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Rediff.com  » Sports » Delhi down Mumbai to take spot

Delhi down Mumbai to take spot

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: May 09, 2009 08:39 IST
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- Scorecard

It was one of those rare forgettable days for Sachin Tendulkar. After all, it is not everyday that you can blame the veteran batting ace for letting his team down and playing a major role in its loss, as A B de Villiers hit an unbeaten half-century to guide Delhi Daredevils to a deserved seven-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League in East London, on Friday.

De Villiers kept his composure in difficult situations, hitting 50 in 38 deliveries, inclusive of six boundaries and a six, to help Delhi take top spot in the IPL.

Earlier, Mumbai's batting woes continued as they were shot out for a paltry 116 in 20 overs. In reply, the Delhi batsmen survived some tense moments in the middle overs to reach 118 for three in 18.5 overs.

Dirk Nannes triggered the collapse with a tight early spell that included the big wicket of JP Duminy (0) in the first over of the match to finish with two for 33. Ashish Nehra was equally impressive, claiming two for 27, and Rajat Bhatia made sure Mumbai were not let off the hook, taking three for 15 in four overs.

Mumbai:

Electing to bat first, Mumbai got off to a horror start, losing two wickets in the very first over.

Mumbai's shocking decision to drop Sanath Jayasuriya and bring in Luke Ronchi backfired after just two deliveries.

Ronchi went for a non-existent run and was run-out by a direct hit from David Warner, who took no time to release the ball and hit the middle stump at the bowler's end. (0-1, 0.2)

JP Duminy, Mumbai's best batsman so far, was the other opener, and that moved too failed. The in-form South African fell for a four-ball duck when he edged behind to Delhi's premier fast bowler Dirk Nannes. (1-2, 1)

Once again Nannes was proving to be a tough customer to deal with as he gave away just three runs in his first spell of two overs as Mumbai reached 11 for two in three overs.

The trend of fielders dropping easy catches in the IPL continued as Pradeep Sangwan dropped an easy sitter at mid-on to give Pinal Shah a reprieve. Shah tried to blast Nehra down the ground in the fifth over but ended up holing a catch towards long-on and it seemed Gautam Gambhir had it covered, but Sangwan, running to his right, messed it up.

The first boundary for Mumbai came in the fifth over when Tendulkar smashed Nehra through point and the master batsman followed it up with another one through midwicket.

The biggest blow for Mumbai however came when Tendulkar was run-out for 15 from 14 deliveries. He tried to take a quick run after he played the ball down near the stumps but wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik was alert and caught Tendulkar short with a direct hit after he was sent back. (30-3, 6)

The first six overs of Powerplay turned out to be a real disaster for Mumbai as they were reduced to 30 for three and with no major batsmen to follow.

Despite the crisis, Shah (11 from 20 deliveries) played a reckless shot to throw his wicket away. He hit medium pacer Rajat Bhatia straight down the throat of Amit Mishra at long on to compound his team's problems. (33-4, 7.4)

Delhi kept attacking with extra men inside the circle as Mumbai resorted to caution to reach 43 for four at the halfway stage.

Dwayne Bravo broke the shackles somewhat with a boundary in the 13th over, the first after a gap of nearly seven overs. But still the runs were proving difficult to come and only singles were available as Mumbai crawled to 63 for four after 14 overs.

The West Indies all-rounder then brought some temporary relief when he lofted Mishra over the covers for Mumbai's first six in the 15th over of the innings.

Bravo and Abhishek Nayar then took the attack to Delhi's best bowler Nannes, in the 16th over. Nayar despatched the first ball of the over for a boundary through midwicket and Bravo smashed a big straight six two balls later to bring up the 300th six of the tournament and the 50-run partnership in 48 deliveries. 

Bravo followed it up with a boundary through midwicket but Nannes extracted revenge soon after. The Windies all-rounder tried another big hit but got a thick edge which was neatly held by Karthik diving to his right. Bravo made 35 from 30 deliveries, with two boundaries and two sixes, adding 57 runs in 8.2 overs for the fifth wicket with Nayar to save Mumbai the blushes. (90-5, 16)

Nayar fell off the next delivery when he was brilliantly caught by AB de Villiers off Nehra for 18 from 28 deliveries. (90-6, 16.1)

Harbhajan Singh smashed a big six over mid-off to take Mumbai past 100 in the 18th over. Nannes' bowling figures had taken a huge slump as he went for 30 runs in his final two overs for final figures of two for 33 in four overs.

Delhi were brilliant in the field as far as run-outs were concerned but the catching had dipped to abysmal standards. Wicketkeeper Karthik dropped two catches in three deliveries off Nehra, who made his displeasure clear by blasting his wicketkeeper.

Nehra finally got that deserved wicket when he bowled Harbhajan for 10 with a perfect yorker. (113-7, 18.5)

Rohan Raje (1 from 2 deliveries) fell in the first delivery of the final over when he was bowled by a slower one from Bhatia. (114-8, 19.1)

Ajinkya Rahane scored 12 off as many deliveries before lofting Bhatia straight to Sangwan at the cover boundary. (115-9, 19.4)

Dhawal Kulkarni was run out for 1 off the last delivery of their innings attempting a second run as Mumbai were bowled out for 116 in their 20 overs.

Mumbai never got going after that first over disaster. They struck only seven boundaries and three sixes during their whole innings of 20 overs.

Delhi:

Mumbai needed Lasith Malinga to deliver with a few early wickets, but on a day where nothing was going their way, even the Sri Lankan pacer failed to deliver with the new ball.

David Warner dismissed his slower delivery for a big six through midwicket, while Gautam Gambhir hit for a couple of boundaries as Malinga went for 27 in his first three overs. At the other end, Dhawal Kulkarni was quietly doing a good job with just nine runs in his first three overs as Delhi reached 36 after the six overs.

With a target of 117, Delhi's openers never looked to go out on all-out attack and played it quite sensibly.

Tendulkar then introduced part-timer Duminy, who struck in his first over with the wicket of Warner. The Australian left-hander stepped down the wicket to Duminy but was beaten in the flight and was stumped for 21 from 30 deliveries. (42-1, 8.2)

Captain Gambhir (19 from 23 deliveries) then gave his wicket away in his next over with a reckless shot off Harbhajan. The left-hander stepped down the wicket and lofted Harbhajan over the in-field but hit it straight to the fielder on the cover boundary. (46-2, 9.1)

Mumbai spinners -- Duminy and Harbhajan -- bowled a series of tight overs after the strategic time out with just 10 runs coming in three.

AB de Villiers finally broke the shackles a bit when he guided Harbhajan fine through third man for Delhi's first boundary in four overs in the 14th over.

Duminy, though, was proving to be a tough cookie to crack with the ball as he bowled a wonderful spell of one for 15 in four overs.

With the boundaries getting dried up, the equation though was getting tougher for Delhi as they needed to score 43 from the last five overs.

However, Tendulkar let down his team yet again. He came into the attack for the crucial 16th over when others like Bravo and Kulkarni were available.

It was perhaps the over that De Villiers was waiting as he finished off Mumbai's chances with three boundaries and a six to pocked 19 runs from Tendulkar's over.

Dilshan then smashed another couple of boundaries off Raje in the 17th over as Delhi brought down the equation to 13 required from the last three overs.

The Sri Lankan, however, could not stay till the end as he edged behind to compatriot Malinga for 17. Dilshan didn't do much damage with the bat, but, importantly, stuck it out in the middle as he put 61 runs in 8.4 overs for the third wicket with de Villiers. (107-3, 17.5)

Dinesh Karthik smashed Raje through midwicket for a boundary to take Delhi to a deserved seven-wicket victory in the 19th over.

De Villiers finished unbeaten on 50, hitting six boundaries and a six in his 38-ball knock, to help Delhi jump to the top of the IPL standings. The best part about his knock was the way he timed his innings. He never flustered even when the going was difficult against the spinners and seemed pretty clear that it needed just one good over to pocket the match and that is exactly what happened.

As captain, Tendulkar had let his team down big time. First the decision to drop Jayasuriya for Ronchi, to promote the in-form Duminy as opener and then to bowl the crucial 16th over -- all had failed and no wonder Mumbai had gone down so easily.

Prem Panicker has rightly pointed out his blog: "In my book, this game is gone; it was lost before the toss and nothing since then has made, or will make, a difference."

Mumbai are now in serious danger of missing out on the semi-finals. They lost their third match in a row and stay second from bottom with seven points from nine matches.

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Harish Kotian

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