How good a team are Mumbai Indians? After dishing out their most dominant performance of IPL 13 in the first play-off against Delhi Capitals, they could well be deserving of the tag of the best T20 outfit in the history of franchise cricket.
The all-round power of MI rose to the fore on Thursday evening at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as they outclassed DC, storming into their second straight IPL final. After the 57-run rout, Delhi will now have to wait for Sunday, where they will meet the winner of Friday’s eliminator to make their maiden final. (IPL 2020 Full Coverage)
The most impressive aspect of the performance by the defending champions was in their fightback from tough situations; every time DC put them under pressure after putting them into bat, they bounced back. Without any contribution from the bat from two of their top players – Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard – Delhi’s bowling attack was still smashed for 200 runs.
Still, even that batting display was overshadowed by how Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah blew away the Capitals top-order within the first eight balls of the chase. With DC’s score at zero for three, the contest was as good as over.
Winning the toss is considered a big advantage due to the dew factor in the second half of the match, but MI’s batsmen neutralized it with a formidable total on the board. Delhi’s R Ashwin was the only player to challenge MI with an excellent performance of three wickets for 29 runs.
Quinton De Kock (40 off 25 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (51 off 38 balls) gave MI the early impetus. They ensured that the early loss of captain Sharma didn’t hurt them by capitalising on the powerplay overs to take the score to 63 for one, their highest six-over score in this IPL.
Later, Ishan Kishan soaked up the pressure during the middle overs to break Capital’s bowling plans. It was his partnership with Hardik Pandya that knocked the wind out of the Capitals’ sails. MI added 92 runs in the last six overs after stuttering between overs 11 and 14, when they got just 15 runs from four overs.
What hurt Delhi the most was how their speedsters Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were taken apart. The two conceded as many as 92 runs between them, the most by them in an innings this IPL. That was mainly due to a late assault by Hardik and Kishan’s counter-attack. In the last three overs alone, Hardik waded into Daniel Sams, Rabada and Nortje to finish off the innings with 17, 18 and 20-run overs. The two added 60 runs in 23 balls.
Two hundred was always going to be a tough ask. But tough got a lot tougher once both Boult and Bumrah bowled a double-wicket maiden each, Boult in the first over and Bumrah during the last rites.