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Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capital to register first win of the season

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Mumbai Indians (MI) registered their first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 by beating Delhi Capitals by 29 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. An all-round batting performance helped Mumbai score a big total of 234/5, and in reply, Delhi could score only 205/8 in 20 overs.

While Rohit Sharma (49), Ishan Kishan (42), and Hardik Pandya played some brilliant knocks, it was Romario Shepherd’s blistering performance in the 20th over which proved to be the turning point. Shepherd hammered 32 runs off just 6 deliveries, setting the stage for Mumbai’s triumph. His explosive innings of 39 runs from a mere 10 balls, combined with Tim David’s crucial knock of 45 runs, powered Mumbai Indians to a daunting total of 234-5 at their home ground.

Despite a valiant effort from Tristan Stubbs, who remained unbeaten with a remarkable 71 runs off 25 balls, Delhi Capitals fell short, managing only 205-8 in their chase. This defeat pushed them to the bottom of the IPL table, intensifying their struggles in the tournament.

For Mumbai Indians, this victory came as a much-needed relief, especially for skipper Hardik Pandya, who had faced scrutiny from fans and critics alike after taking over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma at the beginning of this edition. The team’s previous three losses had heightened the pressure on Pandya, making this win all the more significant for him and the squad.

The foundation for Mumbai’s imposing total was laid by Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, who shared an impressive 80-run opening stand. However, their partnership was broken by Axar Patel’s left-arm spin, which sent both batsmen back to the pavilion. Suryakumar Yadav, making his return from injury, had a brief stint at the crease, surviving a close call from an intimidating yorker by Anrich Nortje before departing for a two-ball duck.

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Following the early setbacks, Pandya and David stabilized the innings with a crucial 60-run partnership, providing the platform for Shepherd’s explosive onslaught in the final over. David’s boundary-hitting prowess, evident in his six and four in the 19th over, set the stage for Shepherd’s fireworks as Mumbai amassed 42 runs in the last eight balls, propelling them to a formidable total.

In their chase, Delhi Capitals relied on Prithvi Shaw’s aggressive innings of 66 runs, supported by Abhishek Porel’s gritty 41. The duo formed an 88-run partnership for the second wicket, offering hope to Delhi’s pursuit of the target. However, their efforts were thwarted by Mumbai’s disciplined bowling attack, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah, who claimed crucial wickets at pivotal moments.

Despite Stubbs’ defiant fifty off just 19 balls, the mounting required run rate proved too daunting for Delhi Capitals, ultimately leading to their downfall. Gerald Coetzee’s impressive bowling display in the final over, where he claimed three wickets, further sealed Mumbai’s victory, returning figures of 4-34 and ensuring a comprehensive win for the defending champions.

(AFP)

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