Delhi Daredevils 207-5 (Sehwag 73, Jayawardene 55) beat
Mumbai Indians 170-9 (Rayudu 62) by 37 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Delhi
The Delhi Daredevils maintained their position on top of the Indian Premier League 2012 with a crushing 37-run win over the Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
This defeat keeps Mumbai at seventh but severely dents their chances in what is turning out to be a tight race while Delhi are three points clear having completed half of their league programme.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to field first. It turned out to be a wrong call as Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jaywardene were in a punishing mood today.
They broke the opening wicket record of Francois du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath, set weeks earlier, putting on a mammoth 135 runs. The first wicket fell only in the 14th over and the run-rate was nearly a frightening ten.
Jayawardene was the man first out, but not before stroking his way to a first fifty for the Daredevils. He made 55 off 42 balls, including eight fours.
Sehwag was obviously the more aggressive of the two. He smacked four big sixes, two of them in Kieron Pollard’s first over, and eight more fours, notching up 73 runs off only 39 balls. He was on his way to an express hundred, nearly, when he was out caught off Robin Peterson.
The score was 153 for two in the 16th over at that moment and Delhi had been set up well for the final onslaught. Despite losing Irfan Pathan for a duck, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor did not let the momentum go to waste and launched into the Mumbai attack. They put on 41 runs in just 15 balls, helping Delhi cross the 200-run barrier.
Pietersen made his second half-century of the tournament, his 50 coming off only 26 balls, with six fours and three sixes. He remained unbeaten in the end, while Taylor was out for 15 off 7 balls. Delhi eventually finished with 207 for five.
Given Mumbai’s patchy batting performances, the match was either going to be a humdinger or it would end poorly for them, these were the only two options.
Their disastrous start pretty much sealed the matter. Pathan and Morne Morkel did the initial damage, reducing them to 19 for three in the fourth over.
Aiden Blizzard was out for a duck, maestro Sachin Tendulkar made only seven while Rohit Sharma was gone for 12 but Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu then came together and offered some mighty resistance.
They put up 96 runs for the fourth wicket and gave hopes of resurgence, if not an improbable win altogether. But just as things seemed to be turning, Karthik was bowled by Ajit Agarkar in the 13th over. He made 40 off 28 balls, with seven fours.
Rayudu was joined by Kieron Pollard, Mumbai’s last chance, though they couldn't pull it off. Delhi’s spin sensation Shahbaz Nadeem got the duo off successive balls in his last over, the 16th, and that was where the match was effectively ended.
Rayudu top scored with 62 off 39 balls, five fours and three sixes in his innings. Pollard, nursing an injured shoulder, could only make 16 runs.
From then on, Umesh Yadav and Morkel finished the job, sending Mumbai to their fourth loss in eight games.
© Cricket World 2012