The Indian Premier League 2014 has been a chastising experience for the Mumbai Indians, as they have not been able to perform as per expectations. However, it is often seen that when such an outfit starts to find its bearings it becomes pretty tough for the other team in question. That is what Delhi Daredevils, which has found itself to be on the wrong end of the bargain in this IPL, found out to their dismay yet again on May 23 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The two sides clashed for what would be their penultimate game in the ongoing tournament.
Team composition: Mumbai made a couple of changes to its team that beat Punjab in the previous match. They dropped Praveen Kumar and Krishmar Santokie and brought in Marchant de Lange for his first game in this year’s tournament, as well as Harbhajan Singh. Delhi also made a couple of changes by dropping Mayank Agarwal and Mohammad Shami and bringing in Siddharth Kaul and Shahbaz Nadeem.
Batting: The Daredevils won the toss and elected to field first in spite of having 3 spinners in their bowling lineup. However, the Indians were not really able to grab the chance with both hands. They got to 173 but were unable to bat out their full quota of overs, a cardinal sin in any form of shortened cricket. Michael Hussey top-scored with 56 from 33 balls and Lendl Simmons (35 from 25 balls) once again performed well. Rohit Sharma too had a decent outing with the bat, scoring 30 from 21 balls.
Chasing a stiff total, the Daredevils got close thanks to JP Duminy (45 not out from 29 balls), Kevin Pietersen (44 from 31 balls) and Manoj Tiwary (41 from 31 balls). They also did not lose too many wickets, but the lack of a single big innings from any one of the batsmen surely hurt their cause in the end.
Bowling: Imran Tahir was the best performer for DD with 3 for 37 in his 4 overs. Jaydev Unadkat conceded 24 runs from his 2 overs but picked up a brace of wickets as well. Nadeem bowled well for his 1 for 28 as did Wayne Parnell who picked up 1 for 26 from his 3 and half overs. Kaul (21 runs in 2 overs) and Duminy (31 runs in 4 overs were expensive though.
de Lange, who was playing his first IPL game in 2 years, bowled well to finish with 2 for 32, the best bowling analysis in terms of wickets taken for the MI. Shreyas Gopal bowled well yet again with 1 for 20 and Harbhajan Singh offered a competent spell of 1 for 30 in 4 overs. Jasprit Bumrah (36 runs in 4 overs) and Pragyan Ojha (33 in 4), however, put in forgettable efforts in the end that may have cost the team.
Where do the teams go from here?
The Mumbai Indians would be happy with how they have won the last couple of games but would still be ruing the missed opportunities as well as the losses in the early stages of the tournament that really set them back. What would be even more painful is the fact that they were champions in the previous edition. They now would ideally like to end their season on a high.
The Delhi Daredevils too have been consistent, but not in the way that they would have appreciated. Their bowling has not performed as well in spite of having some good bowlers like Shami, Neesham and Parnell and the same can be said about their batting. The injury to Coulter-Nile also upset their plans to a significant extent and what was worse was that there was no one left to fill the void. They should now look to give opportunities to players who are yet to feature in the tournament and hope there is a change in their fortunes.