It can be quite a task for teams to start in the afternoon heat. The conditions were no better on Friday. For the Mumbai Indians, who face a tough proposition, needing to win both their remaining games, the heat was truly on.
A winning performance was required with a margin good enough to fashion a victory as well as improve the team's net run-rate. Calm heads were the need of the hour for Mumbai and the Delhi Daredevils if they were to end their dismal season with a flourish.
For the Daredevils, the anchor role has been played by JP Duminy through the season. In many ways, Duminy has been the only silver lining in an otherwise dismal IPL 7 campaign. On Friday, he once again raised hopes for his side.
Their top run-getter this season, Duminy's rich vein of form has still not elevated him to the top order. It was this hara-kiri that cost them the game once again as Mumbai came up tops in the battle with a 15-run victory, despite a late charge by Duminy (45 not out) and Manoj Tiwary (41).
The duo added 85 runs but Duminy was sent behind Tiwary at No 5 despite the team reeling at 61 for three. The effort took the Daredevils to within touching distance of the Mumbai total after a flurry of wickets had derailed the chase.
Earlier, a knock of 44 by captain Kevin Pietersen gave a positive charge but his departure left the visitors with a mountain to climb.
In the end, that turned out to be the difference between the two sides as Mumbai gave their fans something to cheer about.
However, it wasn't easy for Mumbai. Put in to bat, Mumbai crumbled under the weight of Imran Tahir's spin (3 for 37). From 100 in 10 overs, on the back of a stoic 56 by opener Michael Hussey, they lost nine wickets for just 73 runs in the next 10.
When Hussey went back, Mumbai were comfortably placed at 120 off 12 overs. With skipper Rohit Sharma and big hitters like Kieron Pollard to follow, a total of 200-plus looked within grasp. However, Tahir arrested Mumbai's progress and they were bowled out for 173.
In the end, the total was enough for the home side, who registered another win at the Wankhede.