Mumbai Indians keeps winning

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Mumbai: Mumbai Indians displayed its batting prowess, bowling might and fielding skills in outplaying Delhi Daredevils in the presence of its loyal supporters at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.

MI with 16 points is poised to finish among the top two while Daredevils faces the prospect of elimination at the end of the league phase. Daredevils’ downfall, in a must-win match, was swift and dramatic and caused by the combination of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, fast bowler Lasith Malinga (forced out of the attack in the 20th over following two beamers) and medium-pacer Munaf Patel.

Early wickets

The writing on the wall was clear once the Daredevils top-order fell, facing altogether just eight deliveries. Not in good nick in the last four matches after his 77 against Kings XI Punjab at the Ferozeshah Kotla a fortnight ago, David Warner departed in the first over adjudged leg before.

Colin Ingram, making his IPL debut, followed him; unable to find an answer to a mean yorker from Malinga and Virender Sehwag presented Patel a first-ball wicket.

While the first three wickets were straightforward, there was a bit of drama that demanded umpire K. Hariharan to consult colleague Simon Taufel to give Naman Ojha the marching orders. Somehow Hariharan had failed to notice the clear edge.

The fifth-wicket stand between Venugopala Rao and James Hopes delayed the inevitable. In all it was a very satisfactory outing for MI. Aiden Blizzard solved to an extent MI’s vexing issue of finding a more than functional opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar. Six runs off as many balls on his IPL debut against Pune Warriors earlier this week, offered little evidence of the Australian’s shot-making skills in the shortest form of the game. Tendulkar walked out with Blizzard again after Sehwag had decided to field.

As it transpired, the first three balls he faced from Morne Morkel yielded nothing; but after some mid-over guidance from his partner, he cut loose to make it a 10-over start.

It was not the same story, though, in the second over from the lanky South African; Blizzard shifted his front foot out of the line, opened his shoulders and found every unorthodox way to send the ball towards the fence five times.

Blizzard’s footwork would not feature in any coaching manual, but the end result proved to be most productive as MI raced to 50 for no loss in the first five overs.

The contrast in the blazing opening stand was seen in Tendulkar’s three crisp text-book shots that fetched him 12 runs; a front-foot cover drive, an on-drive and a back-foot square drive, before he took a big swipe at left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan to lose his off-stump.

Daredevils met with further success when left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem evoked a pull-shot from the left-handed Blizzard which went straight to Sehwag at short mid-wicket.

Great partnership

The departure of Tendulkar and Blizzard, in the space of 12 balls for the addition of just four runs, brought some josh into the Daredevils ranks; the third-wicket pair of Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma took time to judge the behaviour of the surface, before finding sweet timing to blast the ball to all parts of the field. The MI recovery and dominance thereafter took place with Sharma welcoming Morkel for his second spell with a straight-drive for six and then following it up with two more off James Hopes.

Rayudu was not any less aggressive as he waded into seamers Agarkar and Hopes to notch up his fourth half-century of this year’s IPL. The third-wicket stand delivered 87 off 56 balls.

Mumbai Indians: A. Blizzard c Sehwag b Nadeem 37 ( 25b, 8×4), S. Tendulkar b Irfan 14 ( 14b, 3×4), A. Rayudu c Sehwag b Hopes 59 ( 39b, 7×4, 2×6), Rohit c Venugopala b Morkel 49 ( 32b, 2×4, 3×6), K. Pollard (not out) 9 ( 8b, 1×4), A. Symonds (not out) 4 ( 4b); Extras (lb-2, w-4): 6; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 178.

Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-54 , 3-141, 4-172.

Delhi Daredevils bowling: Morkel 4-0-49-1, Irfan 4-1-23-1, Agarkar 4-0-31-0, Nadeem 4-0-28-1, Hopes 4-0-45-1.

Delhi Daredevils: V. Sehwag c Rohit b Munaf 2 ( 4b), D. Warner lbw b Harbhajan 1 ( 2b), C. Ingram b Malinga 1 ( 2b), N. Ojha c Rayudu b Munaf 1 ( 7b), Venugopala Rao b Kukarni 37 ( 27b, 4×4, 1×6), J. Hopes (run out) 55 ( 44b, 10×4), Irfan b Malinga 23 ( 18b, 4×4), Y. Nagar c Munaf b Harbhajan 0 ( 1b), A. Agarkar (not out) 7 ( 6b, 1×4), M. Morkel c Symonds b Pollard 10 ( 9b, 1×4), S. Nadeem c Munaf b Pollard 0 ( 1b); Extras (b-1, nb-2, w-6): 9; Total (in 19.5 overs): 146.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-4, 3-4, 4-7, 5-94, 6-123, 7-123, 8-128, 9-146.

Mumbai Indians bowling: Harbhajan 4-0-24-2, Malinga 3.2- 1-18-2, Munaf 4-0-29-2, Kulkarni 4-0-27-1, Pollard 2.3-0-24-2, Symonds 2-0-23-0.

Man-of-the-Match: A. Rayudu .


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This post was submitted by prashant agarwal.

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