With lightening, a bit of rain, some strange decisions with respect to the batting order and good accurate bowling, all happening around them, two Mumbai Indians veterans, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard held their nerves and displayed wonderful end over T20 batting to guide the Mumbai Indians to crucial win over the Delhi Daredevils.
The Mumbai Indians were chasing a chasing 153 to record their fourth consecutive victory, but their chase was interrupted twice by unseasonal rain. In their bid to get over the par Duckworth Lewis score, the Mumbai Indians lost quick wickets, including that of Harbhajan Singh who was bizarrely promoted up the order and were reduced to 40/4. Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu added 60 for the fifth wicket but when Sharma was dismissed by Amit Mishra for a well made 46, the Mumbai team still required 53 of 28 deliveries. Pollard dispatched Mishra for a six on the second delivery that he faced and Ambati Rayudu also dished out the same treatment to Zaheer Khan in the next over. Pollard and Rayudu managed to take 11 runs each from the 16th and the 17th over and took 10 runs from the 18th over. With 22 required from two overs, Pollard launched Coulter Nile for a huge six. 8 were required of the last over and Pollard smashed Tahir’s second delivery out of the ground and sealed victory for the Mumbai Indians.
Earlier Delhi Daredevils won the toss and elected to bat but their innings got off to a disastrous start as Malinga dismissed Agarwal of the first ball of the match. The Delhi innings though will be remembered for two outstanding individual efforts by two cricketers who many thought were past their prime. First Harbhajan Singh gave an outstanding display of off spin bowling, mixing up his pace and displaying all his variations. Introduced in the 5th over, Bhajji got a wicket of his first delivery, dismissing Shreyas Iyer and then proceeded to tie the Delhi batsman in knots.JP Duminy, Yuvraj Singh and Kedar Jadhav all tried to break free but could not get Harbhajan away. The slow flighted off spinner, the slider, the straight one and the quicker off spinner were all on display. Wankhede saw a man who is a master of his skill and when young Kedar Jadhav stepped out, he was thoroughly deceived by a straight delivery, the wily old off spinner foxing the young rookie. Harbhajan finished with 2/11 of his four overs- his spell probably the best spell of this year’s IPL and earning him the man of the match award.
Delhi were 95/4 after 15 overs and heading for a below par total when Yuvraj Singh decided to take matters in his own hand. There is no better sight in world cricket than Yuvraj striking the ball cleanly and today the crowd at the Wankhede stadium was privileged to see vintage Yuvraj. Yuvraj began cautiously but opened out in the 17th over bowled by Malinga. Three boundaries were smashed in that over, the third one, an imperious cover drive that raced to the boundary like a flash of lightning. McClenaghan was smashed for two consecutive sixes, the second, a flick of the wrist sending the ball soaring over the square leg fence. Yuvraj eventually fell for 57 but he had ensured that his innings would be remembered by everyone who watched it for a long time.
Ultimately the Mumbai Indians were victorious, a victory which could be very crucial in the context of the tournament.