The Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians will clash in Match 55 of VIVO IPL 2018.
The Daredevils are the wooden spoon holders and will finish the season that way. They’ve won only four of their 13 matches – the last of them in their previous match against the Chennai Super Kings. Despite not batting their best, the Daredevils posted a respectable 162-5 and defended it.
The equation for the defending champions Mumbai Indians is straightforward: win this match and sail through to the playoffs. If MI are able to accomplish that, it will be some achievement. At one stage earlier in the season, MI were at the bottom of the table with one win from six outings; since then, they’ve won 5 of their next seven matches and now stand one win away from progressing to the next stage. In their previous outing, MI held their nerve to deny Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling encounter at the Wankhede Stadium; after Pollard and Krunal Pandya rescued them to 186-8, MI eked out a 3-run win.
The 22-yards used in this match will be a huge factor in this contest. The pitch used in the last match was a slow-paced surface and made stroke-play difficult. It will be interesting to see how the teams read the surface and adapt to the challenges.
20 May 2018, 1600Hrs (IST)
Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Mumbai
Rishabh Pant has been in smashing form with the bat this season; he has scored 620 runs this season – nearly as many as DD’s second and third highest run-getters put together. The left-hander needs 33 runs to reclaim the Orange Cap, and if he gets those runs and a few more, DD will sure be in a position of strength.
Four Mumbai lads – two on either side – will play crucial roles for their respective teams. The opener Prithvi Shaw and captain Shreyas Iyer are integral parts of the Delhi Daredevils batting line-up, while Suryakumar Yadav and captain Rohit Sharma form the nucleus of the Mumbai Indians batting line-up. The teenager Shaw is extremely talented and has all the shots in the book; he needs to restrain himself early on and give himself just those few deliveries to size the opposition and the conditions rather than go slam-bang from the word go.
It was against DD that Yadav was first given the opportunity to open the batting; the 27-year old seized the opportunity then, scored a half-century, and has not looked back since. The two captains Shreyas Iyer and Rohit Sharma (0 & 6 in last two innings) have had a few quiet knocks; MI need Rohit to make a substantial contribution in this high-stakes match.
Given the 4pm start and the likelihood of a slow surface, Amit Mishra and Sandeep Lamichhane will play important roles in DD’s bowling plans. The two leg-spinners combined brilliantly in the previous match to derail the Chennai Super Kings, and a similar effort will be expected from them.
For MI, Jasprit Bumrah (16 wickets, economy 6.86) has been outstanding with the ball. The Pandya brothers will play important roles for MI too; Hardik is MI’s top wicket-taker this season, while Krunal will play an important role in this match given the likelihood of the surface assisting the spinners.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 21, Delhi Daredevils won – 10, Mumbai Indians won – 11
In Delhi: Matches – 8, Delhi Daredevils won – 5, Mumbai Indians won – 3
When the two teams met at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai earlier this season, the Daredevils registered their first win of VIVO IPL 2018; they chased down 195 riding on Jason Roy’s unbeaten 91 at the top of the innings.
The Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has won only 5 tosses in 13 matches this season; he has won 4 tosses in 6 away matches.
Delhi Daredevils’ average opening partnership this season is 17.38 – the lowest among the eight competing teams.
The curtains will come down on the Delhi Daredevils’ campaign in VIVO IPL 2018. If the Mumbai Indians win this match, they will most likely contest in the Eliminator, which will be played in Kolkata on May 23. If MI lose, it will be the end of the road for them.