Both MI and DC have won two of their three matches in IPL 2021 so far. MI began their title defence with a last-ball defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, they rode on the exploits of their bowling attack to beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their next two games.
Meanwhile, DC’s IPL 2021 campaign hasn't unfolded too differently. They started with an emphatic seven-wicket triumph over Chennai Super Kings (CSK). After going down to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a tight finish, DC returned to winning ways by beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by six wickets.
In terms of the MI vs DC head-to-head battle, MI have a 16-12 lead over DC. Last year, MI won all four meetings against DC, including the Qualifier and the IPL final. As the two teams seek to renew acquaintances in Chennai tonight, let’s take a look at three memorable batting performances in DC vs MI matches over the years.
#3 Rishabh Pant (DC) 78 not out off 27 - IPL 2019 (in Mumbai)
The expectations from him are massive in the wake of his recent international exploits, but Rishabh Pant is yet to set IPL 2021 on fire. However, the DC captain can seek inspiration from his stupendous knock of 78 not out against MI in 2019 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
In that game, MI won the toss and asked DC to bat first. Coming out to bat at number five, Pant went berserk, slamming seven fours and as many sixes in his 27-ball blitzkrieg. Shikhar Dhawan (43) and Colin Ingram (46) also chipped in as DC posted an imposing total of 213 for 6.
Four MI bowlers - Rasikh Salam, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya - were clobbered for over 40 runs in their four overs. Krunal Pandya and Ben Cutting combined to bowl the four other overs, but they too leaked a combined 48 runs.
In response, MI floundered in their chase, as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never got any momentum going. Yuvraj Singh hammered 53 off 35, while Krunal Pandya struck a quickfire 32 off 15. However, MI’s innings folded up for 176, with Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada claiming two scalps apiece.
#2 Krunal Pandya (MI) 86 off 37 - IPL 2016 (in Visakhapatnam)
Krunal Pandya has made his name in the IPL as a lower-order hitter who comes in and cracks a quickfire 20 or 30. On many occasions, that has been the difference between victory and defeat for MI.
In an IPL 2016 encounter against DC in Visakhapatnam, though, Pandya made full use of his promotion to number three, smashing 86 off only 37 balls. After DC won the IPL toss and asked MI to take first strike, Pandya arrived in the middle in the seventh over and blasted seven fours and six sixes in his whirlwind knock.
Courtesy Pandya’s exploits, MI posted a formidable 206 for 4 on the board. Openers Martin Guptill (48) and Rohit Sharma (31) also made decent contributions as MI kept DC bowlers on their toes. DC leg-spinner Imran Tahir was taken for 59 in his four, while Shahbaz Nadeem and Amit Mishra both conceded 42 runs apiece.
DC managed only 126 in reponse, getting bowled out in 19.1 overs. Quinton de Kock (40) was the only batsman who made an impact. For MI, the reliable Jasprit Bumrah stood out with 3 for 13, while Krunal Pandya made it a memorable all-round game, chipping in with two wickets.
#1 Jason Roy (DC) 91 not out off 53 - IPL 2018 (in Mumbai)
It is no secret that Jason Roy is one of the most destructive batsmen in the T20 format. However, he hasn’t quite made an explosive impact in the IPL.
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Back in IPL 2018, though, Roy played a brilliant knock of 91 not out off 53 balls for DC against MI in Mumbai. In his debut match for DC, Roy slashed six fours and as many sixes in his team's successful chase of 195. Although the game went to the last ball, Roy was there to see DC through by seven wickets.
After DC captain Gautam Gambhir fell for 15, Jason Roy found good support from Pant, who hit a quickfire 47 off 25 to keep the run rate in control. Future DC captain Shreyas Iyer also came in and contributed an unbeaten 27 off 20.
For Mumbai Indians, Suryakumar Yadav made 53 off 32, while Evin Lewis and Ishan Kishan contributed brisk 40s. The middle and lower order faltered, though, as MI were restricted to under 200.
Trent Boult, Dan Christian and Rahul Tewatia picked up two scalps apiece for DC, after which Jason Roy did the star turn with the bat.