Defending champions Mumbai Indians took a step forward towards retaining their title when they ensured themselves the top-2 finish in the Dream11 Indian Premier League.
In a one-sided low-scoring outing, holders MI steamrolled Delhi Capitals by nine wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
With this ninth win in 13 games, MI consolidated their position at the top with 18 points to their credit which will seal their numero uno position in the points tally. The top two teams get one more chance in the playoffs to enter the final.
The 51st match of the season turned out to be one of the most lop-sided encounters. MI completely dominated their rivals by reaching the small target of 111 losing a solitary wicket with more than five overs to spare.
Ishan Kishan remained unbeaten on 72 after speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult grabbed a 3-wicket haul each.
In-form opening pair of Kishan and Quinton de Kock (26: 28 balls, 2×4) stitched a 68-run stand for the first wicket. DC pacer Anrich Nortje sent back de Kock in the 11th over which was the only success for DC bowlers.
Ishan continued his excellent batting thereafter and guided MI to victory with 34 balls to spare. The diminutive southpaw faced 47 balls and smashed eight boundaries and three huge sixes.
Another in-form batsman Suryakumar Yadav remained undefeated on 12 off 11 balls. Kishan hits a six off the second ball of the 15th over to finish the things off in style.
Earlier MI won the toss and elected to field first. DC got off to a disastrous start and could never recover from the early setbacks. It was a below-par batting performance by DC batsmen against a quality bowling attack.
Except skipper Shreyas Iyer (25) and Rishabh Pant (21) none of the DC batsmen showed any patience to stay at the wicket. The wicket of Prithvi Shaw would definitely hurt the DC team management as he literally threw his wicket away after hitting two boundaries in the same over bowled by Boult.
Boult returned with the figures of 3 for 21, removing Shikhar Dhawan (0), Shaw (10) and Ravichandran Ashwin (12). Bumrah owned the Purple Cap after pocketing the wickets of Pant, Marcus Stoinis (2) and Harshal Patel (5). Nathan Coulter-Nile and leg-spinner Rahul Chahar settled with a wicket each.
With this win, MI improved the head-to-head record against DC by 14-12. Earlier this season on October 11 at Abu Dhabi, MI had downed DC by 5 wickets.
Delhi Capitals 110 for 9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 25, Rishabh Pant 21, Ravichandran Ashwin 12, Kagiso Rabada 12, Shimron Hetmyer 11, Prithvi Shaw 10; Jasprit Bumrah 3-17, Trent Boult 3-21, Nathan Coulter-Nile 1-14, Rahul Chahar 1-24) lost to Mumbai Indians 111 for 1 in 14.2 overs (Ishan Kishan 72, Quinton de Kock 26, Suryakumar Yadav 12; Anrich Nortje 1-25) by 9 wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians).