Mumbai Indians vs. Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2014: Highlights, Scorecard, Report

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2014

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 22:  Dinesh Karthik of Mumbai bats during the Champions League twenty20 match between Sydney Sixers and Mumbai Indians at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on October 22, 2012 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Mumbai Indians kept their play-off hopes alive with a 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils (158/4) on Friday. A late surge from Delhi's batsmen kept the score relatively close, but ultimately they fell short of the 174-run victory target.

Daredevils won the toss and elected to field, but an early onslaught from Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey soon had the team regretting that decision.

Mumbai Indians (173)
Lendl Simmonsc Wayne Parnell b Imran Tahir3525140.0050
Michael Husseyrun out (Dinesh Karthik)5633169.6972
Rohit Sharmab Jaidev Unadkat3021142.8540
Kieron Pollardc Dinesh Karthik b Jaidev Unadkat118137.5001
Ambati Rayuduc Murali Vijay b Shahbaz Nadeem2366.6600
Aditya Tarec Kedar Jadhav b Imran Tahir148175.0030
Harbhajan Singhc Murali Vijay b Wayne Parnell2366.6600
Shreyas Gopalrun out (Dinesh Karthik)1110110.0010
Marchant de Langec Dinesh Karthik b Imran Tahir1250.0000
Pragyan Ojharun out (Manoj Tiwary)22100.0000
Jasprit BumrahNOT OUT020.0000
EXTRAS (w 3, lb 6)9
TOTAL (All out; 19.3 overs)173TOTAL (All out; 19.3 overs)173
Wayne Parnell3.32617.429
Siddarth Kaul221010.503
Jaidev Unadkat224212.002
Shahbaz Nadeem42817.004
JP Duminy43107.757
Imran Tahir43739.256

Simmons opened with 35 runs from 25 balls and Hussey added 59 from 33, as Mumbai clearly went looking for a big score in an attempt to improve on their net run rate, which could play a factor in which team catches the final play-off ticket.

The scoring stalled however, as Rohit Sharma was dismissed after a knock of 30 off 21 balls, while Kieron Pollard only faced eight deliveries, scoring 11.

Struggling early, JP Duminy (four overs, 31 runs) and Imran Tahir (four overs, 37 runs, three wickets) slowly took control of the match, the latter taking advantage of overly-aggressive batsmen looking for big hits to take easy wickets.

Freddie Wilde noted:

Mumbai's last five batsmen combined for just 16 total runs, setting a target of 174 for Daredevils' chase.

Delhi started slowly and lost Murali Vijay after just 12 balls, as Mumbai's bowlers took advantage of Daredevils' patient approach, trying to limit the damage powerful hitters like Kevin Pietersen (44 runs from 31 balls) and Duminy can infict.

Delhi Daredevils (158/4)
Murali Vijayst Aditya Tare b Shreyas Gopal81266.6600
Kevin Pietersenb Harbhajan Singh4431141.9361
Dinesh Karthikb Marchant de Lange71353.8410
Manoj Tiwaryc Michael Hussey b Marchant de Lange4131132.2551
JP DuminyNOT OUT4529155.1704
Kedar JadhavNOT OUT75140.0010
EXTRAS (nb 1, w 2, lb 3)6
TOTAL (4 wickets; 20 overs)158TOTAL (4 wickets; 20 overs)158TOTAL
Jasprit Bumrah43609.007
Marchant de Lange43228.007
Pragyan Ojha43308.256
Shreyas Gopal32016.669
Harbhajan Singh43017.5010
Kieron Pollard1404.002

Once Manoj Tiwary entered the fray, however, things started to liven up. Partnered with Duminy, they started to pick up the pace for Delhi, and what had looked like a routine win for Mumbai seemed to turn into a thrilling finish with every delivery.

Tiwary was eventually dismissed after scoring 41 off 31 and Duminy also fell short of a big score, finishing with 45 off 29.

Marchant de Lange (four overs, 32 runs, two wickets) and Harbhajan Singh (four overs, 30 runs, one wicket) didn't put together their most dominant performances with the ball, but it was enough for the win.

The season is just about over for Delhi, who will play one more match against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. Pietersen voiced his frustration with the 2014 campaign, but praised the atmosphere amongst the players and coaches despite their many losses when he spoke to ESPN Cricinfo:

The frustrating thing is that we can get so close but can't get over the finish line ... when we keep losing and get so close, we form bad habits. But we're going to fight till the death, all the way through and then we'll see where we go next season. Credit to Gary and the backroom staff, you wouldn't believe we've only won two games ... it's been a fun environment ... if we're losing and the boys can be as happy as this, when we're winning we're going to be a very strong unit.

Mumbai stay alive in the play-off hunt for now, but their bid could be over later on Friday as Rajasthan Royals take on Punjab. If Royals win their match, Mumbai's attempt to defend their IPL title will be over.

If Royals lose, however, it will set up a head-to-head on Sunday, in the final match before the start of the play-offs.

Royals have lost two of their last three going into their match against Punjab, while Indians are winners of three straight. The bottom of their batting order has been very productive in that span and could do some serious damage against Rajasthan's group of bowlers, who have been somewhat out of sync recently.

Having lost every single match before IPL7 returned to Indian soil, Mumbai could complete a truly remarkable comeback on Sunday, but for that to happen, Punjab will have to beat Royals first.