Mumbai: Mumbai Indians carved out a 15-run victory over Delhi DareDevils in a must-win match, here, on Friday.
Mumbai Indians were given an electrifying start by openers Michael Hussey (56) and Lendl Simmons (35). However, they almost lost the plot as their last eight wickets fell for 33 runs, to be all out for 173.
But, the DareDevils batsmen, whose confidence is in the pits, could only manage 158, despite gutsy efforts from JP Duminy (45 not out) and Manoj Tiwary (41). Skipper Kevin Pietersen (44) got off to a start, but failed to convert it.
The victory, the home team’s sixth from 13 games, took their points tally to 12 — same as Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, in a rare occurrence, Mumbai Indians replaced injured medium-pacer Praveen Kumar with left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha after the toss.
Praveen was seen being lifted off the field to the pavilion while Ojha was not even among the four designated reserves for this game. The four reserves in the team sheet were Apoorv Wankhade, Ben Dunk, Corey Anderson and Sushant Marathe.
At the presentation ceremony, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma rued the team’s five losses in Dubai.
Rohit Sharma: I thought we played some brilliant cricket today… Still, I believe there are areas where we should improve. We had got a great start and we should have reached at least close to 200 if not more. But these sort of things happen.
The five losses in Dubai are definitely hurting us… Had we won two or three of them, we could have qualified by now. We should have done better.
Kevin Pietersen: It is a classic case of so near yet so far for us. That’s the most frustrating thing. We are getting into winning positions but we can’t get over the finish line. When we get so close yet lose, we form bad habits. But we’re going to fight till the death, all the way through and then we’ll see where we go next season.
Michael Hussey (MoM): The Wankhede is one of my favourite grounds… The atmosphere here is phenomenal. I am very fortunate to get to play a match here. The wicket today was also good. We needed a strong start.
We have had a good trip on the road and coming back here in Mumbai… it feels amazing.
Simmons is a phenomenal striker of the ball. He took a lot of pressure off me. He is on a hot streak and I enjoy batting with him.