Indian Premier League (IPL) defending champions Mumbai Indians succumbed to their 4th consecutive loss by going down to the Delhi Daredevils by six wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday, seeing no silver lining at the end of their downturn tunnel.
Chasing a modest target of 126, the Daredevils comfortably reached home with seven balls to spare. Though it was a match between the two bottom-placed teams, Daredevils have now lifted themselves to sixth position in the eight-team league.
The Mumbai Indians did not take off well as their top order completely collapsed. None of the top-5 batsmen could manage to get a start and play an anchor’s innings with the highest score being a mere 14, that of Ambati Rayudu.
With the Mumbai outfit struggling at 63/5 in the 14th over, West Indian Kieron Pollard (33 not out) and wicketkeeper batsman Chidhambaram Gautam (22), however, tried to provide some kind of stability to up the run rate.
Gautam was run out but Pollard provided some lusty blows towards the end to take his team to a below par total of 125/6 from their 20 overs.
The Daredevils’ bowlers did their job in quite stringent fashion as Shahbaz Nadeem, J.P. Duminy and Wayne Parnell achieved fantastic economy rates of under five per over in this format while left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat clinched two wickets from his four overs.
In reply, Daredevils opener Murali Vijay (40) struck two important partnerships in the beginning with South African Quinton de Kock (16) and Duminy (19) before being bowled by Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (1/20).
By the time Vijay got out, the damage had been done and it was only a matter of time before Daredevils skipper Kevin Pietersen (26 not out) took the team home.
The Daredevils suffered a couple of hiccups in the middle when they lost Duminy and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (2) but the low target meant that Delhi reached home without much trouble.
Indians’ fast bowler Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka was their key as he clinched 2/17 from his four overs.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 125/6 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 33 not out, Chidhambaram Gautam 22, Ambati Rayudu 14; Jaydev Unadkat 2/29, Wayne Parnell 1/17, Shahbaz Nadeem 1/19) lost to Delhi Daredevils 126/4 in 18.5 overs (Murali Vijay 40, Kevin Pietersen 26 not out, JP Duminy 19; Lasith Malinga 2/17, Corey Anderson 1/16, Rohit Sharma 1/20). (IANS)