Mumbai, May 21 (IANS) Rovman Powell (43) and Rishabh Pant (39) rescued Delhi Capitals with a 75-run partnership for the fifth wicket as the Capitals struggled to 159/7 in 20 overs at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
In a match that they have to win to qualify for the playoffs, Delhi Capitals were asked to bat first by Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on a pitch that offered bounce to the seamers and turn to spinners.
The Mumbai Indians bowlers, especially Jasprit Bumrah made good use of the juice in the pitch and Delhi were soon struggling at 31/3 in the sixth over -- Bumrah claiming two wickets, sending opener Prithvi Shaw with a vicious bouncer that the batter gloved to keeper Ishan Kishan while trying to take evasive action.
With Sarfaraz Khan (10) too back in the dugout Delhi were in despair at 50/4 in the 9th over when Pant and Powell came together and added 75 runs for the fifth wicket, taking Delhi to the relative safety at 124/4 when skipper Pant got off, nibbling at a Ramandeep Singh delivery that would have been called a wide. Pant scored 39 off 33 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and a six.
Powell missed his half-century by seven runs but his 34-ball knock during which he struck one four and four sixes -- two off them off spinner Hrithik Shokeen off successive deliveries. He was out in the 19th over, yorked by Bumrah for his third victim.
Axar Patel hammered a 10-ball 19 which helped Delhi Capital reach 159/7.
Jasprit Bumrah was the most successful Mumbai Indians bowler, taking 3/25 while Ramandeep Singh claimed 2/29 off two overs.
Earlier, Delhi managed 37/3 in the powerplay and were soon down to 50/4 before Pant (39) then came together with Rovman Powell and raised 75 runs for the fifth wicket, raising hopes of Delhi reaching a fighting target.
Pant started cautiously, taking his time to settle in. He struck his first four in the eighth over, off the 13th delivery he faced when he sent Riley Meredith to the boundary with an edge past the third-man.
Just when it looked like he will go on to make a big one, Pant was out in a wild over by Ramandeep Singh, hitting the bowler, who sent down three wides, to two fours and a six -- a big edge that flew over short third man's head to the boundary before nibbling at a delivery that would have been called wide otherwise. The nine-ball over earned Delhi Capitals 19 runs but what hurt them more was the wicket of Pant.
Powell continued to go strong but fell seven runs short of a fifty. After helping Pant settle down the nerves, Powell struck some superb shots. He went after spinner off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen in the 12th over, blasting two sixes and one four. He struck Markande for a six, clearing the long-off fielder with an excellent off-driver off a delivery spun away after landing on the off-stump. He pulled Bumrah for a six over deep square leg, getting to position well in time for the short ball coming in.
He fell in the 19th over just when he could have unleashed a few big shots to add more meat to the Delhi score, bowled by a superb yorker by Bumrah as the batter attempted to sweep it and ended with having his off-stump uprooted.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 159/7 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 39, Rovman Powell 43, Axar Patel 19 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 3/25, Ramandeep Singh 2/29) against Mumbai Indians.
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