New Delhi: In a contest between dazzling strokemakers, Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu outshone Yuvraj Singh leading Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket victory against Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Mumbai got to the 153-run target in 19.3 overs as Rayudu (49*) was ably supported by Kieron Pollard (26*).
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Mumbai got off to an awful start when opener Lendl Simmons was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Zaheer Khan on the second ball of their run chase and then Hardik Pandya was soon after dismissed by Nathan Coulter-Nile.
The Mumbai run chase was twice interrupted by rain during short passages of play in which they lost the wickets of Parthiv Patel and Harbhajan Singh.
Sharma and Rayudu added 60 runs for the fifth wicket to keep Mumbai in the hunt. Sharma smashed three sixes and two fours in his 37-ball 46 before he was clean bowled by Amit Mishra.
Sharma's dismissal brought Pollard to join Rayudu at the crease and the duo took the hosts to victory.
In a game marred by stoppages due to rain, Mumbai seemed to have lost their way early in the innings.
However, after the second rain break, Sharma and Rayudu played with a calm head on their shoulders to resurrect the innings.
Even after Sharma was dismissed, Rayudu and Pollard held their nerve to take them home.
Pollard landed the decisive blow by thwacking Mishra for a six in the final over as Mumbai climbed to the fourth spot in the points table with their fourth consecutive win.
Earlier, Yuvraj struck a brilliant half-century to lift Delhi Daredevils to a challenging score of 152/6.
Yuvraj, the costliest buy at the players' auction at Rs 16 crore, has been woefully out of form barring a score of 54 against Kings XI Punjab at Pune and a lot was expected from him to rally Delhi when they slumped to 50/3 inside 7 overs after electing to bat.
The left-handed batsman rose to the occasion with a stroke-filled 57 off 44 balls that included two successive leg-side sixes off Mitchell McClenaghan and seven fours before he departed slashing Lasith Malinga in the last ball of the penultimate over.
Delhi's batting was, on the whole, disappointing with skipper Jean-Paul Duminy making the second best score of 28.
For Mumbai, Harbhajan Singh was easily the outstanding bowler with superb figures of 2/11 in four overs while Malinga got 2/33. McClenaghan was expensive without a wicket to his name while Jagadeesha Suchith and Hardik Pandya took the other two wickets.
Delhi started on the wrong foot when Mayank Agarwal hung his bat out to the first ball from Malinga and edged behind.
The duo of captain Duminy and youngster Shreyas Iyer raised hopes of another fight-back when the South African smashed a straight six with good timing off Vinay Kumar and Iyer followed suit by taking 14 runs off McClenaghan.
Iyer hit two lofted fours and was lucky when Suchith and Pandya clashed at cover point while chasing a leading edge and reprieved the youngster on 10.
And when Duminy swung Vinay Kumar for a second six over mid-wicket followed by a straight-driven four, the score had jumped to 43 off five overs.
The introduction of spin in the form of Harbhajan Singh paid rich dividends when Iyer needlessly tried a shot off the first ball and got a leading edge to be taken by Vinay Kumar. At the end of power play, Delhi were 44/2.
Duminy, who was looking for a big score, was deceived by Suchith in the next over and drove back to the bowler who anticipated well and grabbed the return catch to leave Delhi struggling at 50/3.
Yuvraj, who had trouble reading Harbhajan, and Kedar Jadhav forged a stand of 28 to steady the innings before the latter came out of his crease premeditatedly to the wily off-spinner and was easily stumped as Delhi were reduced to 78/4 in the 12th over.
Angelo Mathews joined Yuvraj and the duo took the score past the 100 mark but once again Mumbai made a dent when the former holed out to long off after lofting Pandya for a huge six the previous ball.
It was left to Yuvraj to take Delhi to a competitive total and he struck Malinga for three fours in successive balls in the 17th over -- two of those authentic ones in typical Yuvraj style -- and 15 runs were added to the total.
Yuvraj then swung McCleghan for a one-legged six over fine leg and then flicked the bowler when he bowled full for another leg-side six in the next over to complete his second half century of the season in 40 balls, with the help of two sixes and seven fours.
Yuvraj finally fell after surviving a caught behind appeal off the previous delivery which was taken on the half volley by stumper Parthiv Patel. His stand with Saurabh Tiwary (13 not out) was worth 41 runs.
The last five overs were productive for Delhi and yielded 57 runs.
Inputs: IANS & TOI
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