New Delhi: English opener Jason Roy's unbeaten 91 steered Delhi to their first win the IPL campaign, overhauling MI's 194 at the Wankhede stadium on Saturday. The match went to the wire and once again, lapses in fielding and poor bowling cost Mumbai their third game on the trot. Alongside Roy, who dropped anchor and carried his bat through, cameos by Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer played important roles in DD getting back to winning ways.
It was a poor day in the office for MI's best bowler Mayank Markande who finished expensive, giving away 42 in three overs. Unlike his previous two outings, the young spinner was wayward with his line and was duly punished by the DD batters. Later, Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya too conceded 47 in his full quota. At the top, Hardik Pandya sprayed the ball around and got hit for 32 in two overs.
DD knew they will have to get off to a flier going after MI's 195. Thanks to Jason Roy, who displayed proper cricket shots and made sure each bad ball was dealt with disdain. After Roy gave DD a solid start in the powerplay at 53/1, Pant carried the momentum forward taking on Markande. Roy joined him and took calculated chances to send the balls flying into the stands.
DD clinched the upper hand at the tenth over as they got 51 runs in four overs. On any other day, the MI leggies might have got Rohit Sharma's some wickets but on Saturday, they leaked 89 runs in 7 overs to ensure DD inched towards the win.
Despite Roy's unbeaten 91, the chase wasn't at all an easy one. After Pant departed on 47 off Krunal Pandya, Glenn Maxwell got out early and DD suffered a slight stutter. Thanks to local lad Shreyas Iyer, who understood the need of the hour and kept on getting a boundary every now and then. Roy too went hard against Krunal and Bumrah and ensured 11 and 12-run overs respectively. Another important factor that helped DD and showed Roy's sound approach was how he shepherded his partners. The result was three important stands of 50, 69, 60 that helped DD's cause. MI on the other hand, failed to produce that third stand going for them at the death. They got 102 at the start, then a 57-run stand in the middle.
Those two overs mattered a lot for DD as the MI bowlers had to do something extra to fetch wickets at that stage. In the process, they faltered at least once in the death conceding a boundary. Later, twin slip up in the field during the penultimate over added insult to injury, making Rohit Sharma furious. It was Mustafizur Rahman who fluffed Iyer twice at third man. Despite that, Bumrah gave five runs to take the equation to the last over. DD needed 11 off 6 and it was on Mustafiz to deliver the impossible.
But Roy was aware of his tricks and took him on the first ball. He slammed him over cover for a boundary. Next ball, the seamer strayed on leg and it took Roy a second to launch a flick over fine-leg to level the scores with a six. Then the real drama began. Roy was beaten the next three balls and DD now required 1 off 1. Thankfully, Roy held his own and cleared the infield to take Delhi home.
Earlier, it was Mumbai's opening pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Ewin Lewis, who flayed the Delhi bowling to provide their side a rollicking start. In the first nine overs, both of them took MI past 100, with Yadav being the more prolific batters of the two. The Delhi bowlers strayed off often and got the treatment. Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami were taken to the cleaners by Yadav in the first ten overs. It was only after leggie Rahul Tewatia was introduced that MI suffered a slight stutter. Once Yadav and Lewis were out, Ishan Kishan played a sweet cameo of 44 to keep Mumbai on track for a score of 200.
But when it was least expected, DD bowlers returned strong at the death and got three wickets. MI's scoring was affected and the run-rate plummeted. Had they not lost wickets, they could have easily added 20-30 runs to the total. But in the end, they fell short of 15-20 runs and had to suffer their third defeat on the trot.