Powered by Krunal Pandya’s rip-roaring 86 (37b, 7x4, 6x6), Mumbai Indians pulverised the Delhi Daredevils for a thumping 80-run victory at the Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy stadium here on Sunday night. Running aground Delhi’s reply to Mumbai’s 206 for four was Jasprit Bumrah with a bag of three for 13.
Some lusty blows from Quinton de Kock made amends for the loss of three top order wickets in less than eight overs of the Delhi innings. The South African southpaw however fell hook, line and sinker for Krunal’s ploy, lured to his doom by a slow ball verging on a wide, way outside off. Buttler behind the stumps had him caught cutting.
The Delhi middle order did itself disservice, showing little interest in occupying the crease. Spurring the decline was J. P. Duminy, lucky with one skier that eluded the field, tried another big hit off Bumrah that descended into Buttler’s gloves. Bumrah, all arms, variations and wickets, then wreaked havoc.
Off the very next ball he extracted an edge from Rishab Pant that crashed into the woodwork. While the hat-trick didn’t materialise, he castled Amit Mishra two balls later. With the asking rate becoming a mountain impossible to climb, a lost-cause, late order slog commenced, Chris Morris patting Vinay Kumar over the boundary line behind point for a six. The inevitable could only be delayed as Mumbai tightened the noose, Delhi's hapless tail nowhere equal to the task.
Rohit Sharma slopped talent like a careless barman does expensive drinks. The ease with which he thrice carted seamer and spinner alike over the electronic signboards suggested there was no devil in the wicket to exorcise. Sure enough the powerplay produced a healthy 45 without loss, a marked improvement over Mumbai’s two earlier encounters here.
The short but sweet stay ended when Sharma swatted Amit Mishra but was picked up at point by Rishab Pant. The second wicket stand between Guptill and Krunal prospered to a half century in 31 balls, the side entering three figures shortly after. Guptill celebrated the occasion with a brace of big hits on the trot over long on and cover boundaries off Imran Tahir.
Then the slugfest began, with Pandya clearing the hoardings half a dozen times, leaving Guptill gasping perhaps with just half as many maximums. Severe on the spinners, especially Tahir, the most expensive bowler in the league so far, Krunal feasted on Mishra, Nadeem and even hoisted Zaheer Khan over the mid-wicket fence.
The pummelling from Pandya was fast and furious, making clearing of the ropes appear effortless. Morris’ slower one felled the swashbuckler, the Protean paceman spot on in knocking down the middle stump. Pollard went cheaply but Buttler signed off with a six, after the side's score touched 200.
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