Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals batters Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel led a late counter-attack to guide team to four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians. Image Credit: Delhi Capitals Twitter

Little-known Lalit Yadav completed a giant-killing act after his well-made unbeaten 48 and Axar Patel’s cameo guided Delhi Capitals to an improbable win over five-time champions Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium today (Sunday).

The first of the double-header lived up to its top billing with Delhi pulling off the victory from the jaws of defeat after being reduced to 77 for five at the halfway stage. Though the Delhi top order fumbled, the later order batters Shardul Thakur and Yadav and Patel guided Delhi to a four-wicket win. Prithvi Shaw too contributed with a sedate 38.

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The loss extended Mumbai’s miserable time in the Indian Premier League, which began in the last season in the UAE. After failing to make the playoffs, Mumbai were hoping for a winning start under favourable conditions as the Season 15 is being played at their home.

But that was not to be as Rohit Sharma’s got to man Jasprit Bumrah had a miserable day, conceding 43 runs in 3.2 overs.

Both teams blooded some rookies like Lalit Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh and Tilak Varma. While Varma played a cameo for Indians, Lalit Yadav, who plays for Delhi in the Indian domestic league, stood out with a calculated effort. A day to remember for the right-hander.

Daniel Sams has literally given the match away to Delhi Capitals on a platter. After dropping a sitter off Axar Patel at long on a couple of overs ago, the left-arm pacer bowled at the wrong areas to concede 24 runs in over number 18, wiping out all the hopes of Mumbai Indians. Delhi just need 4 off 12 balls to complete a stunning run chase. Lalit Yadav is batting on 47, while Patel has made an unbeaten 34.

The equation comes down to 28 off 18 balls. It’s advantage Delhi, however it depends on this pair who need to take the Capitals over the line against Mumbai.

Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel are not ready to throw in the towel, instead they have thrown the kitchen sink at Mumbai Indians, who have been suddenly caught off guard. After scoring 24 runs in the last two overs, including 15 off Bumrah, who is having an off day today, Delhi have reduced the target to 41 off 24 balls, which translates to just over 10 per over. Game on…

Breaks are always dangerous and it again proved so for Delhi. The strategic time out must have broken Thaukur’s concentration, who played a wild shot on the legside only to be caught inside the 30-yard circle on the off side by skipper Rohit Sharma and push Capitals deeper in trouble at 113/6 after 14 overs. It was Thampi once again to get the wicket to take his tally for the match to three off three overs.

Shardul Thakur, who moved from Chennai Super Kings, has taken the chase upon himself with a counter-offensive that must have given some hopes to the Delhi fans. The Indian all-rounder was especially severe on Jasprit Bumrah, hitting three fours in one over. However, with very little batting to follow it’s going to be a herculean task for Thakur. One positive news for Delhi is that leg-spinner Ashwin has completed his spell on a wicket which assists the pacers more than the spinners. With more pacers coming in, it could be easy for Delhi to hit through the line on a true pitch. After 13 overs, Delhi are 103/5, needing another 75 off 42 balls.

It looks like one can’t keep Kishan quiet today. The opener, missing most of the action so far after taking the much-deserved rest, comes back to stay behind the stumps. What next. Shaw top edges a pull for Kishan to complete the catch and snuff out whatever little hopes Delhi must have had. Basil Thampi, the bowler did not stop with one wicket, as he goes on to dismiss next man Rovman Powell, who pulled straight into the waiting hands of Sams at deep square leg to leave Delhi facing the barrel at 77/5 at midway stage.

If it was Kuldeep Yadav who put the brakes on Mumbai innings, then fellow spinner Murugan Ashwin returned the favour by halting Delhi Capitals in their tracks by conceding just 11 runs in three overs with two wickets already in the bag. Lalit Yadav not rotating the strike could add more pressure on Shaw, who could play a wild shot to break the shackles. It’s not going to be an easy task as Mumbai bowlers are spot on with the line and length. After nine overs, Capitals are 70/3 with Shaw on 38.

Delhi in deep trouble. Three wickets in the two overs, that includes the set Seifert and skipper Rishabh Pant turned the match on its head and pushed Capitals really on the backfoot. Though Delhi have a strong batting line-up, it won’t be easy to comeback after such a setback and lot will depend on Shaw, who need to take a leaf out of Kishan’s book. Murugan Ashwin claimed two and Tymal Mills one to leave Capitals at 40/3 after 5 overs.

Delhi openers Prithvi Shaw and Tim Seifert have begun the chase in the right earnest, scoring 21 for no loss. Shaw has been overshadowed by the New Zealander, who has played some sweetly timed shots straight of the ground against Bumrah. After, two overs Delhi are 21 for no loss, making the most of the field restrictions.

Last season, nothing worked right for Ishan Kishan even though the Mumbai Indians management backed the young left-hander to the hilt. He was moved down the order and left him out of the odd game with the assurance that he is still part of the team’s strong points, but still the result was the same until the final match, where he stood tall despite his team bowing out.

