NEW DELHI: Some lusty hitting by the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — towards the end of the innings and a fine spell at the start by Rahul Chahar ensured Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals by 40 runs in Thursday’s IPL clash at Feroz Shah Kotla. The win puts Mumbai in reckoning for a top-two finish. Delhi dropped to third and their NRR came down to +0.146 from +0.418. This was Mumbai’s second win at the venue since 2012 and it was revenge for them after losing to the same opposition earlier.
Delhi’s poor home run continued. They have won only once this season at the Kotla. Chasing 169, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw gave them a fast start, with the former in particularly belligerent mood. Both were playing the pacers with ease, but once the spinners came into play, the match swung in the visitors’ favour.
The first to depart was Dhawan, bowled by Rahul Chahar while attempting a reverse sweep. The leg-spinner also dismissed Shaw and skipper Shreyas Iyer. Iyer’s wicket was the pick of the lot as the ball took his off stump after pitching on leg. There was still hope with Rishabh Pant there at the crease but Jasprit Bumrah accounted for him. With his dismissal went Delhi’s hopes. Krunal and Jayant Yadav chipped in with economical spells. Iyer might have missed a trick by not including Sandeep Lamichhane in the line-up, considering the amount of spin on offer. He also did not let Amit Mishra finish his quota.
“It’s really important for us to win home games, especially on these tracks. Unfortunately we lost the toss, and we got outplayed in all departments. We practise on pitches that are also slow. But when you come here, it’s totally different. We have to get used to these conditions,” said Iyer after the match.
Earlier, Krunal remained not out on 37 off 26 balls, hitting five boundaries while Hardik hit 32 off 15 balls which included three maximums. All three Delhi pacers — Keemo Paul, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada — came in for harsh treatment from the duo, with Hardik hitting a few ‘helicopter’ shots, much to the delight of Sachin Tendulkar sitting in the dugout. Not to be undone, even Krunal unleashed a few of those in the last over!
At the toss, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma had said that 160 would be competitive on this slow and low surface. It was not looking likely at one stage, mainly due to the efforts of the home team’s slower bowlers — Mishra and Axar Patel.
The score read 104/3 when the younger Pandya walked in. The predicted score at that stage was 140. But the World Cup-bound star had other ideas. His shots off Chris Morris in the penultimate over left Iyer clueless. The visitors hit 50 runs in the last three overs with 18 coming in the last one.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 168/5 in 20 ovs (Krunal 37 n.o, De Kock 35, Hardik 32, Rohit 30; Rabada 2/38) bt Delhi Capitals 128/9 in 20 ovs (Dhawan 35; Chahar 3/19, Bumrah 2/18).