Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 22 May 2014 - 04:39pm IST
Preview: Match 51 – MI v DD
Can MI pull of a home win against Daredevils?
Match 51 of Pepsi IPL 2014 will feature the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Daredevils.
MI, by virtue of consecutive wins against the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, are alive in the race to qualify for the Playoffs. In their most recent outing, at Mohali, they became the only team to get the better of KXIP in both league matches this season. Despite the back-to-back wins, the criterion remains the same for MI – they still have to win their remaining two matches and hope other results fall in place to aid their progress to the Playoffs.
Delhi Daredevils, who’ve had a largely forgettable season, will be desperate for some joy. The team has won only two of their 12 league fixtures so far and lies at the floor of the table. Since their last victory – incidentally, against the Mumbai Indians on April 27 – the team has lost seven matches in a row. In their most-recent outing, they posted 164 runs on the board, yet couldn’t defend the same as KXIP knocked off the runs in the final over.
Friday, May 23, 2014, 4 pm IST
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The foundation of Mumbai Indians’ victories in their last two matches has been the partnership between Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey at the top of the innings. That was one area MI had struggled right through the season, and the defending champions have found an answer to that in the two overseas openers. Simmons, the first centurion in Pepsi IPL 2014, will want to carry on with his good form, while Hussey is the perfect foil at the other end. The two other key players in the MI line-up are skipper Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard, who can turn on the heat in very little time.
The one bright light in what has otherwise been a disappointing season for the Delhi Daredevils is JP Duminy’s performance with the bat. While he has been fantastic with the bat, playing cameos lower down the order, he hasn’t quite delivered what was expected of him after earning a promotion to No.4. With the chips down, DD need some spark and the one player capable of infusing some vigour is skipper Kevin Pietersen, who is known to play his best cricket in challenging situations.
Notes from previous match
Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab: The Mumbai Indians bowlers, without the services of two of their key weapons (Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh), pulled things back very nicely after KXIP got off the blocks quickly. KXIP were placed at 85/1 after nine overs, but could score just over a run-a-ball in the remaining 11 overs. The MI bowlers impressive, given there were 26 dot-balls in the second half of the innings. On the batting front, the start provided by Simmons and Hussey was just what was needed. It was smart of Hussey to just hang around at the other end when Simmons was going berserk; in the 68-run opening partnership, Hussey’s contribution was just six runs. The one area where MI could have done better was in forcing the pace in the middle overs – especially given that net run-rate could be a factor in deciding which team goes through to the Playoffs. Despite having a solid platform and calling all the shots at 96/1 at the halfway mark, the MI innings had four overs thereafter where they scored less than six runs an over.
Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab: Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten would noted that there was a period of play in their innings – between overs 8 and 11 – when the batsmen could have done better. DD realized only 18 runs in that four-over period – finding the boundary only twice and playing out 12 dot deliveries. On the bowling front, the bowlers lacked discipline, bowling 11 extra deliveries in the form of wides.
The Delhi Daredevils have a 7-6 win-loss record from 13 matches against the Mumbai Indians. In the context of this season, MI are one of two teams the Delhi Daredevils have beaten; when the two teams met in Sharjah on April 27, DD restricted MI to 125/6 and chased down the target in the 19th over to win by six wickets.
The Delhi Daredevils and the Mumbai Indians are among the teams to have picked up the fewest wickets this season. DD have picked up only 46 wickets this season, while MI have fared a little better, dismissing 62 batsmen.
Mumbai Indians will feature in the final league fixture of the Pepsi IPL 2014 when they host the Rajasthan Royals on May 25. Delhi Daredevils too take the field earlier on the same day when they clash with table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.