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The Delhi Daredevils notched up their 3rd win of this year's IPL with a crushing 7 wicket victory over the famed Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on Monday night. The hosts went in to this game without their prized duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Lasith Malinga owing to injuries and were put in to bat by Delhi on a spicy wicket. Unable to cope with the pace and bounce in the wicket, which was well exploited by a pace heavy Delhi attack, Mumbai succumbed to a spineless 92 all out with captain Harbhajan Singh (33) playing the only knock of substance. Delhi's response was professional as they started cautiously and despite losing 3 wickets, cruised home comfortably in under 15 overs with 7 wickets remaining to register a key win which will also boost their net run rate significantly.
The highly anticipated 19th match of the Indian Premier League between the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Daredevils got underway amidst a near full house at the Wankhede stadium on Monday night. The Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag won the toss and chose to field in this crucial tie on a wicket that looked like a good one for batting. Delhi brought in the Kiwi star batsman Ross Taylor for this game in place of Roelof Van der Merwe, a change that paved way for veteran Ajit Agarkar to come into the side to bolster the bowling in place of a batsman in Venugopal Rao. Mumbai Indians didn't risk their superstar Sachin Tendulkar, who wasn't still fully fit but made a few surprising changes. Davy Jacobs came in for the struggling Tirumalsetti Suman, RP Singh was a surprise inclusion in place of Lasith Malinga, who was deemed unfit and Aussie bowler Clint McKay too came in for James Franklin.
The Mumbai Indians, after being put in to bat, capitulated early in their innings. After an accurate first over from Irfan Pathan went for just 2 leg byes, Sehwag brought on the left arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem from the other end to offer the big hitting South African pair of Richard Levi and Davy Jacobs the bait and it paid off. Nadeem sneaked through the slogs attempted by both batsmen with well disguised arm balls and dismissed Jacobs (0) and Levi (1) in consecutive overs.
Rohit Sharma walked in at No.3 and straight away looked to take the attack to the bowlers. That wasn't the best option though, but Rohit got away with plenty of streaky shots and gave the innings some momentum. However, the slide of wickets continued when Rohit didn't call decisively on a tight single attempted, which resulted in total pandemonium as Ambati Rayudu was run out for 4.
Kieron Pollard was the next to go for 3 attempting another inexplicable slog off a pacy delivery from Umesh Yadav and holing out to sweeper. In the 10th over Mumbai were shocked further as Rohit Sharma (27) was dismissed with his luck running out as he ended up scooping a hip high ball from Agarkar invitingly to the man at deep square leg. After 10 overs, Mumbai were tottering at 43/5 with Harbhajan and Dinesh Karthik at the crease.
Dinesh Karthik too went soon after for 4, attempting a pull shot of a pacey delivery from Yadav that reared up off a length and ended up spooning a simple catch to mid-on. Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh then assumed some kind of control over the innings after that dreadful collapse by striking a couple of lusty blows back past Ajit Agarkar to get his innings started. Harbhajan continued the counter attack taking Shahbaz Nadeem for a couple of boundaries to get the score past 70. Clint McKay(8) gave Harbhajan some much needed support before eventually losing his head and hitting one straight down the throat of long off. At 78/7 in 15 overs, it was all upto Harbhajan to farm the strike and take this total past 100. RP Singh was clean bowled by Morne Morkel for naught to make it much more difficult for Mumbai. Even Harbhajan's valiant effort of 33 off 22 balls came to an end in the 18th over as he was caught behind off Morkel. Mumbai were then bowled out for a disastrous 92 in just 19.2 overs to set up a very easy chase for the Daredevils.
Needing just 93 for victory in this important clash, the Delhi openers Virender Sehwag and Naman Ojha started cautiously. Ojha was circumspect and started with some edgy flicks off his pads while Sehwag got off the mark with a six off the first ball before settling down and respecting the conditions. The Mumbai new ball bowlers RP Singh and Munaf Patel got some exaggerated bounce off the wicket and made scoring just a bit difficult for Delhi. Sehwag and Ojha though added 34 for the first wicket before the latter top edged a pull shot off RP Singh when on 13 and offered an easy to catch to midwicket.
Kevin Pietersen came in at No.3 and looked in good touch in his short innings of 9 before he too misjudged the pace of a short one from RP Singh and scooped a pull shot off the splice to mid-wicket in the 8th over of the match. There could have been more success for Mumbai but for a simple chance offered by Sehwag which was put down at third man by Richard Levi. RP Singh bowled out his 4 overs at a stretch and bowled with some pace and vigour to return with figures of 4-0-24-2. After 10 overs, Delhi were still in control of the chase at 59/2 with Sehwag and Jayawardene at the wicket.
Sehwag and Jayawardene put on 22 runs for the 3rd wicket to get Delhi within 19 runs of victory before Sehwag (32) was beaten in the flight by Pragyan Ojha and holed out to long-on. This proved to be just an aberration as Delhi cruised to a comfortable 7 wicket win with Ross Taylor (11*) and Mahela Jayawardene (17*) finishing things off with 31 balls to spare.
Delhi, by virtue of having won this game against a strong Mumbai side have made a near perfect start to their campaign and are comfortably placed at the top of the table. They will look to carry on this good form when the face the Deccan Chargers next on Thursday the 19th of April while Mumbai will have plenty of work to do when they play next on the 22nd against Kings XI Punjab at the same venue.
Mumbai : D Jacobs, R Levi, A Rayudu, R Sharma, D Karthik, K Pollard, Harbhajan, C McKay, P Ojha, RP Singh, M Patel
Delhi: V Sehwag, M Jayawardene, K Pietersen, R Taylor, N Ojha, Y Nagar, I Pathan, A Agarkar, S Nadeem, M Morkel, U Yadav
Mumbai Indians 92 all out (19.2 overs, 4.8 runs per over)
Harbhajan 33(22) U Yadav 2/10
R Sharma 29(27) S Nadeem 2/16
Delhi Daredevils 93/3 (14.5 overs, 6.19 runs per over)
V Sehwag 32(36) RP Singh 2/24
M Jayawardene 17*(20) P Ojha 1/19
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