Mumbai Indians’ late-blooming run in IPL 2018 amounted to nothing as they eventually lost the must-win game against Delhi Daredevils, leaving the fourth spot wide open for the grabs. However, apart from them, Delhi also ended the game with players that they will have a hard look before next season.
Rishabh Pant & Sandip Lamichhane
20-year-old Pant has been one of the very good things that have come out of Delhi Daredevils’ pathetic season. The youngster picked up form late and would be leaving the league stages as the orange cap holder with a mammoth 684 runs. Not only the piling of runs but the manner in which he has done, has been exceptional. The southpaw has exhibited that he has a variety of shots up his sleeve and if not for the ODI format, he is now definitely a contender for MS Dhoni’s successor in the shortest format of the game. Pant has scored five fifties this season with his highest being an unbeaten 128. The other would surely be the Nepal youngster. DD took a huge gamble at the mega auctions with the youngster and he has delivered aptly. Taking three wickets for 36 runs, Sandeep Lamichhane was the lynchpin to Delhi’s stunning win today. It is a pity that Delhi couldn’t qualify because the player had just started show sparks in his trade. He ended IPL 2018 with five wickets in three matches.
After Rajasthan Royals finished their task against Royal Challengers Bangalore with a bang yesterday as the side that lacked the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes beat Virat Kohli and company by 30 runs, the table was wide open for three teams competing for the fourth spot. KKR made it all the simpler with a straightforward win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, which left RR with only Mumbai Indians to fear. MI
After Jasprit Bumrah bowled out Glenn Maxwell in today’s game, there was no over-the-top celebration or pumping his fists by the Mumbai bowler. He just ended his run-up and staring with his hand on his chin at a dejected Maxwell, who was befuddled by his poor execution of an on-drive. Bumrah resembled a look DD fans have had for almost the entire season now. Coming with fierce form in the Trans-Tasman series, where Maxwell was seen slogging the New Zealand and England bowlers to the stands almost at will, he had nothing more than a shadow of his former self. After his half-decent last season, where he could make only 310 runs, Kings XI Punjab decided not to retain him anymore. But, the rejection has further mellowed down the crafty batsman, who is leaving IPL 2018 with just 169 runs and five wickets in the pocket. Paying a price of 9 crores, even DD would now think twice before releasing him and getting in someone with similar impact.
This would definitely be a forgettable game for the youngster. It started for him with a hellish run-out in the first innings, which that would go down as a black mark for him on the eyes of the selectors. Delhi had started with tremendous momentum before his cheap dismissal led to a small collapse at the top-order that needed a timely saving by Rishabh Pant. And if he thought his nightmare had ended there, he got another shock in the second innings when an edge by Kieron Pollard was missed by Shaw at the slip. He got shouted by his teammates, which only made him more nervous. He further had two misfields, once with Pollard again and another with Mayank Markande.
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