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Match summary: Faf du Plessis & Co head for Eliminator in Kolkata

Kolkata: The battle lines are finally drawn for the play-offs of IPL 2022 with a Mumbai Indians’ five-wicket win over Delhi Capitals sending Royal Challengers Bangalore as the fourth team into the knockout stages.

It was a heartbreak for the Capitals, who had their chances in a must-win game this evening but a number of crucial mistakes let them down at the Wankhede Stadium.

It will hence be Gujarat Titans versus Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier in Kolkata on Tuesday, followed by the Eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore the day after.

Young Brevis goes

A fine innings from Brevis comes to an end. The South African showed good maturity in attacking the spinners but finally, Shardul the skiddy customer has his way. 

Kuldeep has his revenge

The Chinaman bowler, who was attacked by young Brevis and Kishan, has his revenge by removing the latter. The two had just put on a 50-run stand to try and put the chase back on rails when Kishan attempts a slog sweep but fails to get hold of it properly and is caught at the deep. It could have been three down soon but Pant lets slip a skiier from Brevis. 

Spinners in control

The accurate Axar and Kuldeep make an immediate impact as the inexperienced Dewald Brevis is struggling to find his feet at number three. The run rate has now dropped below five with the asking rate going up to 10-plus at halfway mark. 

Rohit falters

Mumbai began their chase strongly with Ishan Kishan using the pace of Nortje to pick up 14 runs in his first over. However, Rohit who was struggling against the left-handed  Khaleel Ahmed, eventually perishes to Nortje with a nothing shot for two. This brings to an end his dismal run with the bat in IPL 2022.

Mid-match summary: Delhi bowlers have something to bowl at 

Kolkata: A priceless 75-run stand for the fifth wicket between Rovman Powell (43) and skipper Rishabh Pant (39) helped a tentative Delhi Capitals survive the early blows and reach a competitive total of 159 for seven in their must-win game against Mumbai Indians.

The pressure of having to win weighed heavily on Pant’s men and a disastrous powerplay hardly helped their start. Jasprit Bumrah was in his elements, generating extra speed and bounce, and the way he got rid of Prithvi Shaw was an absolute delight.

Reduced to 50 for four at one stage, one did not really bargain for Delhi to reach the 150-mark as their dangerman Pant had not been in the best of form. However, he hung around with Powell, letting the West Indian take on the spinners on a difficult wicket to bat on.

A target of 160 can be a challenging one on this track, but the absence of any pressure and a good start can tilt it Mumbai’s way.

Pant does a Pant

The captain finally perishes to a typical moment of indiscretion. The pair had already taken 19 runs off rookie Ramandeep already, who tries to lure Pant too wide off the stumps. The latter reaches out without being in control of the shot and is caught behind. However, they can now give the bowlers something to bowl at.

Priceless 50-run stand

It's been an invaluable stand between Pant, Powell with 50 coming in 37 balls - not the most fluent but it's been a true test of character. A few slips by Mumbai in the field also helped, but Powell has really grown in stature during the season.  

Powell takes on off spinner Shokeen for two sixes in a rare, profitable over but batting is proving to be a challenge on a tired Wankhede wicket. The West Indies does extremely well to get the elevation to a delivery which stops and keeps low. He needs to stay on with his captain who is playing a waiting game here.

Sarfaraz in two minds

Delhi is serious trouble as Mayank Markande, the forgotten leg spinner, strikes. Just when a small partnership was building between Pant and him, Sarfaraz wafts at a leg spinner at the last minute and is caught behind. A bit of doubt there as if he got a touch but the batsman decides against Pant asking for a review and walks. Delhi desperately need a partnership.

Delhi under the pump

The pressure is palpable on Delhi batters as Shaw, who was doing well for his 24 off 23 balls, is the third wicket to fall. Bumrah bounces him out as Shaw takes his eyes off this one and the edge from his gloves is well taken by a diving Ishan Kishan. Mumbai are going for the kill here and Delhi end the powerplay at a poor 37/3.

Big blow for Delhi

A big blow for Delhi as dangerman Warner slashes at a delivery from Sams and is snapped up by Bumrah at short third man. Not the kind of start Delhi could have hoped for after looking solid in first two overs.

DC will be relieved that Prithvi Shaw is back in business after a bout of typhoid. 

Mumbai opt to bowl

Welcome to Match 69, the penultimate one of the league stage of the season. Mumbai Indians have won the toss and decided to have a bowl first.

Kolkata: The last piece of jigsaw in the play-offs race for IPL 2022 will fall into place this evening when fifth placed Delhi Capitals play their must-win game against wooden spooners Mumbai Indians in the 69th match of the season.

A win for Rishabh Pant’s team will bring them at par with Royal Challengers Bangalore, now fourth, on points (16) but Delhi will still go through on a better net run rate for the Eliminator in Kolkata next week. The fourth place finisher will take on newcomers Lucknow Super Giants in that game, while Gujarat Titans play Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier.

Delhi, not at their consistent self this season, have still managed to stay in the hunt with seven wins from 13 games. They are coming out of a good win against Punjab Kings in their last game without the services of Prithvi Shaw, who has just recovered from a bout of typhoid. It will be a bonus if he is available in a crunch game like this to open along with the in-form David Warner, especially since Pant has not been in the best of form this season.

The five-time champions, on the other hand, have nothing to lose and have been playing some uninhibited cricket in the last few matches. Can they spoil Delhi’s party in the last league game for both?

We will know soon…