Derbies are always special. In India though, even though the concept of a derby hasn’t reached out to most of the masses, inter-city rivalries still keep the people entertained and enthralled. And a Mumbai vs Delhi IPL Game in 2016 just provided that. The 47th game of the IPL saw Delhi Daredevils winning the toss and sending Mumbai in to bat. With Delhi opting to go for three spinners in the name of Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir and Shahbaz Nadeem, Rohit straightaway went after Nadeem in the 1st over, thereafter setting the tone of the innings, at least, in his mind. Martin Guptill was struggling earlier on but found a bit of his flow after every over. Rohit’s dismissal should have ideally brought upon Ambati Rayudu but Mumbai Indians sent in Krunal Pandya as a pinch-hitter and the rest as they, is history.
Krunal Pandya set Vishakhapatnam on fire with a breath-taking 86 off a mere 37 balls. It had 7 boundaries and 6 sixes to its name as well. For sure, Delhi may have planned to counter Rohit, Guptill, Pollard and to a certain extent, even Jos Buttler. But never would they have imagined this hard-hitting left-hander coming in at number 3 and sending all the balls out of the park.
With Mumbai riding high on their total of 206, Delhi had their work cut out, losing Mayank Agarwal early. de Kock kept going with his naturally flamboyant stroke-play but eventually, Delhi just could not match up to the required run-rate and were bowled out for a paltry 126. With Mumbai winning by 80 runs, the third biggest loss margin in IPL, Krunal Pandya had well and truly arrived on the big stage.