Delhi must be worried about the Kotla pitch. They have lost 3 of their 4 home matches this season and the win also came in a super over. The slowness of the pitch and extra assistance to spinners isn't really helping the home team at Delhi. To make the matter worse, they are under bowling their spinners as they did with Mishra against Mumbai.
Losing the toss bowling first Delhi could not produce any wickets in the powerplay as Rohit and De Kock fired away at 9 an over. Amit Mishra removed a set Rohit Sharma with a ball turned and missed the edge to hit the stumps. Delhi bowled well in the next 9 overs and picked up 3 more wickets having Mumbai at 104 for 4 in 15 overs. As they were looking to restrict Mumbai to a below-par score on the slow and turning surface, Pandya brothers took the score to 168 in the 20 overs.
In the chase of 169, Delhi started well. They had scored 48 in the powerplay without losing a wicket. But just like Mumbai, Delhi also lost their first wicket just after the powerplay to a leg spinner – Rahul Chahar. They lost few more wickets and were reduced to 0 for 49 to 76 for 5 in the 14th over. A missive defeat looked certain but Axar Patel dug in to reduce the margin of the defeat.
Purple cap holder Kagiso Rabada was once again the peak of the bowlers for Delhi Capitals. He picked up 2 wickets for 38 in 4 overs. Amit Mishra and Axar Patel got one wicket each. Chris Morris and Kemo Paul went for more than 12an over. Shikhar Dhawan top scored for Delhi with 35 at the strike rate of nearly 160. Prithvi Shaw and Axar Patel scored in the 20s but that was all Delhi could fight in chase of a not so daunting total.
A good foundation at the top, power hitters at the death and a cunning spinner who could use the conditions to his advantage helped Mumbai win the away encounter against Delhi. They wobbled in the middle overs on a slow track but Pandya brothers came back strongly at the death to bat Delhi out of the game.
Winning the toss, Mumbai decided to bat first and use whatever pace was on offer early on. Rohit and De Kock provided a strong start of 57 in the powerplay. But once the spinners were introduced Mumbai lost wickets and with a bit of momentum. In the 9 overs between 6 and 15, Mumbai could score only 57 runs. However, Krunal and Hardik Pandya provided the much-needed push, in the end, to score 59 of last 3 overs to take Mumbai to 168.
In defense of 169, although Mumbai did not get early wickets they made sure that the runs were not leaked. And once the slower bowlers came to bowl, Delhi collapsed like a pack of cards, especially against leggie Rahul Chahar. In the Delhi could muster just 128 in 20 overs and Mumbai won by 40 runs
Pandya brothers were at the forefront in batting. Krunal Pandya scored 37 not-out off 26 deliveries and Hardik Pandya scored quickfire 32 at the strike rate of above 200. Rohit Sharma (30) and Quinton de Kock (35) also had started but they could not convert that to the big ones for Mumbai. Rahul Chahar was the peak of the bowlers picking up 3 wickets in 4 overs for just 19 runs. Bumrah also went for below run-a-ball and picked up 2 wickets. Pandya bothers and Malinga got one wicket each. All MI bowlers had impressive strike rates.
A confident Mumbai Indians will play their next match on 20th April 2019 against RR who is second from the last in the points table. Although RR is not ticking as a unit they are due big time. Mumbai would do well to not get caught in the law of averages as far as RR are concerned. Pollard question is something Mumbai needs to address quickly as he seems to be batting too low down the order.
Delhi will play their next match against Kings XI Punjab on 20th April 2019. Both these teams are at 10 points each at the moment where Delhi is slightly ahead in terms of net run rate. Delhi would want to forget this loss at home and would look to bounce back against Kings XI Punjab.
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