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Mumbai Indians' Tilak Varma. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Mumbai Indians picked up their first win of the 2023 IPL as they defeated Delhi Capitals by six wickets in a last-ball thriller at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The Capitals batted first and set a target of 173 runs, led by David Warner’s 51 and a quickfire 54 by Axar Patel which included five over-boundaries. Chasing, Mumbai Indians had a great start with a 71-run opening partnership. Skipper Rohit Sharma, who was also adjudged the Player of the Match was the key architect of the win with 65 runs and was ably supported by Tilak Varma who scored 41 in just 29 balls.

explosive display

Tilak Varma’s explosive 41 runs (1x4, 4x6) helped MI keep pace on their run chase and was heavily commended for his incredible form by JioCinema IPL expert Parthiv Patel.

“He batted at number three and the way he batted in a pitch which wasn’t easy for batters is commendable. His footwork was phenomenal, the way he can get into position quickly. Strike rotations weren’t easy with the way the off-spinners were bowling. We see his maturity innings after innings, so I think that was the biggest plus point. When you come in at the start, you can get a good season. After that, everyone knows you’re playing style, what your strengths are, and your weaknesses. But to come back to the tournament and start like this is worthy of praise. It shows the confidence as well as the maturity of the player. Tilak Varma is a player for the future and there’s no doubt in that.”

It was a last-ball thriller as Tim David and Cameron Green closed the win out for Mumbai against the experienced bowling of Anrich Nortje.

Hard work

Parthiv Patel praised the Mumbai Indians for closing the win out while also complimenting Nortje’s bowling, “Mumbai Indians had to work really hard to clinch the win. At the end when only 5 runs were needed in the final over, every team thinks it can be completed easily. But the way Nortje was bowling, the way he was executing yorkers and sticking to his strengths under pressure, he managed to do it. At the end, Mumbai Indians won but they had to work very hard for it.”

Rohit led MI’s batting efforts on a tricky pitch and was recognised for his captain’s knock by Zaheer Khan. “On a pitch like this, partnerships are of utmost importance. Rohit Sharma played a key part in two such partnerships, one with Ishan Kishan and one with Tilak Varma. As a captain today, he gets massive credit for how he managed, while fielding with inexperienced bowlers, some misfields, and some wides. He managed all of that and kept (David) Warner away from the strike, as we could hear on the stump mic. Today was a great day for them.”