Sent in to bat at No. 3, Pollard remained unbeaten on 35-ball 63 & guided MI to 212 for 3 © IANS
Sent in to bat at No. 3, Pollard remained unbeaten on 35-ball 63 & guided MI to 212 for 3 © IANS

Caribbean flavour powered Mumbai Indians (MI) to a mammoth total of 212 for 3 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Saturday. Put in to bat first, MI, riding on Lendl Simmons’ 43-ball 66 (5 x 4s, 4 x 6s) and Kieron Pollard’s 35-ball 63 not out (5 x 4s, 4 x 6s), raced their way to a total well past 200. Hardik Pandya’s 14-ball 29 not out, which had 3 towering sixes, also added spice to the total. For DD, Zaheer Khan and Kagiso Rabada were the pick of the bowlers while all others leaked runs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Delhi Daredevils (DD) vs Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 10 Match 45

DD got the Zaheer Khan-boost in the must-win game. As a matter of fact, DD need to win all four of their remaining games, including this one, to keep their playoff-hopes alive. DD made a solitary change to their XI from the previous game, with Zaheer replacing Shahbaz Nadeem. Mumbai, on the other hand, made a couple of changes. They brought in Simmons for his first game this season in place of Jos Buttler. Krunal Pandya, who is recovering from an injury, also missed out as Harbhajan Singh returned.

Zaheer won the toss and invited Mumbai to bat first. DD had won the last two games at Feroz Shah Kotla chasing, so the decision to field first did not surprise at all. Mumbai opened with a new pair in Parthiv Patel and Simmons. It was imperative for them to get to a flyer, considering even 208 was not safe on this ground. The duo did exactly the same, putting up 79 runs for the first wicket in just 8.4 overs.

Parthiv adopted a cautious approach from the onset, while Simmons was more aggressive of the two. However, it was not a free-flowing ride for Simmons from the word go. The rustiness after being warming the bench from the beginning of IPL 10 showed as he struggled for timing. Zaheer, in particular, deceived him with his knuckle balls.

However, once set, he started taking on every bowler. He started with Rabada, hitting him for a four and a six in the fourth over of the innings, before taking on Zaheer, Pat Cummins and Mohammed Shami. With pace not helping DD, Zaheer turned to Amit Mishra, who got them the first breakthrough by dismissing Parthiv for 25.

In a surprising move, Rohit Sharma sent in Pollard to bat at No. 3. The Trinidadian did not disappoint his skipper and with fellow compatriot Simmons, added quick-fire 37 off 23 balls. He was particularly severe to Mishra, hitting him for 4 sixes during his spell. In the process, Simmons completed his fifty and also brought up his 1,000 IPL runs in just 23rd innings, thus becoming second fastest to the milestone.

Simmons eventually fell for 43-ball 66. He became Corey Anderson’s victim. Rohit then came out to bat at No. 4 and added identical 37 runs with Pollard off 18 balls. However, his contribution was a mere 10, as he top-edged a pull off Rabada’s bowling.

Pandya then joined Pollard and the two finished the innings off on a strong note, adding 59 runs in just 27 balls. Pollard completed his fifty in the meantime, off just 29 balls. He remained unbeaten on 63 and Pandya on 29 as Mumbai got past the 200-run mark to finish with 212 for 3, 4 more than what DD chased a couple of days back.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 212 for 3 in 20 overs (Lendl Simmons 66, Kieron Pollard 63*, Hardik Pandya 29*; Corey Anderson 1 for 29, Kagiso Rabada 1 for 33) vs Delhi Daredevils