NEW DELHI, Apr. 23: Mumbai Indians defended a modest total of 142 against Delhi Daredevils to register their sixth straight win of the VIVO IPL 2017. In their chase, the Daredevils were reduced to 24/6 before Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada put on 91 runs for the seventh wicket. In the end though, Mumbai Indians kept their nerves to win the game by 14 runs.
Regular dents stall Mumbai
One of the prime reasons behind Mumbai Indians' success has been their top order. Everytime they had chased a target, it had fired, barring that one-off occasion against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Faring against Delhi Daredevils however, who possess one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament, was always going to be a stiff task. On Saturday, the Daredevils used up three of their four foreign slots on pace bowlers, and not one disappointed. The South African pair of Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris kept Parthiv Patel quiet before Jos Buttler managed a couple of top edges for a boundary and a six. But despite that, the overall progress was nothing like what we're used to seeing from Mumbai. Parthiv was done in by a quick yorker from Rabada for his maiden IPL wicket and soon after, Buttler was run-out courtesy a needless call from Nitish Rana. Mumbai did not get a single partnership going and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Rohit Sharma's struggle against legspinners continued - he fell to Amit Mishra for 5 - while Rana endured a rare failure for 8. Tight bowling from the Daredevils saw Mumbai lose their top four for just 60 on the board.
The final flourish that never quite came
Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya bided some time to get themselves in, something they could afford to do after Mumbai's top order collapse. Amit Mishra's loopy leg spin, along with incisive bowling from Pat Cummins really stifled the scoring-rate and at one point, Pollard's score read 3 off 10 balls. Mumbai then lose half their side when Krunal, trying to glide a wrong one down to third-man, produced a faint edge that was taken by Rishabh Pant behind the stumps. With five left Pollard decided to get a move on and scored four boundaries rather quickly to move to 24 off 26. Hardik Pandya too announced himself with a six off Morris, and with three overs to go, Mumbai, at 120/5, looked for a final push. But unfortunately for them, the flourishing finish never arrived. Cummins removed Pollard for his second wicket and Rabada, with some terrific football skills, ran out Harbhajan Singh. With Pandya on 24 off 23, Mumbai would have hoped for a finish similar to the one against Rising Pune Supergiant in their first match, but a third-run out dashed those hopes and all Mumbai could manage were an under-par 142.
McClenaghan rocks Delhi's top order
Chasing 143 to win at a venue where the average first-innings total is 170, the Daredevils got off to their worst ever beginning in the IPL, when their top order was restricted to 21/5 inside the Powerplay. They lost opener Aditya Tare in the first over to a brilliant run-out from Hardik at covers after which Mitchell McClenaghan sent back in-form Sanju Samson. McClenaghan, coming off figures of 2/20, 2/24 and 2/46 in the previous three games, then squeezed the life out of DD's batting in his second over, removing Shreyas Iyer and Corey Anderson in a span of three balls. At 21/4, out walked Rishabh Pant, but even he could last not more than three balls before Jasprit Bumrah had him out caught behind. Delhi's condition went from bad to worse with the dismissal of Karun Nair for their score to read an abysmal 24/6.
Rabada, Morris fight back with admirable 91-run stand
The last game Daredevils lost, Morris did not get to bat. But 24/6 here meant that the South African allrounder had almost 14 overs to do so. Along with Kagiso Rabada, he denied Mumbai any further success for the next 13 overs, and in the process showing tremendous courage and determination. Rabada was the aggressor of the two, scoring four boundaries and a six en route to a 39-ball 44; it was him who threw caution to the wind. Morris seemed troubled by a hamstring niggle but despite the struggle, he managed to get three boundaries. The 50-run stand came up for the seventh wicket, and with the asking rate exceeding 14, Morris tonked McClenaghan for 12 runs in the 18th over to narrow the equation down to 30 required off two.
Bumrah, Pandya ensure sixth win for Mumbai
Jasprit Bumrah bowled a miserly 19th over, in which he gave away just five runs. Two singles and a dot mounted the pressure on Rabada, and the South African, going for a big heave, was bowled off a slower yorker next ball; it broke the 91-run stand for the seventh wicket. 25 were needed off the final over, and with Morris still out there, the Daredevils had more than a chance of pulling it off. But full marks to Hardik, who stuck to a full length outside off. Morris scored a boundary off the third delivery but that was the only big hit DD could manage. With 19 required off four, Hardik conceded just five in those. Mumbai Indians successfully defended 142 to register sixth straight win, even as Morris remained unbeaten on 52.(TOI)
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