IPL: Mumbai crush Daredevils by 146 runs
SUMMARY: Mumbai Indians 212 for 3 (Simmons 66, Pollard 63*) beat Delhi Daredevils 66 (Karn 3-11, Harbhajan 3-22, Malinga 2-5) by 146 runs
Mumbai Indians made a mockery of their opposition on Saturday. First they smacked Delhi Daredevils’ bowlers around to put up a total of 212. Then they bullied the batsmen into folding for a paltry 66. And in the end, a team that had recorded the second-highest chase in IPL history two nights ago was defeated by a margin so huge – 146 runs – it became a tournament record.
So how did this all come about? Well, a few things went to plan. Like Lendl Simmons coming off the bench and hitting a half-century, Kieron Pollard responding to his promotion to No. 3 with an innings that was both calculated and cruel and the Mumbai bowlers knocking over each of their bunnies.
Daredevils were five down in the chase before the Powerplay was done, and bowled out for their lowest IPL total. Mumbai, on the other hand, stormed into the playoffs.
Simmons has some phenomenal IPL numbers – before tonight he had 10 scores of fifty or more in 22 innings – and yet he had to wait until tonight to get his first game of the season. He began tentatively – as is expected of a batsman whose most recent T20 innings were 1, 1, 4* and 1. But the shackles seemed to break with a pull for six off Kagiso Rabada in the fourth over.
Daredevils peppered Simmons with a mix of back-of-a-length and short deliveries, but it did not bother him. He got, both, on top of the bounce, and under it in equal measure – only one of his nine boundaries came off a fullish delivery.
Simmons’ 66 off 43 balls took apart Daredevils’ famed fast-bowling attack, counterbalanced Parthiv Patel’s sedate 25 and gave Mumbai the perfect start on a small ground.
For a brief time, Amit Mishra was able to put a stop to Mumbai’s momentum. His first two overs went for only seven runs and had yielded a wicket too. Daredevils’ decision to play a fourth seamer in place of left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem came under question.
Pollard, however, hit that hypothesis out of the park, along with four of Mishra’s deliveries. This included denting Zaheer Khan’s plan of bowling Mishra out at a stretch. His two sixes off Mishra’s third over forced Zaheer to give him a change of ends. The two overs needed to make that switch went for 25, and when Mishra returned, Pollard hit him for two more sixes. That was the start of Mumbai’s slog-overs push. Pollard saw it through with an unbeaten 63. (ESPNCricinfo)