnership of 132 with Rohit.
Mumbai Indians touched a modest 38 for two in the Power Play overs that saw the Daredevils’ four-pronged seam attack in Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav in operation.
But once Nehra drifted from a restrictive line and conceded 16 runs in the sixth over, the home team picked up momentum and smashed at over 12 runs per over from thereon.
Karthik departed after making a splendid 86, which helped him become the highest scorer and earned him the Orange Cap.
Mumbai Indians: Ricky Ponting c Jayawardene b Irfan 0 (6b), Sachin Tendulkar (run out) 1 (1b), Dinesh Karthik c Mendis b Morkel 86 (48b, 14 x4, 2x6), Rohit Sharma (not out) 74 (50b, 4x4, 5x6), Kieron Pollard c Nadeem b Nehra 13 (7b, 1x4, 1x6), Ambati Rayudu c & b Nehra 24 (8b, 2x4, 2x6), Harbhajan Singh (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (lb-6, nb-1, w-3): 10; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 209.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Ponting), 2-1 (Tendulkar), 3-133 (Karthik), 4-163 (Pollard), 5-189 (Rayudu).
Delhi Daredevils bowling: Irfan Pathan 4-1-37-1, Ashish Nehra 4-0-49-2, Morne Morkel 4-0-43-1, Umesh Yadav 3-0-28-0, Shahbaz Nadeem 3-0-26-0, Jeevan Mendis 2-0-20-0.
Delhi Daredevils: Unmukt Chand c Ponting b Harbhajan 0 (1b), David Warner c Rayudu b Johnson 61 (37b, 5x4, 4x6), Mahela Jayawardene c Karthik b Johnson 3 (6b), Manpreet Juneja (run out) 49 (40b, 6x4), Jeevan Mendis c & b Pollard 0 (1b), Irfan Pathan c Johnson b Ojha 10 (12b), Kedar Jadhav c & b Malinga 1 (2b), Shahbaz Nadeem c Dhawan b Ojha 2 (3b), Morne Morkel (not out) 23 (9b, 3x4, 1x6), Ashish Nehra c Ojha b Pollard 1 (5b), Umesh Yadav (not out) 5 (4b, 1x4); Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-8): 10; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 165.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Unmukt), 2-13 (Jayawardene), 3-95 (Warner), 4-97 (Mendis), 5-118 (Irfan), 6-127 (Jadhav), 7-137 (Nadeem), 8-140 (Juneja), 9-154 (Nehra).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Harbhajan Singh 4-0-25-1, Lasith Malinga 4-0-20-1, Mitchell Johnson 4-0-49-2, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-34-2, Kieron Pollard 4-0-35-2.
Man-of-the-match: Dinesh Karthik.