When the decision to shift to the Indian Premier League (IPL) to United Arab Emirates was taken, most pre-tournament predictions favoured teams with quality spin bowlers to hold sway.
But, it’s the teams with pace firepower who have set the tone. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are leading Delhi Capitals charge with 12 and seven wickets each. Matching them well are the Mumbai Indians trio of Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and James Pattinson. All five are among the top seven on the wicket-takers’ list with Rabada and Boult leading the tally. It’s no wonder that Delhi and Mumbai are at the top of table.
(IPL 2020 Full Coverage)
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night, the Mumbai Indians’ trio put on another brilliant exhibition of pace bowling to overwhelm Rajasthan Royals on way to a 57-run win.
After his batsmen put on 194/4, the Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma unleashed the three in the powerplay overs. By the end of the first six overs, RR were out of the contest being reduced to 31 for three.
Like in their victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Boult was again the star performer. He set the tone with the wicket of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal on the second ball of the match, getting him to edge with a moving ball outside the off-stump. Boult followed it up by scalping dangerman Sanju Samson with another smart execution of targeting the batsman’s weakness, the short ball.
Bumrah applied pressure from the other end by getting the wicket of Steve Smith in the second over. Boult and Bumrah choked the RR’s top order in the first five overs and Pattinson ensured there was no respite in the final over before the field restrictions ended.
The three did one better than the last game where they shared six wickets between them. Here they shared eight with Bumrah picking four wickets and Boult and Pattinson two each.
Rajasthan were one of the teams who had a great record against Mumbai, having beaten them in their last four encounters. The grip was broken on Tuesday. Their batsmen have refused to learn from their mistakes. Smith was out inside edging a wild heave off Bumrah; he had got out playing a similar shot against Pat Cummins of Kolkata Knight Riders. Dismissed off a short ball in the previous game, Samson fell to the same shot again.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians were well served by Suryakumar Yadav. Coming to bat at No. 3, the Mumbai batsman scored 79 off 47 balls after Sharma had given a fine start with 35 runs off 23 balls. Hardik Pandya ensured a strong finish with a 30 off 19 balls.