Going from Strength to Strength: Mumbai Successfully Defend 142 Against Delhi

One night they chase down 199 in 15.3 overs and a couple of nights later, they defend a paltry 142. What does this ability of a team tell you? Versatile and dependable? Well, probably yes.

Not once in the previous seven matches at the Wankhede Stadium, did a team batting first—Gujarat, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Mumbai—win a match, reminding you of the difficulty of defending totals at this famous venue. And, on five of those occasions, Mumbai Indians (MI) had the luxury of doing what they prefer and excel at: hunting down targets. As a result of this record and the prevalent conditions, the mantra not just for the home captain but visiting captains too, is bowling first if they win the toss.

But then, the toss is a lottery. So, Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai skipper who had won each of his five previous tosses, was not guaranteed of winning his sixth successive toss. And he did lose the toss on this occasion. Need me telling what the captain who won the toss (Zaheer Khan) chose to do? I’ll do anyway. Zaheer, unsurprisingly, chose to bowl first.

Unlike Kings XI Punjab’s, Mumbai’s batting line-up was up against a quality Delhi Daredevils bowling attack. As Cricfooty had suggested, Kagiso Rabada made his IPL debut to further strengthen an already formidable Delhi bowling attack.

Having delivered the goods amid the pressure of chasing competitive totals, the Mumbai batsmen struggled and fell cheaply, partly due to some potent bowling and partly due to poor choice of shots. Buttler top-scored for the hosts with 28 and Kieron Pollard (26) and Hardik Pandya (24) made vital 20s in what eventually was a low-scoring contest.

Mumbai’s innings never got going and the two-time IPL champions managed only 142/8 in 20 overs. Amit Mishra and Pat Cummins took two wickets apiece and these two bowlers, along with Rabada, Zaheer and Chris Morris, strangulated the stroke-makers and big-hitters in the Mumbai batting line-up. Delhi’s ground fielding and catching were of a very high quality as well, and instrumental in restricting Mumbai to a small score.

When you are chasing small totals, the customary tactic has to be to go hard at the opposition bowlers, at the start of the innings. Because, a good start can not only reduce the gap between runs required and balls left from what it was at the start but also dent the psyche of the opposition bowlers and fielders. So, yeah, no one needed telling what Delhi’s batsmen had to do here.

But in complete contrast to what the visitors needed, they lost wickets in clusters at the top and were reduced to 24/6 in the first third of their innings. Mitchell McClenaghan, who has been persisted with by the Mumbai team management despite having been expensive with the ball at the start of this season, continues to justify the think-tank’s decision. And on Saturday night, the Kiwi once again provided wickets for Mumbai with the new ball, taking three crucial Delhi wickets: Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and compatriot Corey Anderson.

Delhi’s top six fell for single-digit scores—Samson 9, Aditya Tare 0, Karun Nair 5, Iyer 6, Anderson 0, and Rishabh Pant 0—and the capable lower order batsmen (Rabada and Morris) were left with too much to do. Rabada and Morris came together when their team needed 119 off 81 balls and staged a spirited fightback.

This duo occupied the crease and played some eye-catching strokes. Also, by batting like accomplished batsmen, Rabada and Morris put the doubts in the hosts’s minds.

However, Mumbai’s bowlers had done the bulk of the damage at the start and had to just break the Rabada-Morris seventh-wicket partnership to bowl their team to a sixth consecutive win. Delhi required 60 runs from the final six overs and at the Wankhede, such an equation is a walk in the park for the chasing side more often than not. But the visitors on this night only managed 44, to leave Mumbai with a 15-run defeat. Morris finished with an unbeaten half-century and Rabada had played a quality knock (44) as well, at No. 7.

The positives for Delhi were the all-round performances of Rabada (1/30 and 44) and Morris (0/33 and 52*), and another top performance from the bowling attack. Mumbai once again showed the stuff of champions by rising up to the challenge and coming up trumps.

Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils, 25th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Mumbai: 1. Rohit Sharma (C), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Mitchell McClenaghan, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi: 1. Zaheer Khan (c), 2. Aditya Tare, 3. Sanju Samson, 4. Karun Nair, 5. Shreyas Iyer, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Kagiso Rabada, 9. Corey Anderson, 10. Amit Mishra, and 11. Pat Cummins


Mumbai: 142/8 (Buttler 28; Mishra 2/18 and Cummins 2/20)
Delhi: 128/7 (Morris 52* and Rabada 44; McClenaghan 3/24 and Bumrah 2/21)

Mumbai Indians (MI) Innings (toss: Delhi, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Parthiv Patel bowled Rabada 8 (11) 1 0 72.72
Jos Buttler run out Samson 28 (18) 3 2 155.55
Nitish Rana caught Anderson, bowled Cummins 8 (9) 1 0 88.88
Rohit Sharma caught Cummins, bowled Mishra 5 (9) 0 0 55.55
Kieron Pollard caught Samson, bowled Cummins 26 (29) 4 0 89.65
Krunal Pandya caught Pant, bowled Mishra 17 (16) 1 0 106.25
Hardik Pandya run out Nair 24 (23) 0 2 104.34
Harbhajan Singh run out Rabada 2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Mitchell McClenaghan not out 1 (1) 0 0 100.00
Mitchell Johnson not out 7 (3) 1 0 233.33
Batsman who didn’t bat: Jasprit Bumrah
Extras: 16 (1 no-ball, 10 wides and 5 leg byes)
MI’s total: 142/8 in 20 overs, at 7.10 runs per over
MI’s fall of wickets: 37/1 (Patel, 3.6), 47/2 (Buttler, 5.1), 56/3 (Rana, 7.2), 60/4 (Rohit, 8.1), 84/5 (K Pandya, 12.4), 120/6 (Pollard, 17.1), 132/7 (Harbhajan, 18.6), and 135/8 (H Pandya, 19.3)
Delhi Daredevils (DD) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Kagiso Rabada 4 13 30 1 7.50
Chris Morris 4 10 33 0 8.25
Zaheer Khan 4 8 36 0 9.00
Amit Mishra 4 14 18 2 4.50
Pat Cummins 4 11 20 2 5.00
Delhi Innings (target: 143 runs in 20 overs, at 7.15 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Sanju Samson caught Rohit, bowled McClenaghan 9 (6) 2 0 150.00
Aditya Tare run out H Pandya 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
Karun Nair bowled H Pandya 5 (15) 0 0 33.33
Shreyas Iyer caught Patel, bowled McClenaghan 6 (7) 1 0 85.71
Corey Anderson leg before wicket McClenaghan 0 (3) 0 0 0.00
Rishabh Pant caught Harbhajan, bowled Bumrah 0 (3) 0 0 0.00
Kagiso Rabada bowled Bumrah 44 (39) 4 1 112.82
Chris Morris not out 52 (41) 5 1 126.82
Pat Cummins not out 4 (5) 0 0 80.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Amit Mishra and Zaheer Khan
Extras: 8 (5 wides, 2 byes and 1 leg bye)
DD’s total: 128/7 in 20 overs, at 6.40 runs per over
DD’s fall of wickets: 1/1 (Tare, 0.4), 10/2 (Samson, 1.2), 20/3 (Iyer, 3.3), 21/4 (Anderson, 3.6), 21/5 (Pant, 5.3), 24/6 (Nair, 6.3), and 115/7 (Rabada, 18.4)
Mumbai Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Mitchell Johnson 4 14 23 0 5.75
Mitchell McClenaghan 4 12 24 3 6.00
Jasprit Bumrah 4 11 21 2 5.25
Hardik Pandya 3 6 23 1 7.67
Harbhajan Singh 4 9 26 0 6.50
Krunal Pandya 1 1 8 0 8.00

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