Mumbai Indians added a spinner to its side, Delhi Capitals put its faith in its pace attack and the visiting team came out trumps in reading the unpredictable Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, winning by 40 runs to exchange places with Capitals and go second on the points table here on Thursday.
The last time the two sides played, Rishabh Pant single-handedly won the game for Delhi. This time, he was in the spotlight after missing the cut for India’s World Cup squad and a had point to prove.
That, however, did not happen. Pant scored only seven runs as Delhi, chasing 169, managed just 128.
By then, however, Capitals had already lost momentum and was playing catch-up after leggie Rahul Chahar dismissed three top-order wickets to end any hopes for Delhi.
Starting the slide
Brought on after the PowerPlay that saw Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw cruising with boundaries and singles, Chahar started the slide, sending back Dhawan who tried a reverse sweep, only to find the ball ricocheting off his pads and gloves to the stumps.
He came back for two more overs and added Shaw and Shreyas Iyer to his list of victims.
Jayant Yadav and Krunal Pandya further choked the runs and Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga did the rest, wrapping up the lower order. Axar Patel managed a brief cameo but it was too little, too late.
Struggle against spin
However, signs that Shreyas might have erred in having just two frontline spinners on a pitch that stayed slow and low were visible much earlier during Mumbai’s innings that struggled against the Amit Mishra-Axar duo.
Mishra and Axar conceded just 35 runs between them in seven overs, picked up two wickets and effected a run out as Mumbai failed to break the shackles after an emphatic start.
Mishra broke the opening partnership of Quinton de Kock and captain Rohit Sharma off his first ball, cleaning up the captain with a length ball that stayed low.
He picked up his 150th IPL wicket in the process. It was surprising to see him not complete his full quota even as the seamers Chris Morris, Keemo Paul and Kagiso Rabada were smashed all over the ground.
A late surge by the Pandya brothers — they added 50 runs in the last three overs — only made it worse for Capitals as the host continues to figure out its home conditions.
Rohit Sharma b Mishra 30 (22b, 3×4, 1×6), Quinton de Kock run out 35 (27b, 2×4, 2×6), Ben Cutting lbw b Axar 2 (4b), Suryakumar Yadav c Pant b Rabada 26 (27b, 2×4), Krunal Pandya (not out) 37 (26b, 5×4), Hardik Pandya c Pant b Rabada 32 (15b, 2×4, 3×6), Kieron Pollard (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-2, w-3, nb-1): 6; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 168.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-57 (Rohit, 6.1 overs), 2-62 (Cutting, 7.5), 3-74 (de Kock, 9.5), 4-104 (Suryakumar, 15.1), 5-158 (Hardik, 19.3).
DELHI CAPITALS BOWLING
Ishant 3-0-17-0, Rabada 4-0-38-2, Morris 3-0-39-0, Paul 3-0-37-0, Mishra 3-0-18-1, Axar 4-0-17-1.
Prithvi Shaw c Hardik b Chahar 20 (24b, 2×4). Shikhar Dhawan b Chahar 35 (22b, 5×4, 1×6), Colin Munro b Krunal 3 (9b), Shreyas Iyer b Chahar 3 (6b), Rishabh Pant b Bumrah 7 (11b), Axar Patel b Bumrah 26 (23b, 1×4, 1×6), Chris Morris c Hardik b Malinga 11 (9b, 1×6), Keemo Paul run out 0 (0), Kagiso Rabada c Pollard b Hardik 9 (8b, 1×6), Amit Mishra (not out) 6 (8b), Ishant Sharma (not out) 0 (0); Extras (lb-5, w-3): 8; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 128.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-49 (Dhawan, 6.3 overs), 2-59 (Shaw, 8.3), 3-61 (Munro, 9.4), 4-63 (Shreyas, 10.2), 5-76 (Pant, 13.5), 6-107 (Morris, 16.6), 7-107 (Paul, 17.1), 8-107 (Axar, 17.2), 9-125 (Rabada, 19.4).
MUMBAI INDIANS BOWLING
Hardik 2-0-17-1, Chahar 4-0-19-3, Malinga 4-0-37-1, Jayant 4-0-25-0, Bumrah 4-0-18-2, Krunal 2-0-7-1.
Toss: Mumbai Indians.
MoM: Hardik Pandya.
Mumbai Indians won by 40 runs.