IPL 2019, DC vs MI: Mumbai Indians return the favour to Delhi Capitals at the Kotla
The western enclave is home to the iconic Gateway of India, while its northern counterpart boasts of the grandeur of the India Gate. While the former is known for its express lifeline, The Local Train, the latter is acclaimed for its brisk and prolific network of Metro.
On the culinary front, the spicy Vada Pav vies with assorted Momos. Somehow, the nuances on all the fronts of these two cities tend to be similar in magnitude, but different in their attributive dynamics. The Delhi-Mumbai strife for superiority is the concomitant of all the above-mentioned factors, and successfully manages to find its way into the field of cricket.
In the Indian Premier League, the two cities, or rather teams, run parallel, being equipped with characters who are equally destructive but conversely conductive. While a focused and stable Rohit Sharma matches with a jittery and nonchalant Shikhar Dhawan, a calm and composed Jasprit Bumrah rivals the fast and furious Kagiso Rabada. The clash between the two sides got fittingly scheduled in the 'Rivalry Week' of the league.
However, this was supposed to be the second encounter between the domestic archrivals, with the sides having squared off against each other in their respective tournament opener at the Wankhede, where a Rishabh Pant special blew away all the hopes of the home side. Pant was particularly ferocious against Hardik Pandya and Bumrah, as he made a complete mockery of the bowling attack. Delhi registered their first points of the season, and also went one up in the battle against their arch-rivals, having beaten them on their backyard.
A month later, the onus was now on Mumbai Indians to avenge their loss against the Capitals in their bastion, the Feroz Shah Kotla. Capitals, having won three away games on the trot were expected to be formidable at their home.
However, Mumbai Indians were determined to prove all the conjectures and speculations wrong, which seemed evident in their intent right from team selection. The visiting side fielded three spinners – Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav, which proved to be crucial in spinning a web around the Delhi batsmen.
Prior to that, it was the 'Pandya and Pandya' show that steered Mumbai to an above par total of 168/5. Hardik, in particular, was menacing, as he continued his purple patch of form, and striking the bowlers all around the park.
The Delhi Capitals started off positively and were cruising in the powerplay when the spin storm of Pandya and Chahar struck their innings. Twin blows by Bumrah along with a run out added the final nail in the coffin, as the speedster squared level with Rishabh Pant, cleaning his defence.
The home side conceded the game by 40 runs, managing only 128/9 in their quota of 20 overs. The financial capital prevailed over the national capital this time around, and returned the favour with equal fervour at their home turf.
Looking at the manner in which the points table stands at the moment, there is a high probability of these two sides squaring off yet again towards the business end of the tournament. If such a scenario happens to materialise, it would be interesting to watch who has the final laugh, with things poised equally at the moment.