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 Simmons||c Wayne Parnell b Imran Tahir||35||25||140.00||5||0|
|Michael Hussey||run out (Dinesh Karthik)||56||33||169.69||7||2|
|Rohit Sharma||b Jaidev Unadkat||30||21||142.85||4||0|
|Kieron Pollard||c Dinesh Karthik b Jaidev Unadkat||11||8||137.50||0||1|
|Ambati Rayudu||c Murali Vijay b Shahbaz Nadeem||2||3||66.66||0||0|
|Aditya Tare||c Kedar Jadhav b Imran Tahir||14||8||175.00||3||0|
|Harbhajan Singh||c Murali Vijay b Wayne Parnell||2||3||66.66||0||0|
|Shreyas Gopal||run out (Dinesh Karthik)||11||10||110.00||1||0|
|Marchant de Lange||c Dinesh Karthik b Imran Tahir||1||2||50.00||0||0|
|Pragyan Ojha||run out (Manoj Tiwary)||2||2||100.00||0||0|
|Jasprit Bumrah||NOT OUT||0||2||0.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 3, lb 6)||9|
|TOTAL||(All out; 19.3 overs)||173||TOTAL||(All out; 19.3 overs)||173|
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 Vijay||st Aditya Tare b Shreyas Gopal||8||12||66.66||0||0|
|Kevin Pietersen||b Harbhajan Singh||44||31||141.93||6||1|
|Dinesh Karthik||b Marchant de Lange||7||13||53.84||1||0|
|Manoj Tiwary||c Michael Hussey b Marchant de Lange||41||31||132.25||5||1|
|JP Duminy||NOT OUT||45||29||155.17||0||4|
|Kedar Jadhav||NOT OUT||7||5||140.00||1||0|
|EXTRAS||(nb 1, w 2, lb 3)||6|
|TOTAL||(4 wickets; 20 overs)||158||TOTAL||(4 wickets; 20 overs)||158||TOTAL|
|Marchant de Lange||4||32||2||8.00||7|
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.