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Fireworks likely in first-time clash between Delhi and Mumbai

After suffering two consecutive defeats, Mumbai Indians will be hoping to bounce against table toppers Delhi Daredevils in the IPL match at the Buffalo Park on Friday, reports HT Correspondent. Listen to podcast audio | Special coverage

cricket Updated: May 08, 2009 00:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Mumbai Indians take on Delhi Daredevils for the first time in IPL-II at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday. The Daredevils are three points ahead despite playing one match less. Their record in the last two matches — one loss and one win — is also better than Mumbai Indians’ (two losses).

Trouble at the top

Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya are vintage openers, but their dream opening partnership has been too much like a vintage car — one fabulous ride (127 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders, the poor souls), but otherwise not quite able to get you from 0 to 60 quickly enough. Curiously, the Daredevils, too, had similar problems at the top until Virender Sehwag got injured to let in David Warner and Gautam Gambhir found his feet against the Knight Riders (71 not out).

Fat in the middle

No, we are not talking about expanding waistlines, but rude good health of the middle-order and this is where the Daredevils score over the Mumbai Indians.

The credit for it must go to their Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan who has scored 231 runs from six innings at a strike rate of over 130. Mumbai Indians’ J.P. Duminy has scored just as heavily, but Dilshan has “finished” more matches. And Dilshan has A.B. de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik for support, while Duminy must do with relative lightweights Dwayne Bravo and Abhishek Nayar.

Bhajji and his monkey

The pacers have been the go-to bowlers for both teams —Mumbai Indians have Lasith “the slinger” Malinga and the Daredevils Dirk Nannes, probably the only bowler in the world to have kept Glenn McGrath out of a playing XI. However, the spinners too must play their part. It is important that Harbhajan Singh gets the IPL monkey off his back and starts performing. His stint in IPL-I was short thanks to a slap and he has been ineffective in South Africa so far. Must ensure Daredevils leggie Amit Mishra doesn’t outbowl him.

Watch the balls fly

Buffalo Park is the smallest ground in South Africa, so expect a few balls to fly out of the stadium.

The Daredevils and the Mumbi Indians do not have distinctive headgear, like the Rajasthan Royals’ turbans and Knight Riders’ golden helmets, but spectators will do well to wear something to protect their heads.