New Delhi, Hardik Pandya (32 off 15 balls) and Krunal Pandya (37* off 26 balls) provided the late flourish as Mumbai Indians (MI) scored 168/5 in 20 overs against Delhi Capitals (DC) in their Indian Premier League clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Thursday.
Having bowled a disciplined line and length through the innings, the DC bowlers lost the plot in the last five overs as the MI batsmen amassed 64 runs.
While Krunal played the anchor’s role in the 54-run partnership, Hardik once again showed why he is such a dangerous batsman in the death overs as he used the long handle to excellent effect to dig out the low full tosses and attempted yorkers, sending them over the ropes till Kagiso Rabada dismissed him off the third ball of the 20th over.
Electing to bat, Mumbai Indians got off to a good start with both skipper Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Quinton de Kock looking to make the most of the powerplay. They mixed caution with aggression, adding 57 runs in the first six overs.
But just when it looked like the openers would take the game away, Amit Mishra struck. Brought in to stem the flow of runs on a slowish Kotla wicket, he got one to grip a bit and turn to miss the defence of Rohit (30 off 22 balls) and shake the timber. The Delhi boys celebrated as the score read 57/1.
Ben Cutting (2) failed to make much of the opportunity he got as Axar Patel caught him plumb in front with just five runs added to the scoreboard. From 57/0 after 6 overs, the score read 62/2 in 7.5 overs and DC was right back in the game.
But de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav looked to steady the ship and get a partnership going. And just when it looked like they would settle down and set the stage for a flourishing finish, de Kock (35) was run out following a misunderstanding which saw both the batsmen stranded at the striker’s end. Axar happily removed the bails at the non-striker’s end. The score read 74/3 in 9.5 overs.
After that it was all about consolidating as Krunal and Suryakumar looked to put their head down and bring MI back into the game. From looking good at 57/0 after six overs, it took them 13.5 overs to reach the 100-run mark as the Delhi bowlers restricted the flow of runs.
The 30-run partnership ended with Suryakumar (26 off 27 balls) looking to lap one over the keeper’s head but only managing to get an edge to Rishabh Pant who dived to his right to finish a quality catch. The score read 104/4 in 15.1 overs.
This is when the Pandya brothers joined hands for a flourishing finish.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians: 168/5 in 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 37*, Hardik Pandya 32; Kagiso Rabada 2/38)