Hetmyer’s nerve sees Delhi to a key victory over Pollard’s Mumbai

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Kieron Pollard (left) congratulates Shimron Hetmyer on leading Delhi Capitals to victory. (Photo courtesy IPL Media)

CHENNAI, India – West Indies left-hander Shimron Hetmyer held his nerve in a tense finish as his Delhi Capitals inflicted a six-wicket defeat on Kieron Pollard’s Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

On a difficult pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, where scoring proved difficult, Hetmyer arrived at the crease at the end of the 17th over with Delhi struggling on 116 for four to pursue an ordinarily straightforward 138 for victory.

Hetmyer, who finished on 14 not out from nine balls, lifted left-arm seamer Trent Boult to the cover boundary in the next over, which cost seven runs, and then rotated the strike well Lalit Yadav (22 not out) to earn 10 runs from the penultimate over.

With tensions still raised, with Delhi requiring five runs from the final over, Hetmyer leveled the scores off the first delivery when he cut Pollard to the backward point boundary.

Pollard then sent down a no-ball, a waist-high full toss that Hetmyer sliced to mid-off to bring an anticlimactic end to the encounter, which saw Delhi move up to second six points and Mumbai slip to fourth on four points.

Choosing to bat first, Mumbai managed to raise 137 for nine off their 20 overs, with captain Rohit Sharma top-scoring with 44 off 30 balls, Ishan Kishan getting 26, and Suryakumar Yadav, 24.

South African Quinton de Kock fell cheaply for two in the third over, but opener Rohit struck three fours and sixes in a 58-run, second-wicket stand with Ishan, who hit four fours in a 15-ball knock.

However, leg-spinner Amit Mishra then tore through the innings with four for 24 as Mumbai lost five wickets for 17 runs in quick time to slump to 123 for seven in the 18th over.

Pollard was sixth out in the 12th over, struck on the back leg by a Mishra googly, and adjudged lbw.

In reply, opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 45 off 43 deliveries, anchoring a 53-run second-wicket stand with Australian Steve Smith (33) to put Delhi on top after Prithvi Shaw’s (7) demise in the second over.

Dhawan counted five fours and a six while Smith struck four fours off 29 balls, the stand requiring 47 deliveries as both batsmen found easy scoring difficult.

Pollard hit Smith in front with his slow medium in the 10th over, and Dhawan followed in the 15th after putting on a further 36 for the third wicket with Lalit.

Captain Rishabh Pant (7) lasted eight balls, leaving the game still in the balance before Hetmyer settled his side’s nerves.

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