IPL 4: Mumbai Indians stay on top after win

Last Updated: May 08, 2011, 09:23 AM IST

Mumbai: Mumbai Indians stayed atop the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a comprehensive 32-run win over Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium here Saturday.

Chasing a target of 179 runs, Daredevils were bowled out for 142 in 19.5 overs. James Hopes was the top scorer with 55 while Y Venugopal Rao made 37.

The win took the Mumbai Indians a step towards the knock-out stage and Daredevils towards elimination.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians built on a blazing start provided by Aiden Blizzard to post an imposing 178 for four against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

Blizzard blasted 37 off 23 balls with 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 captain Sachin Tendulkar (14) put on 50 runs in 29 balls for the opening stand and the fine beginning was later sustained by Ambati Rayudu (59), his second half century in three innings, and Rohit Sharma (49) who added 87 runs in only 56 balls for the third wicket.

Rayudu cracked two sixes and three four in his 39-ball essay while Sharma struck three huge sixes and two fours in his 32-ball blitz after Delhi captain Virender Sehwag won the toss and opted to field in their must-win clash.

Mumbai scored 49 runs in the last five overs and 102 in the last 10.

Blizzard simply tore apart Morkel after playing three dot balls off the first three balls he faced from the lanky South African fast bowler.

The 26-year-old Aussie, with limited first class experience, showed why captain Tendulkar preferred him as his opening partner by cover driving and pulling Morkel for successive fours in the opening over.

And in the next over of the lanky pacer, Blizzard simply took him apart by crashing five fours into the pickets, four of them off successive balls.

He started the carnage with a straight loft for four and after a dot ball, hit the bowler square behind the wicket on either side for three boundaries besides slamming him into the covers for the other four.

Tendulkar then picked up the cudgels by driving Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar for a boundary each to raise the team`s 50 in only 29 balls before the former struck the first major blow by dismissing the champion batsman.

Tendulkar was bowled by Pathan as he went for a wild heave on the leg side.

Four runs later Blizzard was packed off by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, one of the three changes effected by Delhi in their playing eleven. The batsman mistimed a pull shot and gave an easy catch to Sehwag at short mid-wicket.

It was then left to Rayudu and Sharma, the two leading scorers for Mumbai after Tendulkar, to push the score along and they did not disappoint.

Rayudu struck James Hopes for two successive fours to help Mumbai reach 76 for two at the halfway stage of their innings.

The 12th over by Agarkar was fruitful for Mumbai as it yielded 13 runs

Rohit then struck a glorious straight six off Morkel when he was brought back into the attack to help Mumbai reach the 100 in 75 balls. Rayudu had luck in his favour when he was given not out after being struck on pads by Agarkar right in front of the stumps.

Rohit clobbered James Hopes for two sixes over the straight field while Rayudu pulled him for a four in the 15th over at the end of which Mumbai were 129 for two.

To add to Delhi`s woes, Sharma was was dropped at deep square leg by Warner off Pathan in the 16th over when the batsman was on 44.

However, he was caught in the next over off the expensive Morkel at third man after adding five more runs. Rayudu, who reached his 50 in 35 balls by hitting Nadeem for a six and a four, struck Hopes for two fours in successive balls in the 19th before he was dismissed, caught by Sehwag inside the circle.

Morkel`s four overs cost him a whopping 49 runs with a sole wicket to his name. Pathan was the most impressive with figures of one for 23 while Nadeem picked up a wicket for 28 runs. Hopes too was expensive with figures of one for 45.

PTI