IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians issue a blue alert
The four-time champions decimate Delhi Capitals by 57 runs to enter sixth final
After going through the motions, as it were, in the last league fixture, defending champions Mumbai Indians turned it on in Qualifier 1 of this season’s IPL in Dubai on Thursday night.
There was a real fire in their belly at the ‘Ring of Fire’ and the Delhi Capitals couldn’t quite comprehend what hit them as they were like a rabbit caught in the headlights. The result was a 57-run demolition as the four-time champions served an ominous warning to the challengers to their throne.
A fifth star on their blue-and-gold jersey is close to becoming a reality, but yet, anything can happen on a given day. Such is the nature of the beast that is T20 cricket. Nonetheless, for now though, the Mumbai Indians can put their feet up and wait to see who will look them in the eye, next Tuesday, at the same venue.
Their path to their sixth final was built on efforts from batsmen Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and the quicks Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
Southpaw Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, who was playing his 100th IPL match, came up with their fourth half-century of the season while Hardik Pandya provided a late order blitz as they laid down a stiff marker of 200.
That cushion proved to be more than handy for the bowlers as, first, New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult nipped them in the bud. The Kiwi ripped the heart out of the Delhi Capitals batting with two wickets in the first over, which was also a maiden.
After Boult’s incision had left the Delhi Capitals two down for next to nothing, Bumrah smelt blood. The Capitals were three for none and Boult and Bumrah had killed the contest and put it to bed.
Bumrah would later go on to hunt down three more scalps to finish with enviable figures of 4-1-14-4, his best in IPL history, eclipsing the 4-20 against the Rajasthan Royals in the league phase. Prior to that, his previous best had been three for seven against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2 in 2017.
And in a straight shoot-out for the Purple Cap, Bumrah’s 27 wickets saw him poach it away from Capitals pacer Kagiso Rabada.
Resistance was provided by Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel but their rearguard only delayed the inevitable as they finished up at 143 for 8.
The Delhi Capitals do have another bite at the cherry as they will play the winners of the Eliminator match-up between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, for a spot in the summit.
"I am okay with not getting wickets and winning the tournament. I don't look at the wickets. I have been given a role, and I try to execute that. I take it ball by ball,” Man of the Match Bumrah said at the post-match presentation.
Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians skipper, rated the win highly.
"I guess this was our best so far. The way we came out with the intent. The way de Kock and Surya batted after we lost a wicket in the second over, the way we closed out, and then the clinical bowling,” said Rohit.
Rohit’s opposite number Shreyas Iyer said it was a tough pill to swallow but vowed to come back strongly.
I don't want to talk anything negative about the side. It is part and parcel of the game. Every night can't be yours. But, going forward, we have to make sure we come out with a solid mindset,” Iyer said.
Earlier, Kishan smashed his way to an unbeaten 55 from 30 deliveries that was studded with four boundaries and three sixes, the sixth fifty of his IPL career, while Yadav made his 11th overall, a 38-ball 51 with six boundaries and two sixes.
Hardik Pandya smoked an unbeaten 14-ball 37 with five sixes as the Mumbai Indians fired 55 runs in the last three overs, without losing a wicket, and 78 in the last five overs. Kishan and Pandya’s unbroken stand was worth 60.
Delhi Capitals off-spinner R Ashwin returned with three for 29.
Mumbai Indians: 200-5 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 55 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 51, Hardik Pandya 37 not out, Quinton de Kock 40, R Ashwin 3-29) beat Delhi Capitals: 143-8 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 65, Axar Patel 42, Jasprit Bumrah 4-14, Trent Boult 2-9) by 57 runs.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
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