When Mumbai Indians stole a last-ball six-wicket victory, Ricky Ponting’s exasperated look said it all. The coach could see that Delhi Capitals, much like Prithvi Shaw, was refusing to learn from failures with the bat and the ball.
Despite making heavy weather of the chase, Mumbai Indians tasted its first win of the season. The defeat stretched Capitals’ winless streak to four matches and kept it at the bottom of the 10-team points table.
After bowling out Capitals for 172 in the final over – with leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and pacer Jason Behrendorff taking three wickets each – Mumbai briskly laid the foundation. Openers Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan found the ropes almost at will in the PowerPlay, which produced 68 runs.
Rohit found his touch with four fours and three sixes while Kishan responded with six hits to the fence, including three in-a-row off Bangladesh’s left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
Though the stand was broken following the run-out of Kishan – the batter reluctantly sacrificed his wicket for the sake of his skipper – in the eighth over, Tilak Varma joined Rohit and raised a 50-ball 68-run second-wicket stand.
The dismissals of Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (0) and Rohit, who fell to a one-handed catch by wicketkeeper Abishek Porel, rekindled the Capitals’ hopes but Cameron Green and Tim David guided Mumbai home by completing the two runs needed off the last ball.
When Capitals were asked to bat, contrasting half centuries from left-handers Axar Patel and skipper David Warner were the only bright spots. They added 67 runs for the sixth wicket off 35 deliveries to keep alive visions of a challenging total before Capitals imploded again.
What should hurt Capitals more is the fact that they lost 10 wickets – the last five wickets for seven runs – to arguably the weakest bowling unit in this year’s competition.
This evening, Rohit signalled his return to form with a strokeful 45-ball 65 by reproducing his signature pull-shots his fans were waiting for. Off Rohit’s four sixes, the one to Anrich Nortje that landed in the stands behind square-leg was clearly the shot of the match.