Malinga yorks Delhi out for 95

SSS

By Suneer Chowdhary

 

New Delhi: Apr 10, 2011


The pace and length of Lasith Malinga, the catching and run-outs from the fielders and some avoidable cricket from the Delhi Daredevils meant that the Mumbai Indians were the happier of the two teams at the innings break. The Feroz Shah Kotla had gone quiet after the Daredevils plummeted to a woeful 96 all out.

 

In that fateful World Cup 2011 game for the Kenyans, Malinga had picked up a six-wicket haul to blow them away. Malinga hadn’t needed any help from the fielders then, getting all of them either bowled or lbw. Today, till the very end, it was a case of the Daredevils trying to protect their toes and their stumps and on occasions failing in their latter endeavour. He picked up four of the batsmen bowled before deceiving the last man off a slower ball to have him caught and ended with a five-for.

 

It was tipped to be a mini-battle between Malinga and Virender Sehwag, and for a while it seemed like the batsman was looking at the bigger picture. After deliberately edging Malinga for a boundary in his first over, he defended six successive deliveries in Malinga’s second over in a bid to see him off.

 

Malinga, after all, had smashed the stumps of two of the Daredevils batsman in his very first over to reduce the 11 for two.

 

Unfortunately, the sensible batting did not extend to his running between the wickets as he was run out by Sachin Tendulkar through a direct hit from short fine-leg.

 

The run-rate fell once Sehwag was dismissed despite Naman Ojha’s assault in Munaf Patel’s first over. This was contributed in no small way by the wicket of Aaron Finch, who had looked aggressive without getting too many runs.

 

At 40 for four in seven overs, the Daredevils looked like they were fast spiralling down into a hole. There wasn’t too much batting to come at that stage and another dismissal would have probably led to an early finish.

 

From Delhi’s perspective, Ojha thankfully got company from Venugopal Rao, one of the more underrated batsmen in domestic cricket. The pair were understandably slow to begin with, scoring only a single off Munaf Patel’s second over and getting four singles off Kieron Pollard.

 

At the half-way mark, the Daredevils had stuttered to 52 for 4, their lowest ever score in IPL cricket at such a stage. It was only off the next couple of overs that the urgency came through in the Delhi batting, with Pollard going for seven and James Franklin conceding another nine in the 12th.

 

Pollard was brought in from the other end but conceded another seven runs as the partnership between Ojha and Rao had doubled the score. At 81 for four in 14 and with two batsmen well set at the crease, a total of more than 135 looked likely.

 

Then, like how it had happened at the top of the innings, Delhi lost another cluster of wickets and were bowled out for a lowly score.

 

First, in an attempt to up the ante, Ojha tried to send Murtuza outside the ropes but was only caught at long-off. Then, Irfan Pathan, bought over for a near $2million deal at the auction ran himself out off the first ball he faced to leave the side limping again. With the inroad made, Tendulkar brought Malinga back and almost on cue, he produced a couple of yorkers to send another couple back. 82 for 4 had become 88 for 8 and soon, the side was bowled out for 96. It should be a walk in the park for the powerful Mumbai Indians.

 

Brief Scores: DD 95 all out in 17.4 overs (Naman Ojha 29, Venugopal Rao 26; Lasith Malinga 5 for 13, Harbhajan Singh 2 for 14) vs MI.

 

 

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here @suneerchowdhary)

 

 

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