Delhi Capitals (DC) comprehensively defeated the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday, in a repeat of last year’s final tie. The game was hosted at the Chepauk which has witnessed a string of low-scoring matches this season. Coming out of consecutive victories, both the teams were expected to produce an entertaining match-up, but a slow and sticky pitch at the Chepauk dented all hopes of a high-scoring game.
MI won the toss and chose to bat, hoping to post a defendable total and for their spinners to take charge. Both the teams played three spinners each owing to the slowness of the pitch. MI’s openers began benignly. Marcus Stoinis and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled the first two overs; keeping it tight early on. Stoinis dismissed Quinton de Kock in the third, following the pressure built in the previous two overs. MI captain, Rohit Sharma, struggled to tackle the spin, as Ashwin managed to stifle his runs, in the early overs. In the 4th over, however, Sharma broke the shackles, taking 15 runs off Ashwin’s over. After a slow start to the innings, Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav took charge; taking advantage of the power-play overs. Despite containing the runs early in the innings, DC ended up conceding 55 runs in the power-play overs.
With a partnership forging. MI looked on course to set a defendable target. However, the fall of wickets saw MI crumbling in the middle-overs. Soon after the power-play, MI lose a crucial wicket in Yadav in the 7th over. The 9th oversaw wrist-spinner Amit Mishra pick up two wickets in the same over, that of Sharma and Hardik Pandya. The DC spinners managed to pull it back in the early part of the middle-overs as MI looked set for a big total. MI went on to lose a wicket each in the next three overs – until the 12th over. Ashwin, Mishra, and Lalit Yadav orchestrated the downfall of MI’s batsmen as the trio kept on the pressure while also dismissing MI’s star-studded middle-order. MI struggled to hit boundaries as the batsmen found it difficult to find a rhythm to their batting.
DC bowlers bowled consistently to the field, pressuring the MI batsmen to take risks in the death overs. Mishra pickup up the wicket of Ishan Kishan – struggling to score – in the 18th over. Rabada dismissed Jayant Yadav – whose cameo propelled MI to a reasonable total – in the following over. Mishra ended with figures of 24-4 as MI scrambled to a total of 137 for the loss of 9 wickets.
DC began their innings cautiously with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan opening the innings. DC seemed to stumble in the first over itself after Trent Boult seemingly dismissed Shaw following a brilliant catch by Hardik Pandya, but the decision was eventually overturned. Shaw eventually lost his wicket to Jayant Yadav in the very next over. MI did well to contain the free-scoring batsmen in the first three overs, conceding just 22. DC ended up scoring 39 of the power-play with the batsmen playing calculated strokes throughout it. MI managed to keep it quiet but failed to pick up early wickets. In the 9th over Dhawan and Smith brought up their 50 run partnership playing risk-averse shots. Smith focused on hitting the occasional but much-needed boundary while Dhawan anchored the innings. Smith lost his wicket to Kieron Pollard in the 10th over, but the game seemed in the reach of DC by then. MI managed to contain the run flow for a few overs following Smith’s departure but could not sustain it for long parts of the game. In the 15th over Dhawan lost his wicket to Rahul Chahar; offering a window of opportunity to MI. However, significant cameos by Lalit Yadav and Shimron Hetmyer drove DC to victory.
DC took the game off MI by taking singles; keeping the scoreboard ticking. A low score, even for a slow pitch, did not enforce any pressure on the DC batsmen. Amit Mishra was given the man of the match for his outstanding bowling figures. MI will be looking to bounce back as they play Punjab Kings in their next match.