Yet another match Sharjah witnessed a low scoring encounter in IPL 2021. Apart from the first two innings, in no other innings has a team managed to score a 150+ total. A win for Punjab Kings against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 45, ensured a play-off spot for Delhi Capitals. Now it is the top two spots that Delhi will be aiming on. But, Mumbai Indians needed a win badly heading into this contest.
After being sent into bat, Mumbai suffered an early jolt as their skipper Rohit Sharma was dismissed trying to pull one off Avesh Khan in the second over. As soon as the power play was over, the other opening partner, Quinton de Kock was dismissed cheaply. There on, apart from Suryakumar Yadav, none of the Mumbai batsmen got going. The slowness of the pitch made it difficult even for the big hitting Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Axar Patel (3/21) and Avesh (3/15) were the stars with the ball. Some tight spells from other Delhi bowlers saw Mumbai crawl to a score of 129/8.
Delhi as well, suffered a setback in their chase as they lost three wickets in the powerplay. All the top three batters, Prithvi Shaw (6), Shikhar Dhawan (8) and Steve Smith (9) were dismissed for single digit scores. The skipper, Rishabh Pant, played an innings where it looked like he was trying to get out. But, it was the cool, calm and composed batting from Shreyas Iyer that saw Delhi over the line. Delhi won the game by four wickets with five balls remaining and have put Mumbai in a spot of bother. There were few things that happened in the match and here a few lists of notable stats from Match 46:
Avesh Khan’s scintillating season
It has been a year for the uncapped players or better to say, the lesser expected players. Both the Orange Cap and the Purple cap belong to youngsters who have had lesser exposure. More than the Orange Cap, two uncapped players are leading the Purple Cap list and the one trailing behind Harshal Patel is Avesh. Harshal is a long way ahead in the list, but Avesh is very much catching up with 21 wickets. This is not only the second most wickets taken by a bowler in IPL 2021, but the most wickets taken by an Indian in a season of IPL for Delhi.
Shikhar short of the crease
There is something about Delhi players when it comes to running between the wickets. The pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag were probably the best when it comes to understanding. However, Gambhir was prone to run-outs. So, has been the case with Shikhar Dhawan. He is swift between the wickets, but also involved in a lot of run-outs. In his match against Mumbai, Dhawan was dismissed through a run-out for the 16th time in IPL. This is the joint most times a batsman has been dismissed through this mode in IPL alongside another Delhi batsman, Gambhir.
Drought of runs at Sharjah
“Sharjah Cricket Stadium” could be judged as a synonym for contrast. It has just been the complete opposite of what it had been in IPL 2020. Flurry of boundaries, sixes flying all-over and lots and lots of runs on offer. However, this season, rumbling and tumbling, teams have reached a total of 140. Only in the first match, there was a 150+ total, rest all were less than 140. For eight consecutive innings, there hasn’t been a 150+ total at Sharjah. From November 2013 till April 2014, Sharjah saw 17 consecutive innings without a 150+ total, which is the most and in March 2012, there was another dry run of nine consecutive innings without one.