IPL-5: Delhi thrash Mumbai

MUMBAI: An asking rate of 4.15 in a T20 match, batting against an opposition who’ve opted to rest their best pace bowler, on a track that has considerably eased out for batting

Shahbaz Nadeem triggered Mumbai Indians' collapse with two wickets upfront

Shahbaz Nadeem triggered Mumbai Indians' collapse with two wickets upfront

The battle of the heavyweights in this IPL degenerated into a one-sided contest at the Wankhede Stadium, as the Mumbai Indians‘ top and middle orders imploded against some attacking bowling from Delhi Daredevils. The implosion was partly forced, partly self-inflicted, and left the visitors chasing the lowest target this IPL season, one they achieved with ease. The Daredevils are on top of the table now with three wins from four games, Mumbai Indians have slipped to fourth place.

Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, has proved effective this season with economical figures and he continued the good work against the Mumbai openers, bowling flat and sticking to a tight line. There was a good amount of bounce available on the track and the new ball helped him get some bite. Nadeem owed some of his success today to Irfan Pathan, who tied down Davy Jacobs at one end, bowling a maiden and it was a matter of time before the opener tried to break through. He swung hard but was bowled by Nadeem to be dismissed for a 10-ball duck, and Richard Levi followed in almost identical fashion against Nadeem eight balls later.

Another 20 to 25 runs more would’ve allowed Mumbai to script another story. But right from the time they lost the toss and were put in to bat first, the hosts stayed buckled under the impressive watch of Delhi pacers and an astute skipper in Virender Sehwag.Without Sachin Tendulkar at the helm, Mumbai’s batting has looked desperate, trying the sort of things that Tendulkar would’ve restrained them from.

The idea has been to hit every second ball out of the stadium in conditions where lofting it over the 30-yard circle could be a problem. The wicket was slow, the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat, but none of the Mumbai players seemed intent on hanging in there and figuring out what it all meant.

The Mad-Max theory obviously didn’t work and it wouldn’t have given the way Team Delhi bowled. Morne Morkel, the six-footer, made the hosts smell every delivery.

The pacer didn’t open the bowling though. Before Morkel came into the picture, Irfan Pathan and Shahbaz Nadeem made good use of the slow track and the conditions to subdue the Mumbai top order.

Ajit Agarkar joined the party too, knowing the Wankhede conditions well. By the time Morkel was brought in, intimidation seemed to be the only thing on Delhi’s mind.

The game was over for Team Mumbai even before they were halfway through the innings. Team Delhi walked in to bat seeking an easy win, one that may now go a long way in further shoring up the team’s confidence.

This was a new-look Delhi team, with Ross Taylor joining the middle-order, Mahela Jayawardene playing only his second match, Kevin Pietersen making his intent known in the tournament already and Sehwag having a variety of men in the line-up to bank on.

Overall, Mumbai did well to prolong the match till the end of the 15th over. The target was just too little to protect.

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