The final day of the league stage promised to showcase some thrilling encounters as the last playoff spot was up for grabs. Everything was on the line for Mumbai Indians as they met Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in the 55th game of IPL 2018. MI needed a win to qualify while DD had no business from the game apart from pride.
Shreyas Iyer opted to bat first after winning the toss and his side was off to a good start. Prithvi Shaw and Glenn Maxwell maintained a run-rate of 10 in the first 3 overs. MI were in a desperate need for a wicket and Shaw threw away his wicket when he failed to make it back to the crease being very casual.
The ever-reliable Jasprit Bumrah knocked over Maxwell for 12 in the 5th over and the visitors were roaring at that stage. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant took their time in the bid to rebuild the innings as DD reached 46/2 after 6 overs. Pant then began to open up and took a liking to the spinner Mayank Markande.
Rishabh Pant finished with a big knock
He was looking dangerous once again but Iyer struggled to time the ball. His miserable stay was cut short by Markande for 6 in the 9th over. MI gained control of the game in the middle overs while Vijay Shankar took his own sweet time to settle in. Pant was preparing himself for an assault at the latter half as the score reached 92/3 after 12 overs.
The wicketkeeper-batsman then turned to his usual demeanor and began to go after the bowling. He brought up yet another half-century in this year’s tournament and was looking in an ominous mo0d. But his innings was ended by Krunal Pandya for 64 in the 17th over. His knock included 4 fours and as many sixes.
Shankar found the company of Abhishek Sharma at the death and the duo combined well to take the side to a decent total. The last over bowled by Ben Cutting went for 15 runs which meant DD reached 174/4 after 20 overs which was going to be a tough target in a crunch game.
MI’s opener Suryakumar Yadav was in a hurry in the 1st over as he struck the first 2 balls for a six and a four. But the Nepali leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane made a brilliant comeback by sending the batsman back off the 4th ball. After a couple of quiet overs, Evin Lewis turned on the heat by slamming a few big ones as the visitors reached 57/1 after the powerplay.
Ishan Kishan was having a nightmare in the middle as couldn’t get going. When he attempted to break free, he lobbed one straight to long-on off the bowling of Amit Mishra and had to walk back for just 5 off 13 balls. Kieron Pollard was promoted to bat at No.4 while Rohit Sharma elected to stay down owing to a shoulder injury he conceded while fielding.
The leg-spinners wreak havoc
Lewis, who was running away with the game, became the 2nd victim of Mishra for 48 in the 9th over. Then, Lamichhane came to the fore and dismissed Pollard and Krunal in the same over to peg MI back. After 10 overs, the visitors were left reeling at 80/5 with Rohit and Hardik at the crease.
A partnership of 43 runs brought the visitors back into the game but DD struck back once again as Harshal Patel accounted for the crucial wicket of Rohit in the 14th over. Mishra came back in his last over to add to his wickets tally by removing Hardik for 27 as MI were pushed deeper into trouble.
Cutting’s lone fight not enough
With 49 required from the last 4 overs, Ben Cutting was the last hope for the Men in Blue and he indeed kept his side in the hunt. The Australian hammered 11 and 15 runs in the 17th and 18th overs respectively. But Trent Bould bowled a brilliant penultimate over and conceded just 5 runs that also included the wicket of Markande.
DD had 18 runs in the bag for the last over and Harshal Patel had the ball in hand. The first ball was sent over the ropes by Cutting to bring it down to 12 from 5. An attempt to send another into the crowd failed and Cutting was caught by Maxwell at deep mid-wicket. His fight ended at 37 from 20 and to make the matters worse, the last wicket fell off the next ball in the form of Bumrah. MI were left stranded as DD knocked the defending champions out of the league.
Delhi Daredevils won the toss and opted to bat first
Delhi Daredevils: 174/4 in 20 overs
Rishabh Pant 64 (44), Vijay Shankar 43* (30)
Krunal Pandya 11/1 (2), Jasprit Bumrah 29/1 (4)
Mumbai Indians: 163/10 in 19.3 overs
Evin Lewis 48 (31), Ben Cutting 37 (20)
Amit Mishra 19/3 (4), Harshal Patel 28/3 (2.3)
Delhi Daredevils won by 11 runs
Player of the Match: Amit Mishra