IPL: MI knockout DC to give RCB playoff berth


Pant errs in DC’s demise after a Bumrah special upsets the apple cart.

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Shared News: May 22, 2022 7:47:33 am
MI defeat DC by 5 wickets. (Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for IPL)

Rishabh Pant would like to forget this game. First, he dropped a sitter of a skier off Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling to give Dewald Brevis a reprieve on 25. Shardul Thakur spared his captain’s blushes by removing the batsman a couple of overs later. Then, he had Tim David caught behind for a golden duck. The on-field umpire didn’t hear the nick and Pant decided against taking the review. Ultra-showed a spike and to rub salt into the wound, David went on to score an 11-ball 34 to slam the playoffs door shut on Delhi Capitals. Ricky Ponting sat motionless in the dug-out. Pant had a noticeable lump in his throat.

Chasing 160 for victory, Mumbai Indians won by five wickets with five balls to spare. About 17 kilometres away, in their hotel at Bandra, Royal Challengers Bangalore players and staff must have heaved a collective sigh of relief. The IPL knockouts will have Virat Kohli’s stardust.

Bumrah special

The final playoff place was DC’s to lose. Prithvi Shaw was back from illness and on paper, they boasted serious hitting might down to Rovman Powell at No.6. MI had checked out of the season and were expected to give a perfunctory presence. Jasprit Bumrah, though, decided to play for pride.

At times in his first spell, he was nigh-on unplayable. It was unadulterated Test match bowling with the white ball, fascinating to watch but very difficult for the batsmen to counter.

David Warner fell to Daniel Sams. Mitchell Marsh came to the crease, carrying his good form. But Bumrah’s delivery was special, just nibbling away off good length and taking the outside edge to Rohit Sharma at first slip. The MI skipper took a fine diving catch, while Marsh was gone first ball.

Shaw got a searing bouncer. It climbed diagonally off a length, took the glove and ballooned behind the stumps. Ishan Kishan took an excellent diving catch to put DC on a slippery slope. Sarfaraz Khan perished to Mayank Markande and at 50/4 in the ninth over, DC were under pressure.

Pant was there but he didn’t have the licence to hit. Powell joined him and targeted the spinners. There had to be aggression from one end, although building a partnership at that stage was the priority.
The Jamaican took a couple of sixes off Hrithik Shokeen and another one off Markande. MI’s cricket during that period became very sloppy, through misfields galore, but DC’s run-rate still hovered around seven-and-a-half per over. After 15 overs, they were 106/4 and a below par total looked to be on the cards.

Pant tried to up the ante, hitting a couple of fours and a six against Ramandeep Singh, but lost his wicket in the same over, chasing a wide delivery. DC stared at uncertainty. RCB hoped.

Powell was the last power-hitter standing and he had to overcome the Bumrah challenge. A rare half-tracker was pulled for a six. The response from the fast bowler was a yorker that took out the off stump. DC were still delicately placed and 159/7 was a below par total. Bumrah’s brilliance had upset the apple cart.