It was always going to be a dogfight on this sluggish pitch at Chepauk. And the old dogs took the centerstage for Capitals. After Amit Mishra’s spell of 4/24 kept the powerful Mumbai Indians batting lineup, it was Shikhar Dhawan and Steve Smith, scoring 42-ball 45 and 29-ball 33 respectively, who took it upon themselves to take the game deep on a patchy surface. They ensured the young middle-order wasn’t left with doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Smith and Dhawan relied more on hitting the holes against the spinners and running hard. The odd boundary is always handy in a small tricky chase. Dhawan again exhibited his range as a cricketer.
Scorecard | Points Table | As it happened
The four players well into their 30s made it easy for a couple of 24-year-olds in Lalit Yadav (22* off 25 balls) and Shimron Hetmyer (14* off 9 balls) to help Capitals record their first win against MI after five games.
Capitals moved away from the general trend of being ultra-aggressive in the Powerplay while chasing low score in Chennai. They believed in preserving wickets in the back end. You know Capitals got under the skin of Mumbai Indians when Jasprit Bumrah overstepped twice in the 19th over.
That’s that from Match 13 of #VIVOIPL as @DelhiCapitals win by 6 wickets to register their third win of the season.… https://t.co/XzpLqakKbf
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1618941819000
Much of Capitals’s success on Tuesday had to do with their bowlers ensuring MI were 13 short of the total that have successfully defended at this venue. Mishra has been an IPL stalwart. Like Dhawan, he is yet to have an ordinary season. He may not be the swiftest across the turf but he certainly knows how to make the most of conducive surfaces. In a comeback match of sorts, Mishra brought out his slow wily leg-spinners on sluggish Chepauk pitch to help Delhi Capitals restricting Mumbai Indians to a modest 137/9 on Tuesday.
About four years ago, Mishra almost gave in to the trend of bowling darts in T20 cricket. He has now gone back to his loopy leggies being his stock ball. He was expected to do a job on this pitch. But that it also came with a pressure of delivering, especially when MI skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav looked in imperious touch against the new ball.
Top fight in a tight finish 🔥The DC Tigers have beaten the defending champions with 6 wickets and 5 balls to spar… https://t.co/j7hqUBqhIi
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1618942058000
‘Pace off the ball’ was the only mantra Capitals went in with. They had no experience of playing on this pitch and they started with the medium pace cutters of Marcus Stoinis, who removed Quinton de Kock. But Mumbai Indians, perhaps, came with a lot more baggage of playing on this surface. And Capitals’ tactics seemed to have caught them off guard.
MI got sucked in to the temptation to outdo themselves. Avesh Khan removed Surya for a 15-ball 24 before Mishra got in to the act. Rohit, batting on 44 off 29, couldn’t resist going for another big shot after dispatching Mishra into the stands for a huge six.
In the space of three balls, Rohit and Hardik Pandya fell to Mishra in an identical fashion, hitting him straight down the throat of Steve Smith at the long-on boundary. In essence, Rohit batted contrary to what he said after the last match. He harped on the importance of the set batsman to bat long and deep into the innings.
That let Ishan Kishan scrapping it out with Jayant Yadav from 84/6. Ishan and Jayant scored 26 and 23 respectively to give the in-form MI bowlers something to bowl at.