Mumbai to play for pride against Delhi

With their semi-final hopes dead and buried, Mumbai Indians will play for pride as they take on table-toppers Delhi in their last IPL match on Thursday.

updated: May 20, 2009 16:00 IST
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With their semi-final hopes dead and buried, Mumbai Indians will play for pride as they take on table-toppers Delhi Daredevils in their last league encounter of the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Languishing at seventh place, Sachin Tendulkar's men will look to end their campaign on a positive note.

Mumbai had made a blistering start to their IPL II campaign when they defeated Chennai Super Kings in the opener but four weeks down the line they find themselves bruised and battered as they could manage only five wins against seven loses to bag 11 points from 13 matches.

They had everything going in their favour. In Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, they had the most explosive top-order opening pair and together with Dwayne Bravo and JP Duminy, the batting looked in good hands.

Even in the bowling department they had all the riches. Zaheer Khan and Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga were armed and ready to wreck havoc with the new ball while Harbhajan Singh was ready to mesmerise the batsmen with his spin.

But somewhere down the line things didn't go as planned and they find themselves at the bottom half.

In contrast, Delhi Daredevils are sitting pretty relaxed at the top and so far is the only team to make it to the semi-finals, winning nine out of 13 matches and with 18 points in their kitty.

However, Virender Sehwag's men suffered a crashing defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore last night and would look to boost their confidence ahead of the last-four clash.

Delhi have so far depended on imports like AB De Villiers and Thillakaratne Dilshan to do bulk of the scoring and their main concern would be the opening slot where Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag have failed to recreate last year's magic.

Delhi would desperately want both the India openers to hit the right notes.

Among bowlers, Ashish Nehra as emerged as the second best in this IPL, bagging 18 wickets and has been well supported by pace partners Pradeep Sangwan and Dirk Nannes.

But they might have a tough task against Tendulkar and Jayasuriya, who had been rather subdued this season, and might chose on Thursday as an opportunity to give spectators a good time.