Although T20 is a format of small margins, Delhi Capitals were made to feel how removing even one link can leave a carefully constructed structure shaky. The table-toppers and champions Mumbai Indians (No. 2 in the table) were well-matched in bowling, but Rishabh Pant’s injury meant Alex Carey had to come in as the fourth foreign player to take up keeping duties. It kept Shimron Hetmyer out, removing two power-hitters from the 11, as Ajinkya Rahane got a game.
Just when Capitals, electing to bat, were shifting gears through Marcus Stoinis, he was run out in a mix-up with Shikhar Dhawan. The opener stayed 69 not out, but the consistency of MI bowlers and the inability of DC batsmen to bludgeon shots saw 18 deliveries, go without a boundary in the final phase. (IPL 2020 Full Coverage)
That left DC defending only 162/4, not a lot even on a slow Abu Dhabi pitch. It left their versatile bowling attack with the task of taming MI’s solid batting line-up. In the end, MI’s power hits carried them to 166/5 in 19.4 overs. MI replaced DC at the top of the table on better net run rate. A by-play was how the master, MI skipper Rohit Sharma, and rising star, DC captain Shreyas Iyer, would do. Sharma fell to the sluggish pitch, holing out Axar Patel early. Iyer too fell to spin, caught off the brilliant Krunal Pandya, but only after he had again underlined the charm of orthodox batting in T20.
Quinton de Kock didn’t hold back, unleashing powerful shots to give MI a fine start, reaching his second fifty of IPL 2020 off 33 balls (53-36b, 4×4, 3×6). He skied R Ashwin to deep midwicket, having crossed over after the bowler had dropped Suryakumar Yadav.
Yadav cashed in, hitting his second fifty in a row. It was studded with powerful sweeps and cuts while lofted shots were De Kock’s route to the fence. Kagiso Rabada had Yadav caught and Stoinis had Hardik Pandya for a duck. Ishan Kishen’s 28 edged MI closer, and though DC managed to keep Pollard in check and Anrich Nortje gave away only three runs in the 19th, but MI knocked off the last seven runs with two balls left.
Brief scores: DC 162/4 (S Dhawan 69, S Iyer 42). MI 166/5 (Q de Kock 53, S Yadav 53).