Delhi Daredevils are a different team this IPL season. Until last year, they had big stars in their ranks but they failed to combine as a team. Under JP Duminy, they have performed admirably despite a few losses. It, therefore, came as no surprise that they finally won on their home turf and broke the jinx of a series of losses they suffered at the Kotla. To help their cause on Thursday, they had Mumbai Indians as their opponents, by far the weakest team in this year’s tournament. Mumbai were buoyed by their lone victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore a couple of nights back, but they found a wall in DD batsmen JP Duminy and Shreyas Iyer. After losing Mayank Agarwal in the first over, the second wicket stand of 154 runs proved decisive in the end. The later order DD batsmen didn’t have to work too hard in taking the total to 190. Mumbai tried to chase the total but once they lost the first wicket, the successive batsmen kept returning to pavilion at regular intervals and reaching 191 became a distant dream as the asking rate shot skywards. The only thing that Mumbai could do was to avoid the ignominy of losing all their wickets in less than 20 overs.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and thought chasing would be better for his side. Therefore he asked DD to bat first. Mumbai were rewarded in the first over, when Mitchell McClenaghan coaxed Mayank Agarwal to a half-hearted pull and the tickle was held by Ambati Rayudu on his second attempt. But MI’s early breakthrough could not be translated into taking more wickets. Captain JP Duminy came out to join Shreyas Iyer and the two batsmen tormented Mumbai for long. Iyer, in particular, was in devastating touch as he opened up to clout McClenaghan for a four and a six in his next over. When Rohit Sharma brought Jasprit Bumrah, Duminy greeted the MI bowler with sixes off successive balls. Both Iyer and Duminy batted with authority and the scoring rate zoomed. The glut of boundaries was later stopped, when Harbhajan Singh came on during the Powerplay phase. The slowdown in scoring meant that DD could reach only 65/1 at the halfway stage but once Harbhajan and Malinga were taken off the attack, they came to scoring briskly yet again. By the time 15th over ended, they had reached 137/1. No MI bowler was spared as Duminy and Iyer spoiled the figures of Bumrah, Pollard and McClenaghan. As the slog over phase began, even Harbhajan’s economy suffered, when he was clouted for 18 runs in a fateful over. Iyer reached his 50 by squeezing a yorker from Bumrah that raced away to the fence. It had taken Iyer 37 balls to reach the half-century mark. Iyer finally got out in the 17th over when Malinga bowled him for 83 scored off 56 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. Duminy carried on with Angelo Mathews, who scored 17 off 8 balls and the Delhi skipper remained unbeaten until the end for 78 off 50 balls with 3 fours and 6 sixes. Not many balls had remained, when Yuvraj Singh appeared on the scene but he fell for 2 runs in trying to add more runs to the DD total, which ended at 190/4.
Mumbai began the 191-run chase with Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel and for once it seemed that the MI openers would settle down. But Simmons fell in the fourth over as Duminy demonstrated his leadership in the field as well in holding a skier by the West Indian after Dominic Muthuswami led the batsman into playing a mis-hit. It was jolt from which Mumbai couldn’t recover. Parthiv Patel fell for 28 in the sixth over, Unmukt Chand in the ninth and Pollard in the eleventh. Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu tried to repair the damage but after their 49-run stand, Sharma holed out to the deep midwicket boundary. It was the 16th over and Mumbai had only reached 131/5. Mumbai lost three more wickets soon afterwards for the addition of just 4 runs and tottered at 135/8 in the 17th over. Somehow, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga ensured that they didn’t lose all their wickets as MI finished at 153/9 to lose the match by 37 runs.