ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Mumbai Indians won the battle at the top of the Indian Premier League as the defending champions beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets with two balls to spare on Sunday.
Rahul Tewatia’s late charge in the early game ended Rajasthan Royals’ four-match losing streak with a five-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad with just one ball left.
Suryakumar Yadav and Quinton de Kock struck half centuries in Mumbai’s run chase before both went for 53.
Mumbai reached 166-5 in 19.4 overs in reply to Delhi’s 162-4 which came on the back of Shikhar Dhawan’s 69 not out in his first half century of the season and captain Shreyas Iyer laboring to 42 off 33 balls. Spinner Krunal Pandya played a vital role in restricting Delhi by finishing with 2-26.
Leader Mumbai and Delhi still occupy the top two places at the halfway mark in the league stage with 10 points each from seven games.
“The kind of cricket we are playing gives us confidence going forward,” Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma said. “Really pleased how we have played in the first half of the tournament. Perfect day for us, we did everything right today. We bowled really well, then clinical with the bat.”
De Kock smashed three sixes and four boundaries before top-edging against Ravichandran Ashwin (1-35) in the 10th over.
Yadav hit six fours and a six before attempting an ambitious shot off fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (2-28) in the 15th over to hole out in the deep, but by that time the match was in Mumbai's control at 130-3.
“We were 10-15 short, 175 would have looked completely different,” Delhi skipper Iyer said. “We need to work on our mindset next game ... I feel it is important for us to not take anything lightly.”
At Dubai, Tewatia repeated his heroics in Sharjah — where he smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over — with another whirlwind knock of an unbeaten 45 runs off 28 balls. Eighteen-year-old Riyan Parag (42 not out off 26) hit fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed for a six to complete the victory as Rajasthan reached 163-5 with only one ball to spare.
Manish Pandey (54) and captain David Warner (48) had earlier anchored Hyderabad to 158-4 after Warner won the toss and chose to bat.
Kane Williamson (22 not out) lifted Hyderabad’s total by smashing two sixes against Jofra Archer (1-25) in the 19th over and Jaydev Unadkat (1-31) went for 16 in the last over.
Tewatia and Parag took the game away from Hyderabad with a 85-run stand off only 47 balls to give Rajasthan its third win after seven games. Hyderabad also has six points from seven games.
With his team needing 36 off 18 balls, Tewatia repeated the aggression he had shown at Sharjah in Rajasthan's last win against Kings XI Punjab. He hit legspinner Rashid Khan (2-25) for three successive boundaries in the 18th over that included two magnificent reverse sweep fours.
Left-handed Tewatia brought down the target to just eight in the last over after smashing Thangarasu Natarajan for 14 runs in the penultimate over before Parag sealed the game for Rajasthan.
“The wickets were falling so I just wanted to hold one end up and wait for the boundary balls,” Tewatia said. “I told Riyan (Parag) that the wicket was playing slow and the deeper we take it, the better our chances, even if we needed 50 off the last 4 (overs) because we have the shots.”
Rajasthan’s Ben Stokes had a forgettable first IPL game this season after the England allrounder ended his quarantine on Saturday. Stokes was bowled by Ahmed (2-37) for five runs as he opened the innings.
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