A terrific end-overs heist from Ishan Kishan (55 n.o., 30b, 4×4, 3×6) and Hardik Pandya (37 n.o., 14b, 5×6), followed by a Trent Boult-Jasprit Bumrah bowling masterclass, put Mumbai Indians in the IPL final following a resounding 57-run win over Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
It didn’t matter that two of MI’s best batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard, were both out for ducks. Quinton de Kock’s racy 25-ball 40 (5×4, 1×6) and Suryakumar Yadav’s 38-ball 51 (6×4, 2×6) set the tone before Ishan and Hardik combined for a 60-run partnership off just 23 balls to set DC a challenging 201-run target.
0 for 3
Boult and Bumrah then left DC reeling at 0 for 3 after just 1.2 overs. Prithvi Shaw was caught behind and Ajinkya Rahane out leg-before to Boult (2-1-9-2) before Bumrah bowled Shikhar Dhawan with an inch-perfect yorker. When Bumrah had Shreyas Iyer caught at cover with the score at 20, the contest was all but over. Marcus Stoinis resisted with a half-century (65, 46b, 6×4, 3×6), but a double-wicket burst by Bumrah (4-1-14-4) in the 16th over ensured the Australian’s knock was merely academic.
DC has one more opportunity to make the final, but it will need to summon all its powers of recovery following a loss of this magnitude.
After DC chose to bowl, de Kock provided MI with a blistering start, creaming three boundaries in the first over from Daniel Sams. Ravichandran Ashwin struck off his second ball, trapping Rohit leg-before, but de Kock chugged along merrily, driving the offie through cover, pulling Kagiso Rabada behind square and then hoisting Axar Patel over long-on. Suryakumar hit Ashwin for a straight six and a punched four to round out the PowerPlay at 63 for one.
It was Ashwin who provided the breakthrough again, forcing de Kock to miscue a hoick to long-off in the eighth over. Suryakumar brought up his fourth half-century with a terrific cross-batted whip off Anrich Nortje. The South African, however, soon had him caught at fine-leg off a bouncer. When Pollard fell to a carrom ball from Ashwin, MI had slumped from 78 for one to 101 for four.
But 32 runs from the 15th and 16th overs set things up well for MI, with Ishan racing to 33 off 21, after being on 11 from 14 balls at one stage. His humongous six off Rabada over deep square-leg was the stand-out shot.
Stoinis conceded just five runs in the 17th over and removed Krunal Pandya. But Hardik smoked Rabada over long-on and mid-wicket before sending Nortje soaring over long-on and long-off.
Ishan’s acrobatic maximum over extra-cover brought up his fourth fifty and MI’s 200. It was not long before Boult and Bumrah delivered the knock-out punch.