Back in their home city, though not their home ground, five-time IPL title holders Mumbai Indians could not give their home fans anything to cheer about. Yet, the spectators that filled to the brim the allowed 25% of the Brabourne Stadium returned home fully satisfied.
In a match that was in Mumbai Indians’s hands for 33.2 overs out of the 40, Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians went down to Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals by four wickets.
Chasing 178 to win, DC were 104 for six in 13.2 overs, needing another 74 to win in 40 deliveries. Though not unachievable, it was not that easy.
However, DC’s big hitters Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel had different plans. They shared 75 for the unbroken seventh wicket in just 30 deliveries to see Delhi Capitals home with 10 deliveries unused.
So clean hitting were Yadav’s and Patel’s that Mumbai Indians’ brilliance in the first 10 overs of DC run chase went in vain. Before this match, Yadav, the 25-year-old right-handed batsman from Delhi, has played only in seven IPL matches for DC, all of them last year, and batted in four of them. His highest was only 22 not out against MI in Chennai last April.
On Sunday, Yadav entered the crease at the fall of his team captain Rishabh Pant in the fifth over and stayed till the end to be unbeaten on 48 (38 balls, 4x4, 2x6). Until Patel joined him in the middle, Yadav was going slow but steady, helplessly wickets fall at the other end to medium-pacer Basil Thampi.
But the moment Patel joined him, the two had different plans. The left-right combination did not allow MI bowlers to settle down. Barring Jasprit Bumrah, it was an altogether new MI bowling line-up. Patel made merry, swinging his bat for big shots, and in the process Yadav too joined the party. Patel was merciless in his 17-ball 38 not out (2x4, 3x6). Patel is known to bat and on Sunday, he showed that he can be considered an all-rounder of the Ravindra Jadeja mould.
Barring leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin, who picked up two wickets in his first over, the fourth of DC’s innings, and who finished with two for 14 in 4 overs, the rest of the MI bowlers could do precious little, especially in the end. Bumrah and left-arm medium-pacer from Australia, Daniel Sams, combined to give 100 runs off 7.2 overs, including 24 that was hit off Sams’s third, and DC’s 18th of the innings.
Mumbai’s home-grown boys in the DC line-up, Prithvi Shaw (38) and Shardul Thakur (22), too came good with the bat before the Yadav-Patel show.
In the Mumbai Indians’ innings, another Yadav answering to the name of Kuldeep, bowled brilliantly to finish with a tidy spell of 4-0-18-3. But for him, MI, asked to bat first after DC captain Pant won the toss, would have posted more than 177 for five.
MI’s innings was built on Ishan Kishan’s stroke-filled 81 not out off 48 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes. Kishan’s 67-run stand for the first wicket with his captain Rohit Sharma set the foundation for a challenging total, which eventually turned out to be not just enough for the big-hitting DC batsmen, Lalit Yadav and Patel.