After winning the match against Gujarat Lions chasing 209-run target, Delhi Daredevils suffered a 146-run loss to Mumbai Indins as they were bowled out for 66, chasing 213. But Delhi captain Zaheer Khan said that it was Mumbai batsmen Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons who took the game away from Delhi.
“There is nothing much you can do. When I was on the field, I felt that they batted well. We had our plans, we started well, we stuck to the plan, but the partnership between Lendl and Pollard took the game away from us,” Zaheer Khan said. “It’s tough to restrict a team in this sort of wicket and once the target is over 200, you have to go after it. Last game, you saw our fearlessness. We went after the bowling today as well, but couldn’t keep up.
Zaheer said that something around 190 would have been a good total as dew would have helped them in the chase.
“190 was a good target. The dew was going to help us. But some days you can’t put a finger to the loss. We have to stay positive, we have to regroup, we have a slight break. But it’s all about winning games, playoffs is still possible,” he said.
Mumbai posted 212 for 3 batting first after Simmons made 66 off 43 balls. Playing his first game of the season, Simmons destroyed the Delhi attack and earned the man-of-the-match award as well.
“I have been practicing hard. I have been hitting the gym, keeping my fitness up, waiting for the opportunity. It came today and I took it in both hands,” Simmons said.
“I’m good as a replacement player, it’s been good for me. Batting in the Powerplay and with Parthiv is always good. My game plan is to see off the first two overs and then back my shots. At first it was a bit slow, but dew came on, and then the shots were easy to play. Batting with Pollard is good, we are accustomed playing together. We didn’t have a total in mind, we just had a mind towards keeping the run-rate up and not losing wickets at crucial times,” he said about Pollard.
Mumbai became the first team to qualify for the play-offs and captain Rohit Sharma said that it gave them confidence to know that their bench strength was strong.
“We were clinical from the start. I think the opening stand set the game up for us. Lendl coming back after a long time, playing that way was amazing. And Polly, a brilliant finisher. Great performance by the bowlers as well and to win by 146 runs is huge,” Rohit Sharma said.
“It gives us confidence, knowing our bench strength is strong. We always had a lot of faith in Lendl and he showed us why he is one of the best. Never in two minds, always went for his shots. A player like that gives a lot of freedom to the other guys. With a lot of dew on the ground, we expected a tighter game. But the way we bowled our first six overs was brilliant. Result of our hard work over the last three four weeks, we have prepared well, we were clear in our minds. That clarity has been helping us,” he said.