Visakhapatnam, May 15 (IANS) Promising all-rounder Krunal Pandya smashed 86 off just 37 balls to steer Mumbai Indians to a massive 206/4 in 20 overs against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Sunday.
During his maiden IPL half-century, the left-handed batsman struck seven boundaries and six sixes.
Put in to bat, openers Rohit Sharma (31) and Martin Guptill (48) helped the defending champions get off to a decent start scoring 45 runs without losing any wickets after the completion of powerplay.
But the seventh over of the innings saw a twist in the tale — leg-spinner Amit Mishra brought the first breakthrough dismissing Mumbai skipper Rohit when Mumbai were 46/1 in 6.3 overs.
Hard-hitting left-hander Krunal who was promoted up the order at No.3 to keep the run flow going, did not disappoint his team. He played his natural game, striking a couple of boundaries and sixes to help the team keep a healthy run-rate.
He was well supported on the other end by experienced Kiwi batsman Guptill as the duo played sensibly to help team cross the 80-run mark after 10 overs.
Guptill-Krunal duo smashed 23 runs in the 13th over bowled by leg-spinner Imran Tahir to take team over 100-run mark in style.
Next up, courtesy of couple of big blows, Krunal brought up his maiden IPL half-century in just 22 balls.
The impressive 96-run partnership for the second wicket came to n end in the 15th over when Guptill looking to strike one over long on was caught by Karun Nair off the bowling off Zaheer Khan. The hosts were 144/2 then.
Despite wickets at the other end, Krunal smashed it to all parts of the ground, but eventually in the 18th over Chris Morris finally got rid of the 25-year-old to put a check on the run flow.
In the dying overs the innings, Jos Buttler (18 not out) and Ambati Rayudu (13 not out) played useful cameos to take the team past 200-run mark.
Morris (2-34) was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi as the spinning trio of Shahbaz Nadeem (2/42, Amit Mishra (1/42) and Tahir (0/59) proved expensive. Zaheer was economical, having conceded 23 runs in four overs.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians: 206/4 in 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 86; Chris Morris 2/34) vs Delhi Daredevils