The Law of Averages finally caught up with the Delhi Daredevils as they beat the Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in a must win game at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi this evening. Chasing a competitive target of 162, the Delhi Daredevil openers, Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene, oozed class and stitched a match winning partnership of 151 runs to get to the target with 3 overs to spare. Earlier, opting to bat first after winning the toss, Mumbai Indians overcame their slow start, thanks to the 96 runs partnership between Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and talented batsman Rohit Sharma.
Down at the bottom of the points table, having lost all their 6 matches so far in this IPL, this was a “must win” contest for the Delhi Daredevils. The win today meant they can still make it to the playoffs if they manage to win 8 out of their remaining 9 matches in the competition. Their “star-studded” batting line up wasn’t glittering so far in the tournament and it was high time it did, at least for all those people at the Kotla, who time and again made it to the ground and cheered for their team vociferously, although they have lost every game of their’s so far. And they did rise up to the expectation and how !!
Mumbai Indians started off slowly with the bat. Ricky Ponting was wise enough to realise that there was a lot of similarity to his and Sachin’s batting style and hence decided to drop himself down. Thus, Dwayne Smith opened the batting with the Little Master but looked quite out of place. Eventually, the passionate South African cricketer, Roelf Van Der Merwe, who was inducted by Delhi in this match, took his wicket with a good overhead catch taken by Umesh Yadav in the mid off. Dinesh Karthick was unfortunate as a lovely looking straight drive from Sachin Tendulkar ricocheted off Umesh Yadav’s hands in his follow through to hit the stumps.
After the powerplay overs Mumbai were struggling att 22-2, when Sachin and Rohit got together for a potentially game changing 96 runs partnership. While Sachin placed the ball in the gaps and gave Rohit the strike, Rohit Sharma was at his classy best and literally decimated the Delhi attack with 73 from 43 balls. Sachin scored his tournament highest of 54 from 47 balls and looked in rhythm which augurs well for Mumbai. However, it must be pointed out that young spinner Nadeem dropped an easy caught and bowled opportunity from Sachin Tendulkar and later on even dropped an easy catch from Pollard in the deep. Umesh Yadav had a good day as he picked up the wickets of Sachin and Rohit.
162 was never a big target for the Delhi Daredevils, considering the fact that they have players of the like of Sehwag, Warner and Jayawardene in their ranks. But given their shoddy track record in the tournament, they were expected to make a heavy weather of this chase. But a certain “Jay and Viru” (Jayawardene and Sehwag) had different plans. They blazed away right from the word go and appeared invincible. No matter who bowled, no matter which way they bowled, Virender Sehwag literally decimated the Mumbai attack and after 7 overs Delhi were 70/0. Sehwag’s fire passed on to Jayawardene who oozed class and placed the ball beautifully in the gaps to give able company to his Indian counterpart.
After 16 overs Delhi were 151/0 and just 2 shots away from a comprehensive victory when Slinga Malinga got one of his many yorkers right and trapped Mahela infront of the wicket. He was OUT after scoring 59 from 43 balls. Sehwag continued till the end and scored a mammoth unbeaten 95 of 57 balls that consisted of 13 fours and 2 sixes. This was a very comprehensive win by Delhi Daredevils. Though it doesn’t move them any upwards in the points table, the confidence that they’ll derive out of this breathtaking chase will make them a team to watch out for in the tournament. Mumbai, on the other hand will be wary enough to guard against the habit of losing they are getting into.
Yes Bank Maximum Sixes Award- Rohit Sharma for 5 SIXES
Man Of The Match- Virender Sehwag (Delhi Daredevils)
DD: 165/1 (Sehwag-95* and Jayawardene-59; Malinga- 1/26) beat MI: 161/4 (Sachin-54 and Rohit-73; Yadav- 2/31)