Mumbai Indians (lost to DD)
What went wrong: The loss to Delhi was yet another tale of woe for the former champions this season. If anything, it would be tough to choose between their ineffective bowlers and the continuing plight of their batsmen with regards to who let Mumbai down more.
Their bowling attack, sans Malinga, looked hapless against Iyer and JP Duminy’s assault, with even Harbhajan Singh having an off-day. And Ambati Rayudu, at one point the team’s talisman, looked out of sorts yet again. That he was the joint top-scorer with a 22-ball 30 was symbolic of Mumbai’s disastrous run in IPL8.
What went right: For once, Rohit Sharma came out to bat after the first six overs were done, which meant Mumbai Indians’ top-order had actually seen off the new-ball—by T20 standards of course.
That the rest of the batting caved in without much of a meaningful fight in pursuit of Delhi’s target is another matter. But when so much is going wrong for a team, which seems in disarray, you tend to clutch at any silver lining possible.
This was also the first match where Lasith Malinga went at less than run-a-ball, only conceding a single boundary in his final two overs while also clean-bowling a set batsman—Shreyas Iyer—with a pin-point yorker of yore.
Hyderbad Sunrisers (bt KKR)
What went right: It’s almost a given that when David Warner has a good day at the office, the Sunrisers come out firing and on top of the contest. And against KKR, he had one of those days where he simply looks angry with the world and intent on venting it out on the cricket ball.
It was, however, the good-cop, bad-cop routine that Warner and Shikhar Dhawan, who played second fiddle to his explosive partner, are carrying out against opposition bowling attacks this year that has been Hyderabad’s biggest gain, like was the case during their 130-run stand in Vizag.
What went wrong: That Sunrisers only added 46 runs in the 34 balls that followed Warner’s dismissal was worrying, and also exposed the lack of attacking depth in their batting now that Darren Sammy is no longer around.
They might not have paid for it against Kolkata Knight Riders, but their butter-fingered performance—three sitters in the space of four overs—could easily have lost them a match on another day even if it seemed to get Dale Steyn—the victim on each occasion—angrier and nastier.
Despite having won only two matches this season—one more than their opponents— Both teams though depend heavily on a few individual stars coming to the party. If Warner and Dhawan fire, it will be tough for Mumbai’s under-par bowling attack to contain the Sunrisers. But Malinga has a good record against Warner in ODIs, having dismissed him on four occasions, each time with a slow-paced off-cutter that has decieved the left-hander and had him caught at short-cover—a tactic that he will try using on Saturday evening.
Mumbai will thrive on Rohit’s terrific record at Wankhede, but he will have to contend with his long-standing nemesis, Steyn, who apart from getting the better of him has also made quite a mockery of his technique during previous battles.