The Delhi Daredevils management made some startling changes to their squad in between the third and the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League. While the tournament is still young, and in this case, the Daredevils have now played in only one game, they would already be feeling the pinch after the pounding they received at the hands of the Mumbai Indians. >
The Feroz Shah Kotla track is never a batting-friendly one and does assist the bowlers at the best of times. In the Champions League T20 games played here in 2009, Brett Lee had enjoyed himself to the hilt, simply because the ball did not bounce too much and at his pace, batting against him was always going to be difficult. >
It was Lasith Malinga this time. While Malinga’s pace is a notch slower than Lee, his ability to produce yorkers at will is almost unprecedented. Talks of how he practices those yorkers as regularly as some others practice bowling have been abound and even given for exaggerations, there cannot be too much doubt that he is one of the more talented bowlers around.
And it was this talent on display today as he ran through the top and the bottom order of the Delhi Daredevils without the batting of the eyelid. Or, conversely, the batting of the eyelids was the only thing that the batsmen could manage once the Maliga deliveries had passed their bat.
Virender Sehwag started off strongly, hitting a six off Harbhajan Singh in the very first over but Malinag blasted two holes in the very next over – getting Dave Warner and Unmukt Chand in succession.
Sehwag tried to see Malinga out but was run-out for 19 and once Aaron Finch was dismissed for eight, the Daredevils were 40/4 and in trouble.
There was a minor rescue act from the bats of Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao, but by the time they had got their eye in and were ready for the final assault, Malinga returned to disrupt the lower-order. 40/4 became 82/4 before the last six wickets fell for the addition of 13 more runs and the side was bowled out for 95.
There were a few early jitters in the Mumbai camp when they lost Davy Jacobs for 1 and then had Tendulkar dropped, apart from a run-out chance missed against him as well. However, once Tendulkar got his eye in and Rohit Sharma survived a close lbw decision against him early, the Mumbai Indians ran home winners in the 17th over by eight wickets.
Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 46 but Malinga ran home with the man of the match award.