Mumbai, Hyderabad win big as IPL playoffs race reaches final round
Champions Mumbai Indians and David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad completed emphatic victories in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday to leave six teams vying for three playoffs spots with the final round of the league stage remaining.
Fast bowlers Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah picked up three wickets apiece to help Mumbai thrash Delhi Capitals, who are coached by Australian batting great Ricky Ponting, by nine wickets with 34 balls remaining.
It was the ninth win from 13 matches for Mumbai, who had already booked one of the four playoffs spots and ensured that the four-time IPL winners will finish at the top of the eight-team league.
In Saturday's other match, Hyderabad chased down a 121-run target with five wickets in hand and 35 balls to spare after an inspired bowling performance against the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.
"It's a competitive tournament, I have said that time and again. We have seen teams come back from the bottom of the table," Kohli said at the presentation.
"The situation is in front of us. We got to win our last game to hopefully finish in the top two."
The win catapulted Hyderabad to fourth in the table and the final playoffs spot in the tournament, which is being held without spectators in the United Arab Emirates this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hyderabad are tied on 12 points with Kings XI Punjab, Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals and the Eoin Morgan-captained Kolkata Knight Riders. The net run rate could prove crucial for the playoffs spots.
Delhi have lost their last four matches while Bangalore suffered their third straight defeat on Saturday. Both teams are on 14 points and meet each other in their final league game.
"It's going to be a cracker of a game. I have always been a Bangalore boy in the IPL, never sort of drifted towards Delhi," Delhi-born Kohli said before breaking into a wide grin.