Mumbai Indians underlined its title credentials with a dominant 57-run win over Delhi Capitals to qualify for the final of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. MI has won four IPL titles incidentally in odd years - 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 but there seems to be nothing stopping the team from bucking the trend and winning the IPL title in 2020.
Batting first in the qualifer against Delhi, Mumbai Indians set a target of 201 in 20 overs thanks to quick-fire fifties from Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan before a late burst by Hardik Pandya.
Suryakumar Yadav smashed his way to a 51 off 38 balls to lay a foundation that was enough for Hardik murder the bowling with five sixes in his 14-ball-37.
In between, Ishan Kishan was an ideal anchor with a priceless half-century (55 off 30 balls), adding 60 for the sixth wicket with Hardik in only 3.5 overs. Hardik Pandya was unbeaten on 37 from 14 balls as MI plundered 60 runs off the last 4 overs.
While Ravichandran Ashwin (3/29 in 4 overs) shone brightly with his bowling, Shreyas Iyer's captaincy was found wanting once again as Delhi's pacers leaked runs.
Left-arm seamer Daniel Sams (0/44 in 4 overs), Kagiso Rabada (0/4 in 4 overs) and Anrich Nortje (1/50 in 4 overs) had a forgettable day as MI raced to 200.
In all, Mumbai Indians hit 15 fours and 12 sixes particularly against the fast bowlers who were bowling short of length consistently.
Faced with a daunting target, DC got off to the worst possible start which saw its top 3 batsmen get out for a duck. DC were left reeling at 0-3 after Trent Boult picked up the wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane while Jasprit Bumrah got Shikhar Dhawan out with a terrific yorker.
By the eighth over, DC were reduced to 41-5 with little hope of rescuing the innings. Marcus Stoinis (65) and Axar Patel (42) narrowed the margin of defeat even though it never looked like the target was within reach. Bumrah finished with figures of 4-14 in his spell of four overs.
The win takes defending champions MI to the IPL season for the second season in a row while a battered Delhi will now face the winner of Friday's eliminator between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad for a place in the final.