Come the new season, Kishan justified his high cost, which once again proved the value the Mumbai Indians have placed on him. The left-handed opener did not disappoint as he single-handedly led the five-time champions to a competitive score of 177/5 after remaining unbeaten on 81 against Delhi Capitals at Brabourne Stadium today (Sunday).

The first of the double-header is now set for a good second half with the wicket having plenty of assistance to both the pacers and the spinners. Kuldeep Yadav showed that he can still trouble the best by claiming three wickets, that included Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. Khaleel Ahmed supported him with a tight line and length.

The first six overs of the powerplay will crucial for Delhi if they even think of overhauling the target especially against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Tymal Mills.

Khaleel Ahmed gets rewarded for his incisive spell. Despite getting some stick in the last over, during which he conceded 11 runs of the first five deliveries, claimed the wicket of Tim David off the last ball of his spell to leave Mumbai at 159/5. How Kishan will play the final six balls, wait and watch.

Kishan takes control of Mumbai innings, swatting Axar Patel to all corners of the ground. The left-hander in the process completes his half-century, justifying the high price for him during the auction. After 14 runs from over No 17, Mumbai are 137/4.

Kuldeep finishes his spell with a three-wicket haul after dismissing Pollard, which certainly would have put the breaks on Mumbai innings. After 16 overs, Mumbai are 123/4.

That was a short, sweet knock from Tilak Varma. An innings that showed glimpses of his potential. We will hear more of this young leftie in this IPL. Mumbai Indians seemed to have snagged a good, young batter.

Left-hander Varma has done his bit. Playing his first game, his 22-run cameo ensured that the Indians have regained the momentum. Now his wicket, the third for Mumbai, has brought the dangerman Kieron Pollard, who will be eager to shake off his lean patch of last season, to the crease. The West Indian will have enough time to launch into the Delhi attack. After 15 overs, Mumbai are 118/3 with Kishan batting on 45.

Mumbai have shifted to the top gears after taking time to consolidate after the loss of two quick wickets. Newcomer Thilak Varma is striking the ball well, meaning less pressure on Kishan to go all out. After 13 runs in the 13th over, Mumbai have crossed the 100-run mark, 104/2. Even 12 runs in the last seven will take them closer to 180-run mark.

Mumbai’s newcomer Anmolpreet Singh did not last too long and became the second victim for Kuldeep Yadav, who is getting into a good rhythm. Now a lot will depend on Kishan, who need to stay for another four overs after which the likes of Pollard could launch the offensive. After 11, Mumbai are 85/2

Finally, Delhi could breathe a sigh of relief after Mumbai skipper Sharma picked the midwicket fielder who made no mistakes to take the catch. Kuldeep Yadav provided the much-needed breakthrough to leave Mumbai Indians at 69/1 after 9 overs. Now the chinaman bowler is looking dangerous after gaining in confidence with the wicket. Mumbai watchout, Yadav has two more overs.

You don’t expect anything other than a merciless assault if you give a reprieve to Rohit Sharma. He will make you pay for the lapse. Delhi will learn that after the Mumbai skipper was put down at short fine leg off Khaleel Ahmed. Though the run rate has dropped after the powerplay overs, Mumbai are still in no hurry at 56 for no loss after seven overs. Get ready for some fireworks.

The change of bowlers have allowed the Mumbai batters to break the shackles held by Delhi bowlers. The next two overs have produced 23 runs with Rohit batting on 25 and Kishan 22. Mumbai are 48 for no loss after five overs. The Indians are preparing the launchpad for the assault in the later part of the innings.

Mumbai star batters Rohit Sharma and top pick Ishan Kishan have ensured that the hosts are without any loss and negated the spirited bowling by Delhi pacers for 2.5 overs with the last ball of the third over costing Shardul Thakur dear. The quick bouncer was clipped over third man by Kishan to take Mumbai to 25 for no loss after three overs.

Delhi Capitals win toss, opt to bowl

Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant wins the toss  and elects to bowl first against the Mumbai Indians in the first double-header of Season 15 of the Indian Premier League.

The teams of Mumbai and Delhi

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Tilak Varma, Anmolpreet Singh, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Daniel Sams, Murugan Ashwin, Tymal Mills, Jasprit Bumrah and Basil Thampi.

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (captain and wicketkeeper), Prithvi Shaw, Tim Seifert, Mandeep Singh, Rovman Powell, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals face off at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in their first match of in the 15th Indian Premier League today (Sunday). The Rohit Sharma–led Mumbai will want to erase the bitter memories of last year when when they failed to make the last four. They take the field without their batting stalwart Suryakumar Yadav, who is nursing an injury.

Delhi is chasing the maiden title, and the side helmed by Rishabh Pant are hamstrung by the absence of their overseas stars. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh are on national duty, while pace ace Anrich Nortje is recovering from an injury. Lungi Ngidi and Mustafizur Rahman are in quarantine. So they have only Tim Seifert and Rovman Powell, and they will figure in the playing XI today.

Mumbai at home in Mumbai, and that make them favourites. Will Delhi spring a surprise? Let’s find out.