Two teams occupying the top two positions on the points table, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capital locked horns with each other, which ended in Mumbai’s favour after a gritty fight from Delhi. Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav’s partnership ensured that Mumbai gets over the line easily.
The Delhi captain came out to bat when Delhi were 24/2 in 4.2, losing Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane early on and it seemed as if everything he was hitting was coming from the middle of the bat. Only after playing 2 balls, he smoked James Pattinson for a boundary through a gorgeous cover drive, which showed the kind of form he has been in of late - having already scored 203 runs in 6 matches with a brilliant unbeaten 88 against Kolkata, Iyer has been there for his team more often than not. In this match as well, he was there for his team as he scored a 33-ball 42, including 5 fours. He consolidated and hit the bad balls on offer early on to stabilize the innings and although he could not finish the innings, getting out on a loose delivery from Krunal Pandya - trying to hit it over mid-wicket for six, he built the perfect platform to launch in the death overs. One of the main reasons for Delhi performing good has been Iyer leading his team from the front and rescuing them in times of need, hence, termed him the ‘ever-dependable’ captain.
Krunal Pandya is a ‘street-smart’ customer
Krunal Pandya is not the kind of bowler that uses conventional left-arm to deceive the batsmen, rather he is a bowler that perfectly defines the modern-age T20 bowling. He uses whatever measures necessary to stop the batsmen from scoring runs - be it bowling with a slinging action or bowling with his landing foot behind the wicket to pull his length away from batsmen. He was at it again in the match against Mumbai as he gave no room to Delhi batsmen, mixing his pace really well. First, he got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane through a quicker delivery, which Rahane played across the line and got LBW. And then, he got the all-important wicket of Shreyas Iyer to break his dangerous partnership with Shikhar Dhawan. Although he got the second wicket on a loose delivery, he must be credited for keeping the ball away from the hitting zones of batsmen. He might not look good aesthetically, but he is surely as efficient as he finished with the match figures of 2/26.
Inconsistent Quinton de Kock can punch an odd knock-out
With a sole noteworthy 67 against SRH in the last match, Quinton de Kock has been extremely inconsistent this season, scoring just 163 runs in 6 matches. However, in this match, he continued from where he left off in the last match, bringing up his fifty in just 33 balls. This innings becomes even more important considering the fact that Rohit Sharma had got out early and Mumbai had the pressure of chasing the target, scoring consecutive fifties, and getting back to the long-awaited form. Finally, he got dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin, who flighted an off-spinner, tempting de Kock to hit it over the top, resulting in Prithvi Shaw taking his catch at deep mid-wicket. Although he could not finish the chase, he set up the match nicely for the defending champions. This also serves as a welcome relief for the Mumbai based franchise, who have not had great opening starts so far in the tournament.
Mumbai Indians were correct in backing Suryakumar Yadav at 3
Seeing his terrific performances in the recent past, Suryakumar Yadav was entrusted with the most important number 3 spot by Rohit Sharma. He was tasked to anchor the Mumbai innings in the presence of big hitters around him. However, things didn’t quite take off as he would have liked to as he could just score 101 runs in his initial 5 matches. He was looking good with his strokeplay getting decent starts but couldn’t convert those starts into big runs for the team. However, against Delhi, he was at his best, repaying the trust that Mumbai management put on him by scoring a brilliant 53 off 32 deliveries with one six and six boundaries, setting up the win for Mumbai. It is also nice to see the Mumbaikar among runs since he has been performing well for the past few seasons and this edition was his chance to grab the opportunity to bat in the top order and construct a career-defining season for himself. Hopefully, BCCI are watching him and keeping a note of his performance!