It is not often that you get to see bowlers hog the limelight in a T20 match. But Saturday night at the Wankhede Stadium was one such occasion when the bowlers from Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indian put on show a performance that will be remembered for a long time. After asking Mumbai Indians to bat first, the DD bowlers bowled exceptional lines and lengths – their pace attack testing the speed gun consistently – to restrict the hosts to a modest 142-8. In the second half, the MI bowlers spit fire and blew away the opponents at the start of the run-chase, reducing them to 24-6 even before they had probably realized what had struck them. Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris then strung together a 91-run partnership, resurrected the innings and brought their team back into the contest. But despite their efforts, DD finished 14 runs short.
DD, needing to chase at just over seven runs an over at the start, lost their top six batsmen for single-digit scores – all of them back in the dressing room before seven overs had been bowled. Opener Aditya Tare was run out in the first over while Sanju Samson spooned a catch to cover in the second over. Mitchell McClenaghan struck twice in the fourth over; he strangled Shreyas Iyer down the leg-side and then dismissed Corey Anderson for a duck. Rishabh Pant guided Jasprit Bumrah to the lone slip fielder in the sixth over, while Karun Nair dragged one from Hardik Pandya back onto his stumps in the seventh.
Given the dire situation they found themselves in, and faced against a charged-up MI bowling attack, Rabada (44 from 39 balls) and Morris did extremely well to stitch together a 91-run partnership – DD’s highest seventh wicket partnership. The South African duo took their team to the brink; DD needed 28 off the last nine balls, when Jasprit Bumrah rearranged the woodwork behind Rabada. Morris remained unbeaten on 52 (41 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) – his second half-century in the IPL. DD finished their twenty overs at 128-7.
For Mumbai Indians, McClenaghan broke the backbone of the DD line-up, dismissing three of the top six batsmen, bowled a total of 14 dot balls and returned figures of 3-24. Bumrah returned figures of 2-21. Mitchell Johnson (4-1-23-0) and Harbhajan Singh (4-0-26-0) too bowled tidily.
Earlier in the evening, Jos Buttler’s 28 was the top score in MI’s 142-8. The MI opener – who was dropped when on 11 – batted aggressively and struck three boundaries and two sixes before he was run out by a direct hit from Sanju Samson. When Buttler was dismissed, MI were 47-2 in 5.1 overs. Thereafter, in the rest of the innings, the hosts only managed to score at about run-a-ball. Kieron Pollard made an uncharacteristic 29-ball 26, while Hardik Pandya (24) struck two sixes in his 23-ball innings which ended when he attempted to take a risky second run.
The leg-spinner Amit Mishra bowled a tidy spell of 4-1-18-2 – which included the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya, while Pat Cummins – the fifth bowler to be used by the DD captain – finished with impressive figures of 4-0-20-2, which included the wickets of Nitish Rana and Pollard. Rabada (4-0-30-1), making his first appearance in the IPL, cleaned up Parthiv Patel with a perfect yorker.
Mumbai Indians: 142-8 (Jos Buttler 28, Amit Mishra 2-18, Pat Cummins 2-20) defeated Delhi Daredevils: 128-7 (Chris Morris 52*, Kagiso Rabada 44, Mitchell McClenaghan 3-24, Jasprit Bumrah 2-21) by 14 runs.
Man of the Match: Mitchell McClenaghan