The 27th match of the Indian Premier League 2020 was a perfect mid-season clash between the table toppers, Delhi Capitals, and Mumbai Indians, in that order. But things changed soon after when MI successfully chased down a target of 162 runs with 5 wickets remaining. This was the first time MI completed a chase this season after having lost to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the super over and also, this was the first time the capitals have failed to restrict their opponent after putting runs on the board.
The Capitals were forced to make two changes to their squad due to an injury picked up by their wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant. Alex Carey came in to fill the gloves, and Ajinkya Rahane replaced Shimron Hetmyer to play it by the book.
The Indians, on the other hand, had no concerns whatsoever. Rohit Sharma decided to go with an unchanged squad as he saw no reason to make any changes to the well-balanced side.
The match took place at Abu Dhabi and like any other venue in the UAE, it was important to win the toss and put runs on the board. Shreyas Iyer won the toss and took the obvious decision to bat first after having failed to chase against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the very same venue. MI were yet to complete a chase and the stage was perfectly set up for Rohit who played his 150th game for MI and the birthday boy-Hardik Pandya.
Let’s dive right into this cricket analysis to seek the game-changing performances.
How did the teams perform during their batting?
Prithwi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan opened the batting to face Trent Boult who dismissed the former in the very first over after conceding a boundary in his previous delivery that edged down to the third man region. Rahane who played his very first innings of the tournament looked good with his shots but was soon dismissed for a run a ball innings by the left-arm spinner-Krunal Pandya after failing to connect his shot in front of the wicket. After losing two wickets in the powerplay DC still managed to score 46 runs. Iyer alongside Dhawan capitalized the lethargic lengths bowled by James Pattinson and managed to put 80 runs on the board at the end of ten overs.
Jasprit Bumrah who had given just one run of his previous over in the powerplay was brought back into the attack to control the pace of the innings. Moreover, the tighter lengths bowled by Rahul Chahar and Krunal considerably slowed down DC’s innings. Krunal gave another breakthrough, this time claiming the wicket of the captain himself who failed to capitalize on his innings. The in-form Marcus Stoinis who looked lethal got run out after a very poor call from Dhawan. DC’s middle order was immediately exposed with Carey playing his very first game of the IPL. However, they managed to score more than ten runs per over at the death and ended up with a score of 162-4.
With the kind of star power that MI possess, the target was well within their reach. MI started slowly particularly Rohit who was poor with the bat scoring just five runs of 12 deliveries before giving away his wicket to Axar Patel. On the other hand, Quinton De Kock who started similarly began to accelerate alongside Suryakumar, putting up a partnership of 46 runs from 30 balls. Ravichandran Ashwin gave a crucial breakthrough in the middle by claiming the wicket of the dangerous De Kock. However, this breakthrough just wasn’t enough to stop the batting line up of MI.
Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan put up another crucial stand of 53 runs from just 31 deliveries which almost sealed the game for the Indians. In the middle overs, MI scored 86 runs at 9.5 runs per over. Even after losing Suryakumar and Hardik in quick succession, MI needed just needed 33 runs in the last five overs with Keiron Pollard and Kishan still at the crease. Kagiso Rabada tried to pull things back for his side by giving two important breakthroughs but Pollard and Krunal held their nerve to earn a good victory for their side with two balls to spare.
How did the bowlers perform?
Boult, apart from claiming the important wicket of the in-form Shaw also bowled very well in the death giving up nine runs of his final over. 37.5% of the balls in his spell were dot balls which helped MI restrict their opponents in the powerplay.
Krunal was exceptionally good with the ball as well as with the bat. He got the better of Rahane in the powerplay. The captain’s wicket was a game-changer as it broke the growing partnership that might have proved to be costly in the latter half of the innings. He was also the most economical bowler in the game alongside Bumrah with an economy of 6.5 per over.
Axar continued his good form by adding another important wicket to his bag of Rohit who had performed very well in this venue. However, he gave away 24 runs in the three overs that he bowled.
Rabada moved well ahead of others in the race for the purple cap after adding two more wickets to his tally but this time he ends up on the losing side. He gave some life to his side in the death after claiming the wickets of Suryakumar and Ishan. In addition to this, he had a dot ball percentage of 54.16 against one of the best sides in this year’s IPL.
How did the batsmen perform?
Dhawan and Iyer made crucial contributions of 69 and 42 respectively but in a very conservative manner. Together they scored 85 runs from 62 deliveries which comprised of just nine boundaries and ten dot balls i.e. they scored a boundary every seven balls which is very poor considering the number of balls they had faced together. They failed to make the most of the time they spent on the crease.
Suryakumar played a brilliant innings alongside De Kock and Ishan. The trio scored 53, 53, and 28 respectively at a very good strike rate. Together they scored 99 runs from just 60 deliveries which comprised 13 boundaries and just 11 dot balls. This shows that at no point in the game did they stop attacking. Even when wickets fell, someone or the other had the scoreboard ticking.
In conclusion, the difference in the batting display by the middle order batsmen was one of the crucial reasons behind the loss of the Capitals.