Chasing 93, Delhi Daredevils cruised to a win in 14.5 overs to beat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets in Match 19 of IPL 5 and climb to the top of the points table.
The battle of the heavyweights in this IPL degenerated into a one-sided contest at the Wankhede Stadium, as the Mumbai Indians' top and middle orders imploded against some attacking bowling from Delhi Daredevils. The implosion was partly forced, partly self-inflicted, and left the visitors chasing the lowest target this IPL season, one they achieved with ease. The Daredevils are on top of the table now with three wins from four games, Mumbai Indians have slipped to fourth place.
Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, has proved effective this season with economical figures and he continued the good work against the Mumbai openers, bowling flat and sticking to a tight line. There was a good amount of bounce available on the track and the new ball helped him get some bite. Nadeem owed some of his success today to Irfan Pathan, who tied down Davy Jacobs at one end, bowling a maiden and it was a matter of time before the opener tried to break through. He swung hard but was bowled by Nadeem to be dismissed for a 10-ball duck, and Richard Levi followed in almost identical fashion against Nadeem eight balls later.
The Daredevils shuffled their bowlers around, and each contributed in a collective effort. Morne Morkel bowled quick and got excellent carry, Ajit Agarkar too generated good pace and Umesh Yadav even more so while being accurate. As the bowlers kept the pressure on throughout, Mumbai didn't help their own case either. Ambati Rayudu was run out thanks to complete confusion partly due to the noise around the stadium, Kieron Pollard holed out attempting a big shot when the need of the hour was some caution and Dinesh Karthik's mistimed pull offered a simple catch to mid-on.
Amid the mess was a counterattack from Rohit Sharma, but one that was lacking in conviction. Three of his four boundaries were top-edges while attempting the pull against the bouncing ball, twice against Morkel. As it turned out, his luck was short-lived, as another top-edge brought his downfall, with Ross Taylor completing one of two well-judged catches in the deep.
Mumbai slipped to 44 for 6 but some meaty hitting from their captain gave them a brief respite. A couple of length balls doled out by Agarkar were dispatched for a six and a four by Harbhajan Singh, whose timing stood out in an otherwise forgettable Mumbai innings. He followed that up with a couple of delightful cuts, one off Agarkar and another against Nadeem, but the slide was to resume soon. Morkel and Pathan returned to knock off the tail, that included Harbhajan himself, as the Daredevils prepared themselves for a quick finish.
Delhi's chase was smooth, and Virender Sehwag's trademark cut for six in the first over further dampened the spirits of the Mumbai crowd. With Lasith Malinga out injured, the Mumbai Indians attack was weakened significantly. Harbhajan, too, didn't bowl an over. A steady opening from Naman Ojha and Sehwag set the tone; Sehwag guided much of the innings, falling shortly before the job was done, and Mahela Jayawardena together with Taylor sealed the win in the 15th over.