Visakhapatnam: Back in the top half of the league table after a convincing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils would look to build on the winning momentum when they take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in their IPL match here on Sunday.
The Daredevils were impressive in the first half of the league but inconsistency struck them in the later part as they lost back-to-back matches. Their comfortable win over Sunrisers must have brought back the confidence in the Zaheer Khan-led side.
A win at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium will help the Delhi team put a foot into the play-offs. With 12 points, from 10 matches, the Daredevils are currently on third spot behind Sunrisers (14) and Gujarat Lions (14).
For Mumbai, on the other hand, it will be a do-or-die match as a loss tomorrow will leave them on the verge of being knocked out of the race for play-offs.
They now have 12 points from 12 games and are at fifth in the league table. After tomorrow, they will have just one match left in the league.
Against Sunrisers, the Daredevils dished out a top-class all-round show, that too without captain Zaheer who missed the game due to a niggle.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his good form in the league with two wickets and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile chipped in with two scalps as the Sunrisers batsmen were restricted to a small total of 146 for 8.
While chasing the target, the Daredevils batsmen clicked as a unit with in-form South African opener Quinton de Kock top-scoring with a 44. Promising domestic players Sanju Samson and Rishab Pant remained not out at 34 and 39 respectively to take Daredevils home with 11 balls to spare against the table toppers.
Zaheer has led the Daredevils really well, marshalling his resources and leading from the front with some impressive bowling shows. However, it remains to be seen whether Zaheer takes the field tomorrow.
Mumbai, who chose Visakhapatnam as their 'home' venue after the Bombay High Court canceled IPL matches in drought-hit Maharashtra, have been inconsistent this season and they have never built a winning momentum, having almost alternate win and losses in their campaign so far.
They cannot slip up now as a loss tomorrow will put them in an extremely difficult situation to make it to the play-offs though there could still be a theoretical chance for them to make the cut.
Mumbai's confidence has taken a hit after they suffered a comprehensive seven-wicket loss at the hands of laggards Kings XI Punjab in their previous match.
The Mumbai top-order, including captain Rohit Sharma, failed to fire while their middle order batsmen were run over by Punjab medium pacer Marcus Stoinis with a four-wicket haul.
Kings XI Punjab chased down the target with three overs to spare with none of the Mumbai bowlers doing anything extraordinary in that match.
Much will depend on the form of captain Rohit who has scored five half centuries this season though he has failed in the last three innings.
Mumbai have been over-dependent on Rohit even though big hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard has also bailed the team out from tough situation on a few occasions.
The Teams (From):
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Khaleel Ahmed, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Akhil Herwadkar, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Mahipal Lomror, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Nadeem, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Pratyush Singh, Sanju Samson, Pawan Suyal, Jayant Yadav.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Unmukt Chand, Marchant de Lange, Shreyas Gopal, Martin Guptill, Harbhajan Singh, Kishore Kamath, Siddhesh Lad, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Kieron Pollard, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu, Jitesh Sharma, Nathu Singh, Tim Southee, Jagadeesha Suchith, Jerome Taylor, Vinay Kumar, Akshay Wakhare.