Sehwag, Jayawardene trounce tricky target
Delhi Daredevils 165 for 1 (Sehwag 95*, Jayawardene 59) beat Mumbai Indians 161 for 4 (Rohit Sharma 73, Tendulkar 54) by 9 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
On a hot Sunday afternoon, two bowling attacks got into a contest of who could bowl worse. Mumbai Indians outdid their Delhi Daredevils counterparts by a comfortable margin, and handed Daredevils their first win in seven attempts this season.
To give credit where it's due, Daredevils were ordinary for a much shorter duration. They only let things go after they had reduced Mumbai to 24 for 2 in six overs, giving Rohit Sharma full toss after full toss to deposit into the stands, and conceding 161 runs. Mumbai's Jasprit Bumrah and Munaf Patel, though, were poor from the start, letting the hitherto struggling Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene run away with the chase after which the duo regained their touch too.
The match couldn't have started more differently. After Mumbai finally split the faltering box-office opening combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, Daredevils' left-arm bowlers stifled the top order on a slow pitch. Finally included, Roelof van der Merwe made the biggest difference, with the wicket of Dwayne Smith in the third over.
Everything was going in Daredevils' favour. They got the danger man Dinesh Karthik with a deflection from Umesh Yadav in his follow-through, and Tendulkar was struggling to strike at a run a ball. They somehow took Mumbai to 57 for 2 in 10 overs, but then the deluge started. Andre Russell, for some reason replacing Morne Morkel, began with a full toss for Rohit to hit a six. In the next over, Shahbaz Nadeem dropped Tendulkar.
In between the odd classy shot and heave, Rohit kept getting his loose balls. In all, he was given five full tosses, off which he scored 20 runs and was holed out on the last. These were not yorkers gone wrong, these were knee-high full bungers. Around more ordinary fielding, Mumbai kept prospering, but this was nothing compared to what was to follow.
Bumrah, of the strange action, might have been rescued by dodgy umpiring in the previous match he played, but his angle and his gentle pace and length bowling was fodder for the batsmen this time around. His first over finished, Bumrah went to short fine leg to drop Sehwag off Munaf Patel. It shouldn't take away from how poor the delivery was: short, down the leg side, with the fine leg up in the circle.
Munaf didn't stop doing that in his first two-over spell, and was consistently picked away on the leg side past the short fine leg. While Bumrah paid for that wide angle, Munaf was penalised for not bowling to his fields, and their next overs yielded 17 each. At 50 for 0 after five overs, these two had smelled blood, and you don't let Sehwag and Jayawardene smell blood. David Warner may have wondered why he didn't face such bowling when he opened the innings.
Matching each other shot for shot now, they carved through some of the better bowling, whipping Lasith Malinga, reverse-sweeping Harbhajan Singh, delighting the home crowd that has refused to stay away despite all the losses, becoming only the third combination in IPL to have registered two hundred-run opening stands.
What chance did Dwayne Smith stand? In his second over, the 10th of the chase, Smith was carved away for four by Sehwag and paddled away for a six by Jayawardene. And that six, coming as early as it did, brought the asking rate down to a run a ball. No collapse, fashionable as it might be, followed and the remaining 63 were got in just 45 balls.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo