The contest between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils was expected to be a close one, but Mumbai put up a dazzling performance to overcome Delhi with ease. Their batting was superb as they all but shut Delhi out of the game by putting up 200 plus on the board. It was the kind of batting effort they were desperately looking forward to after the recent reverses. As for Delhi, their bowlers were just not able to control the Mumbai batsmen. Once the Mumbai batsmen had put up a huge score, Delhi’s batsmen literally crumbled under pressure.
Looking back at the match, Delhi will rue the fact that they went in with three spinners. The move backfired in a big way, as the hard hitting Mumbai batsmen went after the bowling attack in an unabashed manner. All three spinners who played for Delhi, went for plenty, and that made a big difference to the eventual result of the game. The figures of the Delhi spinners in the match tell a story in itself -- Imran Tahir went for 59 in his four overs, while Amit Mishra and Shahbaz Nadeem went for 42 each, with just one wicket among the trio.
For Mumbai, it was clearly the batting that won them the match. Krunal Pandya stood out with his big hitting, and the move to send him at number three definitely proved to be an inspired one. He used his big-hitting skills to great effect, especially against the hapless Delhi spinners, never allowing them to settle into any sort of rhythm. Before this IPL began, Hardik was the more famous of the Pandya brothers, but that’s definitely. Krunal is proving to be an equally competent all-rounder, perhaps a bit more than his brother.
While Mumbai were blessed to have Krunal coming up with an incredible knock, it was a commendable batting effort by the team overall. Skipper Rohit Sharma got the side off to a confident start although he would be disappointed that he could not carry on after a start. Martin Guptill struggled to time the ball early on, but he played a good support act in the partnership with Krunal. The second wicket partnership put Mumbai in a position to accelerate. Towards the end of the innings, Jos Buttler and Ambati Rayudu played breezy cameos to ensure that Mumbai ended their innings on a high.
Having conceded too many, Delhi needed a confident start so that they could work on from there towards the target. But, apart from Quinton de Kock, nobody really looked the part against an inspired Mumbai attack. Mayank Agarwal, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair all fell in single-digit scores, and de Kock was unlucky to be given out caught behind when he hadn’t nicked the ball. The pressure of the chase definitely got to the Delhi batsmen. In the middle and lower order, apart from Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris no one got into double figures, which tells the story of Mumbai’s dominance in the match.
--By A Cricket Analyst