Despite the contrasting recent form of the teams involved in the first game of the IPL’s penultimate double-header this season, they were both in with a theoretical chance of finishing No. 1 at the end of the league. But in reality, Saturday’s fixture between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals resulted in one of the biggest mismatches of the tournament.
A nine-wicket mauling, with a whopping 34 balls to spare, at the Dubai International Stadium, assured MI of a top-two finish. DC, after its fourth loss on the trot, is stuck at 14 points and will have to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore to ensure smooth sailing into the playoffs.
With Rohit Sharma still unfit, Kieron Pollard led MI in its 200th IPL game and opted to chase. DC captain Shreyas Iyer had a smile on his face, however, since his camp was keen on setting a target.
The smiles evaporated in no time when in-form Shikhar Dhawan’s uppish cut off Trent Boult in the opening over resulted in a sharp catch at point by Suryakumar Yadav. By the end of the PowerPlay, the MI bowlers had DC running for cover.
Prithvi Shaw, who came in for Ajinkya Rahane, top-edged Boult for Quinton de Kock to pouch a skier. Shreyas (25) and Rishabh Pant (21) continued to struggle to find batting rhythm. Their 35-run stand off 44 balls eventually ended when the skipper was stumped off leggie Rahul Chahar.
Fizz goes out
In the next over, Jasprit Bumrah struck twice. He first got rid of Marcus Stoinis with one that rose and moved off a good length and followed it up by jagging one back into Pant to trap him in front of the stumps. At 62 for five in the 12th over, the fizz had gone out DC’s innings and the lower-order eventually trundled to 110 for nine. The fact that none of the top seven scored at even a run a ball illustrated how MI’s bowling unit dominated proceedings.
Early wickets were the need of the hour if DC had to avoid damage to its net run rate. Openers de Kock and Ishan Kishan prevented that, punishing the loose balls to make sure the chase never lost momentum. Although de Kock was dismissed after a 68-run stand, Ishan carried on and completed the formalities with a whip off Anrich Nortje for his third six of the day.
Delhi Capitals Innings: Prithvi Shaw c de Kock b Boult 10; Shikhar Dhawan c Yadav b Boult 0; Shreyas Iyer st de Kock b Chahar 25; Rishabh Pant lbw b Bumrah 21; Marcus Stoinis c de Kock b Bumrah 2; Shimron Hetmyer c Krunal b Coulter-Nile 11; Harshal Patel lbw b Bumrah 5; Ravichandran Ashwin c Krunal b Boult 12; Praveen Dubey not out 7; Kagiso Rabada run out 12. Extras: (LB-3 W-2) 5
Total: (For 9 wickets in 20 overs) 110
Fall of Wickets: 1/1 2/15 3/50 4/57 5/62 6/73 7/78 8/96 9/110
Mumbai Indians bowling: Trent Boult 4-0-21-3, Krunal Pandya 3-0-13-0, Jayant Yadav 3-0-18-0, Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-17-3, Nathan Coulter-Nile 2-0-14-1, Rahul Chahar 4-0-24-1.
Mumbai Indians innings: Ishan Kishan not out 72; Quinton de Kock b Nortje 26; Suryakumar Yadav not out 12. Extras (w-1) 1
Total (For 1 wkts, 14.2 Overs) 111
Fall of Wickets: 1-68
Delhi Capitals bowling: Ashwin 4-0-18-0, Rabada 3-0-27-0, Nortje 2.2-0-25-1, Stoinis 1-0-4-0, Dubey 3-0-29-0, Patel 1-0-8-0.