IPL: Krunal, bowlers guide Mumbai to thumping victory over Delhi

CRICKET-T20-IPL-IND-MUMBAI-DELHI Mumbai Indians team players celebrate the dismissal of Delhi Daredevils batsman Karun Nair (not shown) during the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday | AFP

Riding on promising all-rounder Krunal Pandya's quick-fire 86, followed by an impressive bowling performance, Mumbai Indians outclassed Delhi Daredevils by 80 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Sunday.

Batting first, Krunal smashed his maiden IPL half-century to guide the defending champions to massive 206/4 in 20 overs.

In reply, Delhi lost wickets at regular intervals as they were bundled out for 126 in 19.1 overs. Jasprit Bumrah (3-13) and Krunal (2-15) were the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai while Harbhajan Singh and R. Vinay Kumar claimed one wicket each.

The win ensures Mumbai keep their play-off hopes alive as they climbed to the third spot in the points table.

Chasing an imposing target of 207, Delhi got off to a poor start losing opener Mayank Agarwal (8) in the second over itself.

His opening partner Quinton de Kock (40) played positively from there on but lost partners at the other end as Karun Nair (8), Sanju Samson (6) fell cheaply to have the visitors in trouble at 60/3 in eighth over.

As the required run-rate climbed high with every ball bowled, de Kock trying to up the scoring rate also fell to left-arm spinner Krunal in the 10th over. The South African promising opener in his 28-ball innings struck four boundaries and two sixes.

Incoming young batsmen Rishabh Pant (23) played a short innings but failed to convert the start into a big one as his dismissal came after seamer Bumrah had Jean-Paul Duminy (9) caught by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler in the 13th over.

There was more trouble for the visitors as wickets kept on tumbling and the required rate climbed high to put more pressure on the incoming lower-order batsmen.

Chris Morris played a 16-ball 20 in the end but was not enough as his side surrendered to a dominant Mumbai side.

Earlier put in to bat, openers Rohit Sharma (31) and Martin Guptill (48) helped the defending champions get off to a decent start scoring 45 runs without losing any wickets after the completion of powerplay.

But the seventh over of the innings saw a twist in the tale - leg-spinner Amit Mishra brought the first breakthrough dismissing Mumbai skipper Rohit when Mumbai were 46/1 in 6.3 overs.

Hard-hitting left-hander Krunal who was promoted up the order at No.3 to keep the run flow going, did not disappoint his team. He played his natural game, striking a couple of boundaries and sixes to help the team keep a healthy run-rate.

He was well supported on the other end by experienced Kiwi batsman Guptill as the duo played sensibly to help team cross the 80-run mark after 10 overs.

The duo smashed 23 runs in the 13th over bowled by leg-spinner Imran Tahir to take team over 100-run mark in style.

Krunal then - with a couple of big blows - brought up his maiden IPL half-century in just 22 balls.

The impressive 96-run partnership for the second wicket came to an end in the 15th over when Guptill looking to strike one over long on was caught by Karun Nair off the bowling off Zaheer Khan. The hosts were 144/2 then.

Despite wickets at the other end, Krunal smashed it to all parts of the ground, but eventually in the 18th over, Chris Morris finally got rid of the 25-year-old to put a check on the run flow.

During his maiden IPL half-century, the left-handed batsman struck seven boundaries and six sixes.

In the dying overs the innings, Buttler (18 not out) and Ambati Rayudu (13 not out) played useful cameos to take the team past 200-run mark.

Morris (2-34) was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi as the spinning trio of Shahbaz Nadeem (2-42), Amit Mishra (1-42) and Tahir (0-59) proved expensive. Zaheer Khan was economical, having conceded 23 runs in four overs.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians: 206/4 in 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 86; Chris Morris 2/34) vs Delhi Daredevils 126 in 19.1 overs (Quinton de Kock 40; Jasprit Bumrah 3-13, Krunal Pandya 2-15)

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