Daredevils keep Mumbai winless
Delhi Daredevils 126 for 4 (Vijay 40, Malinga 2-17) beat Mumbai Indians 125 for 6 (Pollard 33*, Unadkat 2-29) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mumbai Indians have John Wright as their head coach, Anil Kumble as their team mentor, Jonty Rhodes as fielding coach, Sachin Tendulkar as an 'icon' and Robin Singh as assistant coach. Ricky Ponting was added to that list of illustrious names today, joining as an advisor. The expansion of the brains trust didn't result in a change in fortunes, as Mumbai went down for their fourth defeat in a row after their batting misfired yet again.
Delhi Daredevils may not have any superstar in their bowling ranks, but they combined to stifle Mumbai on a slow surface in Sharjah. Mumbai scores so far in this tournament have been 122 for 7, 115 for 9 and 141 for 7. To that sorry list, they added 125 for 6 today, again giving their bowlers too little to work with.
Things didn't go according to plan right from the start for Mumbai. The plan to push Rohit Sharma to the top of the order in place of the struggling Michael Hussey didn't work as Rohit was run-out by a Mohammed Shami direct hit in the second over. The ploy to have allrounder Corey Anderson at No. 3 seemed to be working a touch better as he hit two muscular boundaries, before finding man in the deep. Aditya Tare had already done the same.
Ambati Rayudu, an influential member for Mumbai in recent seasons, couldn't make an impact this time, poking around for a 21-ball 14. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Mumbai batting has been the absent form of the ultra-consistent Michael Hussey, who had another forgettable outing before being undone by a slower yorker from Jaydev Unadkat. Perhaps the time has come to drop Hussey.
CM Gautam played sweeps and reverse-sweeps to make an enterprising 18-ball 22 and Kieron Pollard overcame a slow start to unleash a couple of monster sixes and lift Mumbai's run-rate above six.
Daredevils' spinners have been one of their weaknesses this season, but Shahbaz Nadeem and JP Duminy proved hard to get away on the sluggish pitch where the ball didn't come on to the bat. The lack of pace worked for medium-pacer Laxmi Shukla as well, and he troubled Pollard in particular.
Daredevils have a formidable top five, and the target of 126 was never going to be a problem unless there were plenty of early wickets. The openers, Quinton de Kock and M Vijay, provided a steady start with Vijay going on to top score with 40. Hussey took a stunner at point to dismiss de Kock, Lasith Malinga got rid of the in-form JP Duminy, and though there were a few anxious moments for Daredevils, Mumbai never really looked like posing a serious challenge. It gave Daredevils their second win in five matches so far.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo