INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE: Timid Mumbai slump to fourth consecutive loss

SHARJAH: Defending champions Mumbai Indians slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat as Delhi Daredevils dished out a clinical all-round display to record an easy six-wicket win in an Indian Premier League match here today.

Delhi chased down a modest target of 126 with seven balls to spare with opener Murali Vijay top-scoring with a 34-ball 40 and captain Kevin Pietersen striking form after an injury lay-off with an unbeaten 26 to notch up their second win of the tournament.

The Pietersen-led side, playing their last match this season at the UAE, wobbled towards the end with J P Duminy (19) and Dinesh Karthik (2) falling in the 16th over at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Chasing a small target, Delhi made a decent start with the opening stand between Vijay and Quinton de Kock (16) yielding 34 runs. The partnership ended with Michael Hussey pouncing a brilliant catch at point by diving full length and low to his left to remove de Kock off the bowling of Corey Anderson.

Vijay then stitched a 45-run stand for the second wicket with Duminy before he was out in the 13th over. Vijay was bowled as he went for an awful slog. He hit four boundaries and a six in his 34-ball knock.

Pietersen, who looked tentative and rusty during his knock of 16 in his first match two days back, steadied Delhi after the quick fall of Duminy and Karthik before steering his side home.

Pietersen hit two fours and a six in his 18-ball unbeaten knock. Kedar Jadhav (14 not out) hit the winning runs — a four — to take Delhi to 126 for four and hand Mumbai their fourth defeat on the trot.

Delhi will now head home to play their next match at Ferozeshah Kotla on May 3.

For Mumbai, who are yet to open account, Lasith Malinga took two wickets for 17 runs while Anderson and Rohit Sharma got a wicket each.

Earlier, Delhi bowlers produced a clinical display to restrict Mumbai Indians to a modest 125 for six.

Pacers Jaydev Unadkat (2/29) and Wayne Parnell (1/17) and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (1/19) shared four wickets to strangle the Mumbai batting unit in their stipulated 20 overs after skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat.

Skipper Pietersen employed a spin-pace attack early on with Nadeem and Mohammad Shami starting the proceedings for Delhi, followed by J P Duminy and Wayne Parnell.

Mumbai Skipper Rohit Sharma (4) was the first to walk back to the pavilion when his attempt to steal a quick single ended up with a runout orchestrated by pacer Shami in the second over.

In the fourth over, Parnell dismissed Aditya Tare (8) when he had him caught at deep midwicket by Quinton de Kock, while Corey Anderson’s 14-ball 13-run stay was cut shot by Jaydev Unadkat in his first over.

Mumbai could just manage 37 for the loss of two wickets in the powerplay. Runs dried up further and the mounting pressure took a toll on Ambati Rayudu (14) when his lofted shot off Nadeem found Laxmi Shukla at long-on.

In the 11th over, Michael Hussey (10) brought up the fifty for Mumbai with a single but he too could not stay longer and was sent back to the hut by a slower yorker in the 14th over as Mumbai lost half of their side with 63 on board.

Kieron Pollard (33) and Chidhambaram Gautam (22) then joined hands and tried to raise the tempo with some big shots. The duo shared a 40-run partnership off 29 balls for the sixth wicket.

Pollard brought up the first six of the innings in the 16th over when he sent Shami sailing over long-on, while Gautam blasted successive boundaries off Unadkat in the 17th over.
In the next over, Pollard tried to steal a non-existent double but it ended with Gautam losing his wicket.

The West Indies all-rounder then smashed a four and a six off Shami, while Harbhajan singh (10) blasted a four and six to help Mumbai put a modest total on board.

BRIEF SCORES: Delhi Daredevils 126 for 4 (Vijay 40, Malinga 2-17) beat Mumbai Indians 125 for 6 (Pollard 33, Unadkat 2-29) by six wickets

Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers, Bangalore
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TIME: 20:00 IST