Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Mumbai Indians’ quest to win their first match of the 2014 IPL season will have to wait a little longer after the Delhi Daredevils flattened them by six wickets in Sharjah.
Delhi opener Murali Vijay was the standout performer as he scored 40 runs.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma made the wrong choice to bat first as the team’s top five batsmen were back in the pavilion with only 63 runs on the board.
West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard and Chidhambaram Gautam stabilised the innings with a vital 40-run partnership before Gautam was run out by Shahbaz Nadeem for 22.
Harbhajan Singh made 10 runs before he retired hurt after being hit straight on the foot by Jaydev Unadkat.
The Mumbai Indians ended up making 125/6 off their 20 overs thanks to Pollard’s unbeaten knock of 33, which came off 30 balls and included two boundaries and two sixes.
Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Nadeem and Wayne Parnell chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 126 to win, the Daredevils got off to a poor start as opening batsman Quinton de Kock was brilliantly caught by Michael Hussey at point off the bowling of Corey Anderson for 16.
Vijay was the top-scorer with 40 runs, which came off 34 balls and included four boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Sharma.
Jean Paul (JP) Duminy made 19 runs before he was caught by Apoorv Wankhade, who was the substitute fielder, at cover off the bowling of Lasith Malinga.
Malinga struck again just three balls later when Dinesh Karthik was caught by Ambati Rayudu at short midwicket for just two runs.
However, Delhi captain Kevin Pietersen and Kedar Jadhav led the Daredevils to victory by six wickets with seven balls to spare.
Pietersen finished on 26 off 18 balls, which included two boundaries and a six, while Jadhav remained undefeated on 14 off 10 deliveries, which included two boundaries.
Malinga was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Anderson and Sharma took one wicket each.
Sharma blamed his batsmen for the loss, and said: “Batting [was the problem], 126 was not a score we were looking for. We needed to post something for the bowlers to defend. We need to work there definitely, I said that at the toss as well. We tried everything possible, we changed the batting line-up but it didn’t work. We are looking forward to going to Bombay and playing but I hope the batters will step up here in our last game in Dubai.”
Pietersen was pleased to have won the match, and said: “Absolutely happy. 50-50 on the toss, our bowlers were magnificent. Quite a difficult wicket to bat on. The boys showed some good application. That’s a sub-contnient wicket. I thought the way Murali Vijay played [was brilliant], goodness me, what a player. We need to keep doing the right things and more often than not we’ll be successful.”
Vijay was named Man of the Match, and said: “Actually the wicket was playing a little slow. I wanted to take my time and finish the game for my team, but unfortunately I couldn’t do that. I have been hitting the ball well in the domestics as well and hopefully I can pull off a few wins for Delhi. Great grounds, great crowds. Good fun.”