By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
Riding on quick-fire half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav and Quinton de Kock, the defending champions Mumbai Indians registered a comfortable 5-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals to climb on top of the Dream11 IPL points table. Producing an all-round performance, MI chased down the challenging target of 163 runs with a couple of balls to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Delhi Capitals’ winning streak was halted as they faced their second loss in seven matches. MI now have five wins from the same number of matches as they reclaimed their top spot in the points tally with ten points. The four-time champions have a better NRR than Delhi which helped them jump to the top.
Left-handed de Kock was more aggressive of the duo and completed his second fifty of the season with a wonderful boundary to on-side. Yadav also notched up his fifty in style whacking a powerful four. However, both were guilty of throwing their wickets after reaching their fifties. Ishan Kishan (28) then ensured his side reached the destination without much trouble. Birthday boy Hardik Pandya had a forgettable day as he perished for a duck.
The formalities were later completed by Krunal Pandya (12 not out) and Kieron Pollard (11 not out) in the last over. Kagiso Rabada (2-28) was the pick of the DC bowlers.
Earlier, opting to bat, Delhi would regret the dearth of boundaries towards the end of their innings. A few more runs and it would have been a thriller of a contest. Even Skipper Shreyas Iyer also admitted in the post-match comments that his side fell short of 15-20 runs. Prithvi Shaw was sent packing right in the first over by Trent Boult. The opener was caught by Krunal Pandya.
After warming the benches till now, Ajinkya Rahane came out to bat for the first time this season, but his time out in the middle was short lived as Krunal Pandya caught him plumb in front of the wickets.
Iyer (42) and Dhawan were solid as the left-right combination built up a fruitful partnership. Dhawan played really well and carried his bat through for a well-made 69. Mumbai have done well towards the end of the innings as they did not concede a lot of runs. For DC, injury of Rishabh Pant was a setback as they lacked the hitting prowess of the southpaw towards the finish. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was the most successful bowler with 2 for 26.
On Monday, Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket ground. While RCB had thrashed CSK in their previous match, KKR had edged past KXIP in by two runs.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 162 for 4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 69 not out, Shreyas Iyer 42, Ajinkya Rahane 15, Alex Carey 14 not out, Marcus Stoinis 13; Krunal Pandya 2-26, Trent Boult 1-36) lost to Mumbai Indians 166 for 5 in 19.4 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 53, Quinton de Kock 53, Ishan Kishan 28, Krunal Pandya 12 not out, Kieron Pollard 11 not out; Kagiso Rabada 2-28, Axar Patel 1-24, Marcus Stoinis 1-31, Ravichandran Ashwin 1-35) by 5 wickets. Man-of-the-match: Quinton de Kock (MI).