Mumbai, May 23: Mumbai Indians carved out a 15-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in a must-win match and remained in the hunt for a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League match here today.
After squandering an electrifying start given by openers Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons, MI lost plot as their last eight wickets fell for 33 runs to be all out for 173.
However Daredevils' batsmen, whose confidence is in the pits, could only manage 158 in the end despite gutsy efforts from JP Duminy (45 no) and Manoj Towary (41). Skipper Kevin Pietersen (44) got a start but played one of the worst shots of the tournament off Harbhajan Singh's bowling.
The victory, the home teams 6th from 13 games, took their points tally to 12 - same as Sunrisers Hyderabad who are also on 12 points. Mumbai have one more game at hand against Rajasthan Royals on May 25 to complete their round robin engagements.
Daredevils began the run chase in a very encouraging fashion with skipper Kevin Pietersen (44 in 31 balls) leading the way in his inimitable style as he put on 43 runs for the opening wicket with a subdued Murali Vijay.
After the two openers departed and 'Million Dollar Flop' Dinesh Karthik fell cheaply it was left to their leading run getter Duminy (45 not out in 29 balls) and Tiwary (41 in 31 balls) to lead the charge with a partnership of 85 in 54 balls.
But the target became a bit too distant and Daredevils suffered their eighth straight defeat and 11th in 13 games. Pietersen looked dangerous when he lasted as he lashed 6 fours and a six over the straight field off Bumrah.
But the switch hit, in which he is adept, led to his doom as Harbhajan Singh came around the wicket to cramp and clean bowl him. Daredevils, 59 for two when Pietersen departed, lost wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik two runs later to a poor shot as he tried to make room to play Marchant de Lange to the leg side and missed the ball totally to be castled.
From 43 for no loss after 5 overs, the Daredevils who are last on the table quickly slipped to 61 for 3 by the tenth over and the task of overtaking MI's 173 appeared a formidable one, especially against the triple spin attack of the home team.