Both Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians made one change to their playing XI.
Avesh Khan’s raw pace and Axar Patel’s tight lines under the sultry heat and sluggish conditions restricted Mumbai Indians to 129/8 in their IPL fixture in Sharjah on Saturday.
On a day when star bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was completely off-colour, Axar (3/21) dismissed Quinton De Kock (19), Suryakumar Yadav (33) and Saurabh Tiwary (15), ensuring that runs were hard to come by in the middle overs.
But it was their uncapped Indian pacer Avesh Khan (3/15) who continued his dream run in the IPL and set it up for Capitals hurrying Rohit Sharma with sheer pace.
Avesh then returned at the death and dismissed the dangerous Hardik Pandya (17) and Nathan Coulter Nile (1) in three balls to further tighten the noose.
World’s fastest bowler Anrich Nortje, who shared the new ball with Avesh, was also tidy with 1/19 from his four overs as DC bowlers got their length right on a slow deck.
Such was their discipline that none of the MI batters save Surya could cross 20-run mark.
Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh lad Khan conceded just seven runs with eight dot balls in his first two overs and took the prized-scalp of MI skipper Rohit Sharma in his fifth ball of the day.
Avesh’s run-up might not look smooth but the effort ball to bounce Rohit out was special as the India’s T20 captain in waiting couldn’t connect his pull-shot.
Ashwin at the other end looked unsettled with Surya sweeping the star Indian off-spinner for a six, while De Kock also looked ominous, taking on his compatriot Kagiso Rabada with a lap-shot over fine-leg.
Making a smart captaincy call, Rishabh Pant brought on Axar immediately after the power-play and the Gujarat lad delivered dismissing De Kock in his second ball.
He smartly used his height advantage and was spot-on with his lengths, making it difficult for the Mumbai batsmen.
Having not been in best of forms, Surya looked to be back in his element top-scoring for them with a 26-ball 33 but Patel outsmarted the Mumbai no 3 with a full toss.
MI 129/8 (Suryakumar Yadav 33 off 26 balls, Avesh Khan 3/15, Axar Patel 3/21)
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Steven Smith, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan.