Jets triumph with all-round performance
Delhi Jets 163 for 5 (Nixon 39*, Benkenstein 38*) beat Mumbai Champs 139 for 9 (Jadhav 42, Sharma 3-34, Sudhindra 3-35) by 24 runs
After raking up the highest total of the tournament thus far, Delhi Jets came up with a disciplined bowling performance - led by TP Sudhindra - to complete a 24-run win in Panchkula.
Marvan Atapattu, the Jets captain, opted to bat and they were sailing along at over a run a ball before Nathan Astle struck twice, removing Abbas Ali - who made 25 - and Atapattu. The Jets were at 98 for 5 off 15.3 overs when Paul Nixon joined Dale Benkenstein at the crease, and the two foreign recruits didn't disappoint.
They played out the remaining three balls of the 16th over from Astle and the next from Johan Van der Wath for nine runs, before taking off in the next . Avinash Yadav, the left-arm spinner, was clobbered for 25 runs - the most expensive of the tournament - including a reverse-sweep from Nixon that went for six.
Eleven came off Astle's final over - the 19th - before 20 runs were picked off Rakesh Patel off the 20th. Benkenstein finished with 38 off 25, but the main propellor in Jets' innings was surely Nixon, who scored 39 off 14 deliveries.
With the likes of Brian Lara and Astle in their ranks, many felts the Champs would make a fight of the chase. However, Sudhindra removed Lara - who has failed to go beyond single digits in the tournament - in his first over, before taking the big wickets of Astle and Vikram Solanki.
Jai P Yadav then took a brace to leave the Champs reeling at 50 for 5, and despite a 42 from Dheeraj Jadhav, the team could never looked in the hunt to register their first win. Any hopes of a fightback were kept under check by Abhishek Sharma, who bagged three lower-order wickets.
Mervyn Dillon hit some big shots in his unbeaten 19, as the Champs crashed to a 24-run defeat.