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Mumbai achieve record margin in crushing defeat of Daredevils

Mumbai Indians 212 for 3 (Simmons 66, Pollard 63*) beat Delhi Daredevils 66 (Karn 3-11, Harbhajan 3-22, Malinga 2-5) by 146 runs

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians made a mockery of their opposition on Saturday. First they smacked Delhi Daredevils’ bowlers around to put up a total of 212. Then they bullied the batsmen into folding for a paltry 66. And in the end, a team that had recorded the second-highest chase in IPL history two nights ago was defeated by a margin so huge – 146 runs – it became a tournament record.

So how did this all come about? Well, a few things went to plan. Like Lendl Simmons coming off the bench and hitting a half-century, Kieron Pollard responding to his promotion to No. 3 with an innings that was both calculated and cruel and the Mumbai bowlers knocking over each of their bunnies.

Daredevils were five down in the chase before the Powerplay was done, and bowled out for their lowest IPL total. Mumbai, on the other hand, stormed into the playoffs.

Caribbean carnage, Part 1

Simmons has some phenomenal IPL numbers – before tonight he had 10 scores of fifty or more in 22 innings – and yet he had to wait until tonight to get his first game of the season. He began tentatively – as is expected of a batsman whose most recent T20 innings were 1, 1, 4* and 1. But the shackles seemed to break with a pull for six off Kagiso Rabada in the fourth over.

Daredevils peppered Simmons with a mix of back-of-a-length and short deliveries, but it did not bother him. He got, both, on top of the bounce, and under it in equal measure – only one of his nine boundaries came off a fullish delivery.

Simmons’ 66 off 43 balls took apart Daredevils’ famed fast-bowling attack, counterbalanced Parthiv Patel’s sedate 25 and gave Mumbai the perfect start on a small ground.

Caribbean carnage, Part 2

For a brief time, Amit Mishra was able to put a stop to Mumbai’s momentum. His first two overs went for only seven runs and had yielded a wicket too. Daredevils’ decision to play a fourth seamer in place of left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem came under question.

Pollard, however, hit that hypothesis out of the park, along with four of Mishra’s deliveries. This included denting Zaheer Khan’s plan of bowling Mishra out at a stretch. His two sixes off Mishra’s third over forced Zaheer to give him a change of ends. The two overs needed to make that switch went for 25, and when Mishra returned, Pollard hit him for two more sixes. That was the start of Mumbai’s slog-overs push. Pollard saw it through with an unbeaten 63.

Daredevils come a full circle

A target of 213, mere days after achieving their highest successful chase, didn’t trouble the Daredevils – for as long as they were in the dugout. Once they came onto the field they realised that the Mumbai bowling attack was well-manned and well-marshalled.

Mitchell McCleneghan had removed Sanju Samson three times in nine balls before today. After the first ball of the chase, the head-to-head was adjusted to four wickets in 10 balls.

Bumrah had removed Pant twice in six balls. He was brought in for the fourth over and got the batsman out for a duck.

Harbhajan had knocked Karun Nair over three times in 19 balls. So naturally he was brought on to bowl to his bunny and the battle ended with a catch to midwicket. These were all signs of a team being well-informed of their own strengths, the opposition’s weaknesses, and exploiting them all perfectly.

Meanwhile, Daredevils had updated their lowest score twice in the space of six days, while also pulling off their best chase in the period.

Credit:@ESPN Sports Media Ltd.