In a run-fest at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai Indians secured their first win of the IPL 2024 season with a commanding 29-run victory over Delhi Capitals. The highlight of the match was Player of the Match Romario Shepherd's explosive batting display in the final over, where he smashed 32 runs off Anrich Nortje to lift Mumbai to a formidable total of 234 for 5.

Mumbai's innings began with a blazing start from Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, who put on an impressive 80-run partnership in just seven overs. Rohit, in particular, was in devastating form, dispatching the Capitals' bowlers to all parts of the ground. He accelerated rapidly, hitting boundaries at will and setting the tone for Mumbai's innings.

As the Capitals looked to regain control with spinners, Rohit continued his onslaught, unfazed by the change in bowling attack. His aggressive strokeplay kept Mumbai's scoreboard ticking at a rapid pace, pushing them to 75 for no loss after six overs.

While Rohit fell just short of a half-century, contributions from Kishan and later Tim David (45* off 21) and Romario Shepherd (39* off 10) propelled Mumbai to a daunting total. Shepherd's heroics in the final over, particularly against Nortje, turned the tide firmly in Mumbai's favor and provided crucial momentum heading into the second innings.

In response, Delhi Capitals fought bravely, led by Prithvi Shaw's attacking 66 off 40 balls and a sensational unbeaten 71 from Tristan Stubbs. Shaw's aggressive approach and Stubbs' late onslaught kept the Capitals in contention, but Mumbai's total proved too challenging to chase down.

Despite the Capitals' spirited efforts, the 20th over of Mumbai's innings, where Romario Shepherd unleashed a flurry of boundaries against Nortje, emerged as the decisive moment of the match. Shepherd's exceptional hitting display not only boosted Mumbai's total significantly but also injected momentum and confidence into the team.

 

 

 

India could welcome back Shubman Gill as they bid to continue their World Cup stranglehold over Pakistan in front of more than 100,000 fans and an audience of up to one billion viewers worldwide.

Fraught relations between the neighbouring countries mean their only showdowns in the last decade have been at multi-team events, with India winning seven out of seven contests at the 50-over World Cup.

They are favourites to extend that record at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, which will be a sea of blue as thousands of Pakistan fans have been unable to secure Indian visas.

Gill, the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, may return for the tournament’s marquee fixture, having sat out India’s wins over Australia and Afghanistan after being laid low by a bout of dengue fever.

He batted in the nets on Thursday and India captain Rohit Sharma, a centurion against Afghanistan on Wednesday, said of his fellow opener: “99 per cent he is available. We’ll see.”

If Gill, who possesses an incredible average of 66.1 and 102.84 strike-rate from 35 ODIs, is selected then Ishan Kishan will almost certainly make way as the hosts look to make it three wins from three.

Rohit, though, refused to divulge whether India will restore Ravichandran Ashwin to the line-up and go with a three-prong spin attack also including left-armers Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

“I don’t know, honestly,” he said. “We are ready for whatever combination we want to play. If the requirement is there for us to play three spinners, we will play three spinners.”

Rohit also rejected the notion home advantage could count against India, adding: “You feel nice about playing in front of your home crowd. They get behind you no matter what the situation of the game is.

“My overall experience playing, not just in India, even outside India, we get massive support. I look at this as a good advantage, big advantage. But you’ve got to play good cricket to win the game.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam needed no reminding of the one-sided nature of the rivalry, with India winning by 89 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in their last fixture in Manchester in 2019.

But Babar insisted Pakistan can take comfort from their 2017 Champions Trophy final win over their adversaries as well as a stunning 10-wicket triumph at the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai.

“I don’t focus on the past, I try to focus on the future,” Babar said. “Such records are made to be broken and I try to break them.

“We were not able to execute in the past, but we changed it in 2021 and 2017. We won against India in the World Cup. We hadn’t done that before, but we did it.

“We believe that we can do it and we will go with full confidence.”

Babar is the top-ranked ODI batter in the world but has had a modest start to the tournament with innings of five and 10 in Pakistan’s wins over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

“My World Cup till right now has not been as it should have been,” he added. “But hopefully you will see some difference in the next matches.”

Kuldeep Yadav took four wickets and Ishan Kishan scored 50 as India condemned West Indies to a five-wicket defeat in the first ODI played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

After skittling the West Indies out for 114 in just 23 overs, India scored 118-5 from 22.5 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Yadav returned the incredible figures of 4-6 in three overs as the West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 26 runs. Yadav claimed the last four wickets to fall including that of Captain Shai Hope who made 43, the only score of note as Alick Athanze (22) and Brandon King (17) both got starts but failed to carry on.

Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled Shimron Hetmyer for 11, also contributed to the rout taking 3-37 in his six overs.

Chasing a modest total, India lost the wickets of Shubman Gill for seven when he edged a Jaydon Seales delivery to King at slip and Suryakumar Yadav, who was trapped lbw by Gudakesh Motie for 19.

India would lose three more wickets as Hardik Pandya was run out for five, Motie dismissed Kishan for 52 and Yannic Cariah dismissed Shardul Thakur for one. However, Jadeja (16) and Rohit Sharma (12) remained unbeaten as the tourists eased the target inside the 23rd over.

Motie was the best of the West Indies bowlers with 2-26 while Cariah and Seales shared two wickets between them.

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