It was a sweltering hot afternoon at the Ferozshah Kotla Ground in Delhi. Even the residents of Delhi avoid getting out in the day at this time of the year where the Daredevils were ready to fight it out with Mumbai Indians.
For the experts Mumbai was the clear favorite, but the loyal daredevil fans were expecting the opposite. To come out in that sort of weather to see their team lose would have hurt badly. DD though gave them enough reason to smile as they won their 3rd consecutive match of this season. Mumbai won the toss and as expected, chose to chase. The wicket was dry and was expected to slow down in the 2nd innings so to chase was a questionable decision but this season everyone has been winning chasing, so MI went with the trend.
But as it was to be for the 2nd time in 2 days, defending stayed alive in the tournament.
DD got off to a disastrous start as their leading scorer and match winner, Quinton DeKock departed early. He started confidently with consecutive classical boundaries off the first 2 balls of the match but a quiet 2nd over from McClenaghan did him in as he tried to slog unnecessarily and holed out to the point fielder for just 9 runs.
Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson, the No. 3 for DD tried to resurrect but the pace was missing from the innings. Both batsmen looked to get their eye in and then launch for big runs.
But as they looked to get settled, Iyer fell trying to hit Hardik Pandya out of the park. New man Karun Nair started with a brave reverse sweep boundary off his 1st ball but perished a couple of deliveries later sending the DD home crowd into silence. JP Duminy, the next man in, started well hitting the ball into the gaps for singles as Samson started opening up. The message was clear as he hit Harbhajan for 108 metre six. He was on the charge. Samson and Duminy scored a 71 run partnership at a rapid pace to get the DD innings back on track. Samson top scored for DD with a 48 ball 60 before he fell in the 16th over. Duminy got some crucial boundaries to take Delhi to a fighting 164 for 4 in 20 overs. Duminy was unbeaten on 49 off just 31 balls with Pawan Negi on the other end getting 10 off 10.
165 was a tricky target on this wicket, not a winning score but not a cake walk as well. DD got Mumbai’s opener Parthiv Patel cheaply with a sharp run out by Shreyas Iyer in the 2nd Over.
Rayudu Joined Rohit Sharma after the fall of the 1st wicket and took the chase further. Rohit looked in fluent touch as he went ahead with his task with some beautiful cover drives. They added 63 for the 2nd wicket. The new star for Mumbai Indians; Krunal Pandya was promoted up the order to increase the tempo of the sagging innings and he replied with a fiery 17 ball 36 before being run out by DD Skipper Zaheer Khan.
Mumbai was well on track of the target and with some big hitters like Butler, Pollard, Pandya and Harbhajan to follow the target looked well in hand. Then started the choke. DD never gave up and got Butler quickly on a googly by Amit Mishra. DD bowlers bowled in good areas and gave nothing but singles increasing the required run rate from 8 in the 12th over to more than 14 by the 17th over. Pollard and Rohit tried but could not get the big hits going. In the latter part of the innings, Mumbai went without a boundary for about 6 overs.
Morris and Zaheer bowled well in the death overs to get Mumbai to a position where they needed 21 off the last over and stopped them 10 runs short of the target. Rohit played well for his 65 but all in vain.
Delhi would be mighty pleased with their performance. The young batsmen taking responsibility and bowlers looking good, this Delhi team has the ability to go the distance. With 3 consecutive wins (a rarity for DD in last few seasons) Delhi would be now confident on taking on any of the teams. For Mumbai, they have blown hot and cold this season but this Mumbai team can never be written off.