They lost skipper Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard for ducks, but a rampaging Mumbai Indians, fired by cameos from Hardik Pandya (37, 14b, 5×6) and Ishan Kishan (55 not out, 30b, 4×4, 3×6) and a T20 career-best spell of fast bowling from Jasprit Bumrah, who took four for 14 in four deadly overs, still had enough muscle to trounce a hapless Delhi Capitals by 57 runs in the first qualifier of IPL 2020 in Dubai on Thursday and book a place in the final.
Playing true to their reputation, MI, the defending champions, are now on the cusp of title No. 5. The Capitals now need to recover quickly from this defeat before they play either Sunrisers or RCB on November 8 in the second qualifier.
Brushing aside zero contribution from their talismanic batsmen, MI were powered by a sensational cameo at the death by Hardik, and his unbeaten 60-run stand for the sixth wicket in just 23 balls with Kishan as they raced to 200 for five after being put in.
Unleashing superb inswingers, Trent Boult then gobbled up Mumbaikars Prithvi Shaw (caught behind), who has endured a nightmarish IPL, and Ajinkya Rahane (trapped plumb in front) for blobs, reducing the Capitals to 0 for two after the first over. It was then time for Bumrah, now the Purple Cap holder with 27 wickets under his belt, to showcase his class. Producing a trademark unplayable yorker, the India pacer broke Shikhar Dhawan‘s off-stump to make it 0 for three, effectively ending the game as a contest.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer (12) looked good for a brief while, before Bumrah had him caught at cover. Later, in a slight worry for MI, Boult went off the field, but the ace fast bowler calmed his team’s nerves, castling Marcus Stoinis (65, 46b, 6×4, 3×6) with a superb incoming ball, before bouncing out Daniel Sims in the same over.
IPL 2020, Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals
Ishan Kishan’s attacking 55 and four wickets by Jasprit Bumrah powered Mumbai Indians to their sixth Indian Premier League final with a 57-run win over Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Thursday. (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)
When Rishabh Pant, who has had a disappointing IPL, perished early, the Capitals looked heading for a humiliating defeat, having slipped to 41 for five. However, Stoinis and Axar Patel (42, 33b, 2×4, 3×6) salvaged some pride for them, adding 71 for the sixth wicket in 44 balls as they finished at 143 for eight.
01:40IPL 2020, Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals to reach final
Earlier, with Pandya and Kishan, who churned out another magnificent knock, blasting away at the slog, MI plundered 78 off their final five overs – 55 coming in the last three.
Enduring an off day, the Capitals’ ace fast-bowling pair of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada were smashed for two sixes each off consecutive balls by a rampaging Pandya, who was struggling to run fast between the wickets, but timing the ball beautifully. With Pandya using his powerful wrists like a hammer, Nortje went for 20 in the final over, as Kishan smashed the final ball of the innings, a wide full toss, for a six over extra cover.