Delhi Daredevils skipper Zaheer Khan won a handy toss at the Wankhede Stadium and expectedly decided to adhere to the trend of chasing at the venue. After Mumbai Indians’ openers began to flay at their bowlers, the visitors struck back by picking up a flurry of wickets.
Riding on the depth in their batting line-up, the home team managed to register a fighting total. Chasing 143, Delhi’s batting line-up was blown away by some incisive seam bowling. Even though Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada attempted to resuscitate the innings, Rohit Sharma’s team held their nerve to complete a narrow 14-run triumph and open up a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Here are five things that went wrong for Delhi Daredevils during the game in chronological order.
#5 Not going for the kill
Upon striking regularly in the first half of the innings, the Daredevils reduced Mumbai to 60/4. The need of the hour was to keep chipping away and maintaining their stranglehold on the hosts.
However, Zaheer’s team took their feet off the pedal. Acknowledging the situation at hand, Kieron Pollard did not play his natural game. Instead, he looked to rebuild the innings by creating meaningful partnerships with his fellow lower-middle order batsmen. A bit more intent could have helped Delhi prevent the burly Trinidadian as well as the Pandya brothers from ensuring that Mumbai did not lose their way.
#4 Straying into Hardik Pandya’s arc
As Mumbai’s innings approached the end overs, every run became extremely crucial to the fortunes of both teams. Even as Pollard batted sensibly at the other end, Hardik Pandya took his time before taking the aerial route.
When the 17th over began, Mumbai Indians were at 110/5. Tight death bowling including a timely strike or two could have allowed the Daredevils to limit the damage. But Morris and Rabada kept straying into Hardik’s arc. The hard-hitting all-rounder capitalised by plundering a six off each bowler to add vital runs to the team total. After depositing a full delivery into the deep mid-wicket stand, he proceeded to send a slightly shorter ball in the same direction.
#3 Gifting an early wicket
Even though the target was not a daunting one by any means, getting off to a strong start remained imperative. Retaining wickets in hand while carving away at the total could have obliterated the spirit of Mumbai Indians. But Delhi’s chase began in a catastrophic manner.
In the fourth delivery of the first over, Aditya Tare played a defensive push. Despite the ball ending up within short extra-cover’s reach, he set off for a suicidal single. Hardik ran swiftly, picked it up and unleashed an accurate throw which rattled the woodwork. With the batsman short of his crease, Mumbai celebrated an early wicket to keep their hopes up.
#2 Inexperience in batting lineup
Delhi’s batting line-up contains some of Indian cricket’s up and coming names. With the likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair and Rishabh Pant in the mix, there is no shortage of dynamism and exuberance.
However, the flip side to having such an inexperienced unit is the lack of exposure to tricky situations. After losing an early wicket, the Daredevils came crashing down on the back of some poor shot-selection.
While Samson drilled one straight into mid-off’s hands, Iyer tried to eke out runs on the leg-side to a delivery that he should have shouldered arms to. Without reading the away swing, Pant steered a short delivery to the slip cordon. In no time, the team suffered a massive collapse which ultimately proved to be fatal to their chances.
#1 Lower-order left with too much to do
At 24/6, it appeared like there was no way back for the Daredevils. In walked Rabada who was playing his maiden IPL game. He joined his South African teammate Morris in the middle. Together, they began to repair the extensive damage caused by the team’s shoddy top-order.
The duo found the boundary on a regular basis to raise the nerves in the Mumbai camp. In particular, Rabada showed an unforeseen aspect of his game. Even as specialist batsmen found the surface quite difficult to handle, the 21-year-old left-hander sauntered along untroubled.
While he made a 39-ball 44, Morris brought up his second T20 fifty. Despite their best efforts to make a good fist of the chase, they were left with too much to do. A better performance from the top five could have reduced the burden on these two lower-order batsmen.