Mumbai: Dishing out another superlative all-round performance, Mumbai Indians crushed Delhi Daredevils by 32 runs to virtually qualify for the play-offs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Saturday.
The win at the Wankhede Stadium meant Mumbai are back at the top of the leaderboard with 16 points from 10 games and have virtually booked a berth in the last four stage of the Twenty20 tournament.
On the contrary, the loss has knocked Delhi out of the 24-25 May play-off race and are langushing at the seventh position with eight points from 11 matches.
Invited to bat first, Mumbai rode on a blazing start provided by Aiden Blizzard, who blasted 37 in 23 balls, besides a belligerent 56-ball 87-run third wicket partnership between Ambati Rayudu (59) and Rohit Sharma (49) to post an imposing 178 for four.
Faced with the huge task of chasing the stiff score, Delhi batsmen buckled under pressure and were tottering at seven for four in the third over before they recovered through an 87-run partnership between top-scorer James Hopes (56) and Y. Venugopal Rao (37).
But it was not enough as Mumbai shot out the visitors for 146 in 19.5 overs to suffer their seventh defeat in 11 games.
It was yet another clinically efficient bowling display by Mumbai, who choked the Delhi dashers by packing off David Warner, rival captain Virender Sehwag, Colin Ingram and Naman Ojha within the first three overs.
After Harbhajan Singh dismissed Warner off the fifth ball of the innings, Delhi soon slumped to seven for four.
The visitors lost Ingram to Lasith Malinga’s unplayable yorker before Munaf Patel sent off Ojha and Sehwag, to virtually seal off Delhi’s escape route.
The partial revival was led by Hopes, dropped at long leg by Munaf Patel off Malinga when on 23. He faced 44 balls en route to his fifty and struck eight fours before he was run out in the 17th over following a mix-up with Irfan Pathan.
His fifth wicket partner Rao hit four fours and a six in his 27-ball knock before he was bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni in the 14th over when the Daredevils were on 94.
Pathan made 23 off 18 balls and briefly threatened to take his team past the stiff target before he was yorked by Malinga in the 18th over when Delhi required 51 runs which virtually ended their hopes.
Malinga, Munaf, Harbhajan and Kieron Pollard grabbed two wickets apiece for Mumbai, who clash with Kings XI Punjab on 10 May at Mohali while the Daredevils play against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on 12 May at the latter’s backyard.
Earlier, Blizzard blasted eight fours after singling out Morne Morkel for a harsh treatment by hitting the South African pacer for five fours in an over.
Blizzard and Tendulkar (14) put on 50 runs in 29 balls for the opening stand and the fine beginning was later sustained by Rayudu (59) and Sharma (49).