Another match and another thriller.
Mumbai Indians — An IPL team that keeps their fans in the edge of their seat in every match. All their three games went down to the wire. But, as the phrase goes, “so close, yet so far.” What trick did they miss? Was it dropped catches? Or was it poor bowling? Or was it just a brilliant innings from Jason Roy? Whatever, the result just keeps going against their way. On the other side, Delhi Daredevils, looking to turn around their IPL journey since its beginning with a new coach and few stars players, just seems to find its mojo.
Both teams, having lost the both of their initial matches, were under some pressure to win this match. Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma again lost the toss and was invited to bat. Wankhede again was a batting paradise. Surprisingly, Rohit dropped himself from opener to middle order. However, the decision might not amaze many because of his recent struggles against the Kiwi pace bowler Trent Boult, especially with the new ball. Both openers of MI went all gun blazing inside the powerplay. They smashed the pacers, thrashed the spinners.
But, the pace of the game started to change when DD’s captain Gambhir brought Maxwell and Tewatia into attack. The openers, after powerplay, were happy to knock around the singles and also failed to execute the big shots. Eventually, Evin Lewis fell for 48 and Surya Kumar Yadav for 53. But, the young MI wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan had other plans. Right from the word go, he started to attack the spinners and got to a quick fire 44 of just 23 balls before he tried a stupid shot against Dan Christian to get clean bowled. Dan Christian brought the game to the balance when he was on a hatrick when he knocked over Kieron Pollard’s stumps. Rohit again struggled to contribute. Pandya brothers too failed to impress. The wickets began tumbling and MI were restricted for 194.
The chase began with some good looking strokes from the Englishman Jason Roy. Not much extravagent was happening from at the other end. So, Gautam Gambhir tried to slog against Bumrah but only in vain. He bit the dust in the reply to the bouncer by Fizz. Jason Roy, who didn’t find himself in the starting XI, went hard against Hardik Pandya and was successful in doing so. Emerging talent of MI, leggie Markande leaked few boundaries and DD were in a roll. Another debutant, Akila Dhanajaya from Sri Lanka also got some lusty blows from the English opener. Future of India, Rishab Pant also started smoking some boundaries against the spinners of MI which brought down the required run rate significantly.
Krunal Pandya brought some twist in the game by sending both Pant and explosive Glenn Maxwell in the pavilion in his successive overs. Despite the initial big shots from Shreyas Iyer, he failed to connect in the later part of his innings. But, the man who had been sitting in sideline in first two matches was there to guide DD’s ship. Jason Roy, needing 11 off last over against cutter master Fizz, started brilliantly by smashing four and six of first two balls. But, what followed later was a shock. Jason Roy played 3 consecutive dot balls needing a single off last ball. Despite the tense situation, he held his nerve and guided Delhi to their first win again Mumbai by hitting the ball on the up towards mid off region. Delhi had a scintillating win but MI still has something to ponder about.
By Sudarshan Regmi