Lasith Malinga bowled yorkers at will as his deadly five-wicket burst helped Mumbai Indians crush Delhi Daredevils by eight wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Daredevils were shot out for a meagre 95 in 17.4 overs. The collapse was a combination of hostile bowling from the Lankan speedster, helped by some poor shot selection by the home team batsmen at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.
Mumbai Indians never looked in any sort of hurry as they cruised to the target in 16.5 overs with skipper Sachin Tendulkar scoring an unbeaten 46 (50 balls, 3×4, 1×6).
While Rohit Sharma’s contribution in the 68-run third wicket partnership was an unbeaten 27 (30 balls, 3×4).
The match was supposed to be a fight between Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag but it was the Sri Lankan slinger who emerged as the hero in the end.
Malinga’s figures read a stunning 3.4-1-13-5 with four of them being cleaned up unplayable yorkers. It is the third best figure in the IPL after Sohail Tanveer (6/14 for Rajasthan Royals) and Anil Kumble’s (5/5) efforts.
For the capacity crowd at the Kotla, it turned out to be utterly disappointing as five of the Delhi Daredevils batsmen went without troubling the scorers.
Malinga’s effort was all the more laudable as Kotla track is considered to be not so conducive for pacers. After Kemar Roach’s hostile spell against the Netherlands in the World Cup, Malinga again showed that raw pace can be intimidating for the lesser known players.
Barring Sehwag, this Delhi Daredevils team doesn’t have good enough players to survive the rigours of top flight Twenty20 and it was proved in the manner they faced the Mumbai Indians bowling.
The Kotla track may be on the slower side but it was inept batting by the Delhi Daredevils top-order that led to their downfall.
Sehwag had the crowd roaring when he danced down the track to effortlessly lift Harbhajan Singh over long-off for a six.
Malinga got into the act in the second over as he pegged the home team back with a twin blow in the very second over. The normally dangerous David Warner (1) failed to dig out a toe-crushing yorker from Malinga, while the 17-year-old Unmukt Chand’s IPL debut was a forgettable one as he was out after a couple of deliveries.
The youngster who has never faced anything above medium fast at the domestic level tried to smash a Malinga delivery that was fast and full. Unmukt’s feet were rooted in his crease and the ball cannoned into the middle stump.
The sell-out crowd at the stadium who were expecting some fireworks from Sehwag were left high and dry as skipper was run-out for 19 (16 balls, 2×4, 1×6). It was totally Sehwag’s call after striker Aaron Finch played it to short-fine leg.
The Daredevils captain who was at the non-striker end called for the single knowing fully well that ball went straight to Sachin Tendulkar stationed at that position.
Tendulkar’s direct throw caught Sehwag couple of feet short of his ground.
Finch (8) was the fourth Delhi batsmen to be dismissed when he tried to sweep a flighted delivery from Harbhajan but the top edge was well caught by Ambati Rayudu at deep backward square leg.
With the team precariously placed at 40 for four, India discards Naman Ojha (29, 30 balls, 2×4, 1×6) and Venugopal Rao (26, 25 balls, 3×4) added 42 runs for the fifth wicket but were never able to shift gears apart from hitting an odd boundary.
Finally, Ojha ran out of patience and was caught by Malinga at long-on trying to hoist left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza.
Irfan Pathan’s (0) was a brief stay at the wicket as he went for non-existent single and failed to return back.
Malinga then came back for his second spell to clean up Venugopal and Morne Morkel (0) with couple of unplayable yorkers.
He finished his five-wicket haul with a slower, which Dinda lobbed to James Franklin at mid-off.