Aaron Moores | cricket20
The Mumbai Indians strengthened their position at the top of the IPL group standings with a comfortable 32 runs victory over the Delhi DareDevils at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma gave the Indian the early momentum with a 4th wicket stand of 87 to help the Indians record a total of 178-4 which proved more then enough to beat the visitors.
The pair came together at the start of the 7th over and helped the Indians take control of the game to leave the DareDevils facing a tricky run chase to keep their hopes of reaching the play off alive.
Faced with a a run chase of 178 the DareDevils reply got off to a shocking start which saw their top order torn apart by the Indians to leave the visitors 7-4 after just 2.5 overs.
David Warner (2) was the first to go when he was trapped LBW by Harbhajan Singh at the end of the first over before Lasith Malinger struck two deliveries later with another perfect yorker to bowl Colin Ingram (1).
With the visitors rocking Munaf Patel landed the big blow, removing Virender Sehwag (1) before the DareDevils skipper could get settled at the crease with his first delivery of the game before he dismissed Naman Ojha (1) four deliveries later.
With the DareDevils stumbling towards a massive defeat James Hopes (55) and Venugopal Rao hit back with a 5th wicket stand of 87 to give the DareDevils fans something to cheer about.
Although the pair built a big partnership the game was never in doubt and once Dhawal Kulkarni bowled Venugopal Rao (37) in the 14th over the Indians cruised towards their 8th victory in this year’s tournament.
Having been put into bat Sharma led the way with a quick fire 49 which included 2 fours and 3 sixes before he edged a delivery from Morne Morkel straight to Venugopal Rao at third man to fall one short of a well deserved half century.
With his partner gone, Rayudu (59) took control of the match smashing 3 boundaries and a six before he was unluckily dismissed when he slipped onto his own stumps as he attempted to drive a delivery from James Hopes through extra cover.
Andrew Symonds (3) and Kieron Pollard (9) added 5 runs from the final over to help the Indians reach 178-4 and although the DareDevils fought their way back into the game the home side will feel confident of recording their 8th victory.
The Indians got off to a great start thanks to Aiden Blizzard who scored 37 runs from just 23 deliveries; having failed with the bat against the Kings XI Punjab, the Aussie scored 5 boundaries off the bowling of Morkel in the 3rd over.
Sachin Tendulkar added 14 runs during the pairs opening stand of 50 but the DareDevils struck back twice in the space of two overs to remove Tendulkar and Blizzard.
Tendulkar was the first to go in the 6th over after he attempted an uncharacteristic swipe off the bowling of Irfan Pathan, who knock over the Indians skipper’s off stump.
Blizzard followed 10 deliveries later after he was caught by Virender Sehwag at midwicket off a delivery from Shahbaz Nadeem to leave the home side 54-2.
Despite the double setback the Indians remained on course for a big total thanks to Rayudu and Sharma which leaves the DareDevils facing a tricky run chase.