Mumbai Indians carved out a 15-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in a must-win match and remained in the hunt for a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League. (Scorecard | Schedule | Points Table)
After squandering an electrifying start given by openers Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons, MI lost the plot as their last eight wickets fell for 33 runs to be all out for 173. However the Daredevils' batsmen, whose confidence is in the pits, could only manage 158 in the end despite gutsy efforts from JP Duminy (45 no) and Manoj Towary (41). Skipper Kevin Pietersen (44) got a start but played one of the worst shots of the tournament off Harbhajan Singh's bowling.
The victory, the home team's sixth from 13 games, took their points tally to 12 --- same as Sunrisers Hyderabad who are also on 12 points.
Mumbai have one more game at hand against Rajasthan Royals on May 25 to complete their round robin engagements. The Daredevils began the run chase in a very encouraging fashion with skipper Kevin Pietersen (44 in 31 balls) leading the way in his inimitable style as he put on 43 runs for the opening wicket with a subdued Murali Vijay After the two openers departed and 'Million Dollar Flop' Dinesh Karthik fell cheaply it was left to their leading run getter Duminy (45 not out in 29 balls) and Tiwary (41 in 31 balls) to lead the charge with a partnership of 85 in 54 balls.
But the target became a bit too distant and Daredevils suffered their eighth straight defeat and 11th in 13 games. Pietersen looked dangerous when he lasted as he lashed 6 fours and a six over the straight field off Bumrah.
But the switch hit, in which he is adept, led to his doom as Harbhajan came around the wicket to cramp and clean bowl him. Daredevils, 59 for two when Pietersen departed, lost Karthik two runs later to a poor shot as he tried to make room to play Marchant de Lange to the leg side and missed the ball totally to be castled. From 43 for no loss after 5 overs, the Daredevils - who are last on the table - quickly slipped to 61 for 3 by the tenth over and the task of overtaking MI's 173 appeared a formidable one, especially against the triple spin attack of the home team.
Earlier, a sudden batting collapse saw Mumbai Indians lose eight wickets for only 33 runs as they were all out for 173 in 19.3 overs after being comfortably placed at 140 for two in 14.1 overs.
The hosts lost wickets in a heap as Mike Hussey's 56 off 33 balls and last match's hero Lendl Simmons' 25-ball-35 were the only significant contributions. Hussey's innings was laced with two sixes and seven fours as he put on 87 for the opening wicket in 8 overs with Simmons but the home team failed to take full advantage of their electrifying start.
Imran Tahir (3/37 in four overs) and Jaydev Unadkat (2/24 in 2 overs) were successful bowlers while three batsmen were run-out. Skipper Rohit Sharma made 30 with four fours in 21 balls but his dismissal to an ill-advised cut shot that triggered a collapse. Mumbai started in a blazing fashion thanks to Hussey's aggression after they were put in to bat by rival captain Kevin Pietersen. Hussey, with just one 50-plus score as his best effort this season, tore into the rival bowling attack with pulls and bottom handed shots before he was run out.
The retired Australian left hander raced to 41 off just 20 balls in the first power play period of six overs and it contained seven fours and a straight lofted six off left arm slow bowler Shabaz Nadeem and his all-out attack helped Mumbai pile on 65 for no loss during this productive phase.
Simmons, who came into the game after hitting the lone century (100 not out) of the tournament so far against Kings XI Punjab, played second fiddle but then opened out a bit to make 35 when he holed out to deep extra cover off leg spinner Tahir.
Hussey fell for 56 for the second time in the season, run out by a throw from point to Dinesh Karthik, who whipped out the bails off just in time to catch the retired Australian short of crease to leave MI at 120 for 2 with eight overs in hand.