Kuldeep, Axar shine as Delhi stun Mumbai to chase 178

Kuldeep, Axar shine as Delhi stun Mumbai to chase 178

The Mumbai Indians continued their tradition of losing their opening game of the Indian Premier League season as the five-time champions suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday. Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav combined to pull off a stunning heist for the Capitals in their run-chase, rescuing the team from 104 for six by adding 75 runs from just 30 deliveries for the seventh wicket to take the team home in 18.2 overs.

Chasing 178 on a flat batting track, Delhi got off to an excellent start to the powerplay, with Tim Seifert creaming four boundaries in the opening two overs. However, the Capitals run-chase was quickly derailed from that point onwards, with Murugan Ashwin dismissing Tim Seifert and Mandeep Singh in quick succession before Rishabh Pant top-edged Tymal Mills to third man for one in the fifth over.

Prithvi Shaw enjoyed some success against the Mumbai overseas quicks, but the Indian opener perished in the tenth over, failing to control a pull shot against Basil Thampi to hand Ishan Kishan a straightforward catch. Just two balls later, Rovman Powell suffered the same fate, guiding another short delivery from Thampi into the hands of deep square leg to leave the Capitals reeling at 72 for five.

Any hopes of a Delhi victory were hanging by a thread at that stage, but the Capitals continued to fight back with Shardul Thakur creaming Jasprit Bumrah for three boundaries in an over before Axar Patel changed the game with his cameo at the death. The left-hander was fortunate to be dropped by Tim David on 15, but the all-rounder took full advantage of his reprieve as he carted Bumrah for a six down the ground and added another 13 runs off Basil Thampi’s 17th over.

The game was firmly in the balance with 28 runs needed off 18 deliveries, but Axar and Lalit Yadav ended the contest within the next six balls itself as they thrashed three sixes and a four off Daniel Sams’ 18th over to help the Capitals chase down the 178-run target with ten balls to spare.

Earlier in the day, Mumbai were able to put on 177 in the first innings thanks to a brilliant knock from their opener Ishan Kishan. The left-hander played second fiddle to Rohit Sharma in the opening half of the Mumbai innings but came into his own towards the death overs as he pummelled the Delhi bowlers to all parts of the ground.

Mumbai were put on the back foot by an outstanding spell of three for 18 from Kuldeep Yadav, but Kishan remained resolute, reaching his fifty off 34 deliveries and finishing with 81 from 48 balls as the five-time champions added 54 runs in the final four overs to finish with a respectable total of 177.