The Mumbai Indians kicked off their IPL campaign in a convincing fashion by defeating the Delhi Daredevils by 8 wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground this evening.
It was Lasith Malinga’s devastating spell of 5 for 13 that derailed the Delhi batting and eventually led to their downfall in their opening game against the Mumbai Indians. Malinga picked up 5 wickets with some toe-crushing yorkers to help restrict the Daredevils to a below par score of 95 all out in 17.4 overs.
Virender Sehwag, Daredevils’ skipper, won the toss and, having read the pitch well, elected to bat first. However, quick dismissals of David Warner and debutant Unmukt Chand in Malinga’s very first over pushed them on the back-foot right from the beginning. A little later, Sachin Tendulkar ran out Sehwag (19) with a brilliant direct-hit, and had the Daredevils tottering at 27-3 after 5 overs.
Spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ali Murtuza tightened the screws on the opposition in the middle overs and joined the party by claiming two wickets for 14 and one wicket for 21, respectively. Malinga returned to the attack in the 16th over and finished off the tail in his grand style with three dismissals, as the hosts were bowled out for a paltry 95. Wicket-keeper Naman Ojha was the top scorer for the Daredevils with 29.
A below par score of 95 is never easy to defend for any team and the Daredevils needed their bowlers to bring home a miracle to bowl out a strong batting side like the MI. In reply, Morne Morkel cleaned up MI opener Davey Jacobs for 1, giving some hope to the home crowd but the excitement did not last long, as Ambati Rayudu joined Tendulkar to get the scoreboard ticking. The second break for the hosts came when Roelof van der Merwe brilliantly ran-out Rayudu who tried to sneak a cheeky single to mid-off. The Mumbai Indians were 31-2 after 6 at this stage with Rayudu having departed for 14.
With 65 runs required, Rohit Sharma joined his skipper to steady the innings. After playing out a couple of overs cautiously, both the batsmen got going freely and took their side to victory by scoring the remaining runs without further scare. MI coasted home with 8 wickets in hand and with more than three overs to spare. While Tendulkar got a smooth 46 with his characteristic finesse, Sharma contributed a valuable 27.
The Mumbai Indians now meet Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday, April 12 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.