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IPL 2014 – MI vs DD: Hussey, Bowlers Keep Mumbai Alive

By on May 23, 2014

Mumbai Indians 173 (Hussey 56, Tahir 3-37) beat Delhi Daredevils 158 for 4 (Duminy 45*) by 15 runs.

Mumbai Indians lost their last eight wickets for 33 runs, and were bowled out with three balls left to play. As Rohit Sharma watched his team collapse, the expression on his face went from incredulous to annoyed to angry. This, after all, was a must-win game for Mumbai if they wanted to retain any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

IPL 2014 - MI vs DD: Michael HusseyEight wickets for 33 runs. And yet, Mumbai won, and comfortably at that. They did just about enough either side of the collapse to keep their hopes alive.

Michael Hussey got them off to a flier with a 33-ball 56, and Mumbai had been looking at 200 before their innings came crashing down.

Chasing 174, Delhi Daredevils never got any real momentum going. JP Duminy and Manoj Tiwary kept them alive with an 85-run fourth-wicket partnership, but 32 from the last two overs proved beyond their reach. Marchant de Lange and Jasprit Bumhah bowled two excellent overs to close out a 15-run win for Mumbai.

Sent in to bat, Mumbai profited from some ordinary bowling at the start to run away to 65 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay and 100 for 1 after 10 overs. Siddarth Kaul and Jaydev Unadkat kept drifting down leg to Hussey, and he kept playing pick-up shots and pulls into the gaps on the leg-side boundary.

Imran Tahir’s introduction did nothing to slow Mumbai down. On the contrary, it brought Lendl Simmons into the game. He took three fours off the over, two with his favourite square cut – off back foot and then front foot – to capitalise on the width offered by the legspinner.

The dismissal of Simmons brought Rohit Sharma in, and he was soon capitalising on some width of his own – this time offered by JP Duminy, who bowled short and wide despite having only deep cover on the off-side boundary. Mumbai were going at close to 10 an over, and even the first few wickets didn’t slow them down. Kieron Pollard hit the first ball he faced for six. Aditya Tare caressed the first two balls he faced to the off-side boundary.

The slide really began when Ambati Rayudu picked out long-off off Shahbaz Nadeem, and soon batsmen were holing out and running themselves out all over the place. Mumbai didn’t even play out their full 20 overs. On this pitch, a target of 174 didn’t look like all that much.

But Daredevils, as they have so often done this season, batted pretty well without ever giving their opponents a real scare. They got off the blocks quickly enough, with Kevin Pietersen striking three fours off de Lange in the second over of the chase, and were 43 for no loss after five overs. The next five overs, however, brought them only 19 runs and cost them three wickets.

Shreyas Gopal had M Vijay stumped with an enticingly loopy legbreak that the batsman flailed at and missed, but the bowlers didn’t have to do too much to earn the next two wickets. Pietersen was bowled trying to switch-hit Harbhajan; Dinesh Karthik was bowled trying to scoop a full, straight ball from de Lange.

Daredevils were left needing 112 from their last 10 overs. They stayed in the hunt, with Duminy clinical in targeting the midwicket area, and Tiwary getting into good positions against the spinners to slog-sweep or hit inside out. When de Lange started the penultimate over by giving away two free runs with a chest-high full toss to Duminy, it looked like Mumbai could come to regret their batting meltdown.

But de Lange quickly recalibrated his radar, and found the blockhole three times in the next six balls. He also dismissed Duminy, and 30 off 12 balls became 25 off six. There was still an outside chance, but Jasprit Bumrah quickly snuffed that out with some yorkers of his own. Mumbai hadn’t been at their best, and had put themselves in some extremely sticky spots, but they were still breathing, just about, at the end of it.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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