Suryakumar Yadav played a second match-winning knock of the week to help Mumbai Indians (MI) cruise to a comfortable victory against Delhi Capitals (DC) and emerge as clear leader in the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table.
Suryakumar’s 53 (32b, 6×4, 1×6) ensured that Quinton de Kock’s quickfire fifty (53, 36b, 4×4, 3×6) didn’t go waste as Mumbai hunted down the target of 163 with five wickets and two balls to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
If Suryakumar’s unbeaten 47-ball 79 had led the defending champion put on an unassailable total against Rajasthan Royals earlier in the week, it was the turn of the Mumbai batsman to display his prowess while timing a chase to near-perfection.
When de Kock mistimed a sweep to Prithvi Shaw at deep square in the 10th over, the winning mark was still 86 runs away. But on a slowish pitch, Yadav and left-hander Ishan Kishan ensured that they kept hitting the boundaries to ensure the run rate pressure never mounted on MI.
Yadav’s artistry off spinners was on display in abundance. He first hit an inside-out aerial cover drive off Ashwin before unleashing back-to-back sweeps on let-arm spinner Axar Patel. Then he used the crease effectively to send Kagiso Rabada for a tickle through third-man for a four, followed by a whip over long-leg for a six that took him to his fifty.
However, he played one shot too many off the last ball of the 15th over and the Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer pouched a skier. By then, however, thanks to the 14-run over, the target was well in sight with 33 runs required from five overs. Despite a bit of a stutter, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya ensured Mumbai crossed the line in the last over.
Earlier in the evening, with Rishabh Pant ruled out due to his hamstring injury, it resulted in the Capitals handing debut caps to Ajinkya Rahane and Alex Carey, with Shimron Hetmeyer missing out. As a result, Shikhar Dhawan (69*, 52b, 6×4, 1×6) took the onus of batting through the innings after Shaw and Rahane succumbed in the Powerplay.
But Iyer holing out in the deep in the 15th over after a partnership of 84 runs with Dhawan, dominated by strike rotation gave MI a chance to put brakes on the Capitals. And a needless run-out of Marcus Stoinis in the 17th meant MI tightened the screws, conceding only 35 runs in the last four overs.