Delhi re, tu roar macha, the Delhi Capitals theme song rang out at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday evening as Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel forged a 75-run stand for the seventh wicket to guide their team to a four-wicket win against Mumbai Indians.
After Ishan Kishan’s unbeaten 48-ball-81 took Mumbai to 177 for five, Delhi’s chances looked bleak as it found itself in a spot, losing three wickets for 32.
With more than 70 runs left in the last six overs and just four wickets remaining, the spectators did not imagine that Delhi would indeed roar. But Lalit (48 not out; 38b, 4×4, 2×6) and Axar (38 not out, 17b) had other plans, despite Basil Thampi claiming three wickets and Murugan Ashwin scalping two.
With Jasprit Bumrah looking off-colour, Axar and Lalit picked 24 runs from Daniel Sam’s 18th over – hammering three sixes and a boundary – which paved the way for the team’s victory, with 10 balls to spare.
Openers Tim Seifert (21, 14b) and Prithvi Shaw (38, 24b) gave Delhi Capitals a steady start, amassing 30 runs in just 3.3 overs, but Ashwin struck with back-to-back wickets. A perfectly looped up googly by Ashwin rattled Seifert’s stumps, and two deliveries later, Mandeep Singh (0) smacked a full toss straight to Tilak Varma at mid-on.
Slashing at a short ball, captain Rishabh Pant (1) got a top edge off Tymal Mills, which looped to Tim David at third man.
With three wickets down for 32, Shaw forged a 40-run stand with Lalit before Thampi cut short his innings. As Shaw walked back to the dugout, the celebrations by Mumbai players indicated that they were sensing a win but Lalit and Axar turned it around eventually.
Earlier in the day, Ishan, who was roped in by Mumbai Indians for Rs 15.25 crore in the auction, lived up to his price tag. Opening the innings with captain Rohit (41, 32b), they amassed 53 runs in the PowerPlay. Rohit got a reprieve on 25 as Shardul Thakur dropped an easy catch at short fine leg off Khaleel Ahmed, and making the most of it, the Mumbai openers took firm control of the game, reaching 65 for no loss in the first eight overs.
However, seasoned spinner Kuldeep Yadav (three for 18) got Delhi its first breakthrough, removing Rohit. With a short of good length delivery just outside off stump, Rohit tried to go for a pull but ended up hitting it straight to Rovman Powell at deep mid-wicket.
After Rohit’s exit, Ishan tried forging a partnership, but Anmolpreet Singh and Tilak Varma (22, 15b) were dismissed quickly. A stunning catch by Tim Seifert brought an end to Kieron Pollard’s stay at the crease. With the top batters returning to the dugout, Ishan ensured that the team amassed 55 runs in the last four overs. But in the end, that wasn’t enough.