x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Delhi bowlers maul Mumbai on way to IPL lead

After skittling Mumbai Indians for 92, the batsmen secure the team's triumph in Mumbai with 31 deliveries to spare.

Shahbaz Nadeem, left, started the slide of Mumbai Indians.
Shahbaz Nadeem, left, started the slide of Mumbai Indians.

On a roll, Delhi Daredevils reversed their losing trend to beat Mumbai Indians in Mumbai for the first time in the tournament at the Wankhede Stadium last night. A clinical seven-wicket victory saw them jump four places to nudge out Rajasthan Royals from the top perch on the points table.

After turning in a command bowling performance to skittle Mumbai Indians for 92 in 19.2 overs, the explosive Delhi batting line-up secured the team's triumph over Mumbai with 31 deliveries to spare for their third successive win after starting the tournament on a losing note.

Mumbai never recovered from an early double strike by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem who was introduced in the second over by captain Virender Sehwag.

Nadeem saw the back of openers Davy Jacobs and Richard Levi. Ambati Rayudu was run out soon after. Sachin Tendulkar, who was expected to play having recovered a bit from a finger injury, did not take the field and neither did Lasith Malinga, their main strike bowler.

Spurred on by the initial success after winning the toss on a pitch that had lot of bounce and movement, Delhi's pace quartet of Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan bowled the Mumbai Indians out for their second lowest score in all IPL games.

Only Rohit Sharma, who made a chancy 29 (27 balls, five fours) and skipper Harbhajan Singh (33, 22 balls, five fours, one six) reached double figures.

Rohit Sharma fell a victim to the extra bounce that Agarkar managed. The swing bowler was playing his first game this season as he was picked ahead of Venugopal Rao.

Harbahajan Singh's aggressive resistance ended when Morne Morkel had the Mumbai captain caught behind with one that bounced a bit more than the batsman expected.

"A total of 140-150 on this track would have been competitive," Harbhajan rued later.

Yadav picked up the wickets of the dangerous Kieron Pollard and Dinesh Karthik in successive overs to ensure that Mumbai's hopes of a middle-order revival were denied.

Delhi managed the chase methodically, despite left-arm seamer RP Singh's bowling that induced the fall of Naman Ojha and Kevin Pietersen.

Sehwag made 32 off 36 balls (two fours, one six) as he took stock of the two-paced track and played an uncharacteristically cautious innings but ensured that there would no scares on the way to a memorably one-sided win.

Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor, making his debut for Delhi completed the task.

Interestingly Harbhajan, India's best spinner currently, showed the way with the bat but did not bring himself on to bowl.

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