Just when the contest seemed to be following the script seen in 14 out of the first 16 matches in IPL-9, there was a dramatic twist to the tale.
Mumbai Indians, looking good to chase down 165, lost the plot between the 13th and 17th overs and left Delhi Daredevils celebrating a sensational 10-run victory at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday.
After 12 overs, Mumbai was 98 for two and needed 67 runs off 48 deliveries. But only 25 runs came off the following five overs, bowled by Zaheer Khan (6 runs), Chris Morris (5), Amit Mishra (5), Imran Tahir (4) and again Amit Mishra (5) and Mumbai suddenly found itself up against the wall.
Even after Morris conceded 10 runs off the 18th over, Mumbai needed 32 runs to win off two overs.
In the 19th over, Zaheer gave away 11, including a six to Kieron Pollard, but more importantly, had the danger-man caught with his last delivery.
Crucial run out
In the final over, Morris was required to defend 21. Rohit carted the second delivery for a six but off the following, was run out after colliding with Hardik Pandya while attempting a second run.
Harbhajan Singh fell leg-before and Morris conceded only singles off the last two deliveries to stifle Mumbai at the threshold of victory.
It was indeed a sensational victory for the host. At one stage, before Rohit reached his third half-century of the season, Mumbai looked well in control with Ambati Rayudu and Krunal Pandya providing the early momentum needed for the chase.
Looking back, Daredevils’ ploy of playing two leg-spinners — Mishra and Tahir — paid off as the two conceded only 53 runs in their eight overs and bowled 15 dot balls!
Earlier, Delhi made a fine recovery to make 164 after being 65 for three in 10 overs. Though 99 came in the second half of the innings, the target was not intimidating, but eventually proved enough.
Though Quinton de Kock, the hero of Delhi’s two victories this season, fell in the second over after hitting two successive boundaries in the first, Man-of-the-match Sanju Samson and J-P. Duminy came good.
For the fourth wicket, the pair raised 71 runs out of which Samson contributed 43. Continuing to reinforce the promise, the youngster hit a six and a four off Harbhajan’s third over that yielded 14 runs.
The following over saw Hardik collide with Buttler in their vain attempt to stop Samson’s shot from crossing the ropes. Hardik had to be lifted off the ground.
With Samson in full flow, Duminy settled down. Looking for his third six, Samson could not make the most of a full-toss from Mitchell McClenaghan and holed out to Tim Southee at long-off midway through the 17th over.
Thereafter, Duminy assumed charge and stepped up the run-rate to help Delhi cross 160. In fact, he was caught by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in the final over but the trajectory of the delivery was found to be above waist-high and declared a no-ball following replays.
Delhi Daredevils: Quinton de Kock c Hardik Pandya b McClenaghan 9 (7b, 2x4), Shreyas Iyer c Rayudu b Hardik Pandya 19 (20b, 1x4, 1x6), Sanju Samson c Southee b McClenaghan 60 (48b, 4x4, 2x6), Karun Nair c Southee b Harbhajan 5 (5b, 1x4), J-P. Duminy (not out) 49 (31b, 3x4, 2x6), Pawan Negi (not out) 10 (10b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3, w-8, nb-1): 12; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 164.
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (de Kock), 2-48 (Iyer), 3-54 (Nair), 4-125 (Samson).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Tim Southee 3-0-21-0, Mitchell McClenaghan 4-0-31-2, Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-42-0, Krunal Pandya 4-0-25-0, Hardik Pandya 1-0-7-1, Harbhajan Singh 3-0-24-1, Keiron Pollard 1-0-11-0.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma run out 65 (48b, 7x4, 1x6), Parthiv Patel run out 1 (4b), Ambatti Rayudu b Mishra 25 (23b, 4x4), Krunal Pandya run out 36 (17b, 4x4, 2x6), Jos Buttler lbw b Mishra 2 (6b), Keiron Pollard c Morris b Zaheer 19 (18b, 1x6), Hardik Pandya (not out) 2 (2b), Harbhajan Singh lbw b Morris 0 (1b), Tim Southee not out 1 (1b); Extras (lb-1, w-2): 3; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 154.
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Parthiv), 2-62 (Rayudu), 3-103 (Krunal Pandya), 4-110 (Buttler), 5-144 (Pollard), 6-152 (Rohit), 7-152 (Harbhajan).
Daredevils bowling: Zaheer 4-0-30-1, Mohammed Shami 3-0-24-0, Pawan Negi 1-0-19-0, Chris Morris 4-0-27-1, Amit Mishra 4-0-24-2, Imran Tahir 4-0-29-0.
Toss: Mumbai Indians
Man-of-the-match: Sanju Samson.
Delhi Daredevils won by 10 runs.