CRICKET / Suffers a seven-wicket drubbing in its backyard; Delhi goes to the top of the table
It was over as soon as it started for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League match against Delhi Daredevils here on Monday. The team lost its openers with just five runs on the board as promising left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem got rid of both Richard Levi and Davy Jacobs.
Mumbai Indians never got going after the early setbacks and eventually was drubbed by seven wickets in its backyard. Delhi Daredevils, with its strong batting line-up, had no problems as it reached the target in 14.5 overs.
Led efficiently by Virender Sehwag, Delhi held the stranglehold right through the match to notch up its third win.
MI appears to be clueless without Sachin Tendulkar. On Monday there was another casualty in its ranks to add to its woes. Lasith Malinga did not figure on the team sheet and there was no official statement from MI with regard to Malinga's indisposition.
The Wankhede Stadium surface appears to play tricks when Levi is on strike and while facing left-arm spinners. The world's fastest century maker in T20s had no clue against Pune Warriors' Murali Kartik and also against Brad Hogg of Rajasthan Royals.
Sehwag tossed the new ball to left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan, but did not waste time ushering in Nadeem. The 22-year-old Nadeem, who plays for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy, sent down impressive spells in his three previous matches in IPL-V but with minimal rewards.
His fourth match proved successful. With his guile and craft he got the wickets of Jacobs and Levi in the first two overs and put his team in a commanding position.
Bowling from round the wicket, he flummoxed Jacobs with an orthodox delivery and then sent back Levi, who under-edged an arm-ball that hit the upper half of the middle stump. The big-hitting South African seems to have become a bunny to left-arm spinners at the Wankhede.
Then Rohit Sharma took his chances and survived before falling victim to Ross Taylor's superb judgment in the deep; Kieron Pollard was the second batsman to hit a ball in the direction of Taylor.
Test for Taylor
On Sunday evening, Daredevils had put the Kiwi through a rigorous fitness test, checked out his catching and fielding ability. Later, team mentor T.A. Sekar said it would be difficult to keep the New Zealand captain out of the playing XI. And Taylor proved his worth on the field.
Fine bowling by spinner Nadeem, sharp and incisive spells by Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav assisted by splendid fielding by Yogesh Nagar and Taylor left MI reeling at 44 for six.
Mumbai skipper Harbhajan and his partnership with IPL debutant — Australian Clint Mckay — eventually helped Mumbai post 92.
Mumbai Indians: R. Levi b Nadeem 1 ( 4b ), D. Jacobs b Nadeem 0 ( 10b ), Rohit c Taylor b Agarkar 29 ( 27b, 5x4 ), A. Rayudu (run out) 4 ( 11b ), K. Pollard c Taylor b Yadav 1 ( 3b ), D. Karthik c Pietersen b Yadav 3 ( 4b ), Harbhajan c N. Ojha b M. Morkel 33 ( 22b, 5x4, 1x6 ), C. McKay c Yadav b Irfan 8 ( 15b ), R.P. Singh b M. Morkel 0 ( 4b ), P. Ojha b Agarkar 3 ( 12b ), Munaf (not out) 1 ( 5b ); Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-3): 9; Total (in 19.2 overs): 92.
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Jacobs), 2-5 (Levi), 3-30 (Rayudu), 4-38 (Pollard), 5-41 (Rohit), 6-44 (Karthik), 7-78 (McKay), 8-80 (R.P. Singh), 9-89 (Harbhajan).
Delhi Daredevils bowling: Irfan 4-1-12-1, Nadeem 4-0-16-2, M. Morkel 4-1-22-2, Agarkar 3.2-0-27-2, Yadav 4-0-11-2.
Delhi Daredevils: N. Ojha c Harbhajan b R.P. Singh 13 (15b, 2x4) , V. Sehwag c Levi b P. Ojha 32 ( 36b, 2x4, 1x6 ), K. Pietersen c Jacobs b R.P. Singh 9 ( 8b, 1x4 ), M. Jayawardene (not out) 17 ( 20b, 1x4 ), R. Taylor (not out) 11 ( 10b, 1x4 ); Extras (lb-5, w-6): 11; Total (for three wkts. in 14.5 overs): 93.
Fall of wickets: 1-34 (N. Ojha), 2-52 (Pietersen), 3-74 (Sehwag).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Munaf 3-1-15-0, R.P. Singh 4-0-24-2, McKay 3-0-24-0, P. Ojha 4-0-19-1, Pollard 0.5-0-6-0.
Man-of-the-match: S. Nadeem.