Skipper Rohit Sharma smashed 65 as Mumbai Indians edged out Delhi Capitals by six wickets in a last-ball IPL thriller to register their first win of the season on Tuesday.
Mumbai’s chase of 173 moved to the final delivery when impact player Tim David and Cameron Green got the winning runs to hand hosts Delhi their fourth straight loss in as many matches.
Delhi, led by David Warner and coached by Ricky Ponting, have endured a horrendous run in the T20 tournament to be in danger of an early exit from the play-off race.
The franchise is yet to win the Indian Premier League and suffered an early blow when captain Rishabh Pant was involved in a car crash in December to be ruled out of the season.
Mumbai remain the most successful IPL outfit, owned by Nita Ambani, wife of India’s richest man, Reliance Industries billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
The team, which is without pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, out injured this season and missing England pace bowler Jofra Archer for the second straight match, bounced back from their opening two defeats.
Rohit and the left-handed Ishan Kishan gave the former champions a flying start in their 71-run stand before a run out sent Kishan back to the pavilion.
Rohit, called “hitman” for his big hundreds and six-hitting, looked in supreme touch as he pulled Nortje for a six over deep square leg and another hit over the fence off Kuldeep Yadav.
The Indian captain put on another big partnership of 68 with Tilak Varma, who made 41, but Mukesh Kumar raised hopes of a turnaround with successive strikes.
He sent back Varma and then T20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav for a first ball duck to bring a live the home crowd that went crazy when Rohit departed five balls later off Mustafizur Rahman.
But David (13) and Green (17) kept their calm in a dramatic final over from Anrich Nortje, which witnessed a dropped catch, to steer the team home and the two batsmen stole a double after David pushed the ball to mid-off.
Earlier Delhi were bowled out for 172 in 19.4 overs despite Warner’s 51 and an attacking 54 by fellow left-hander Axar Patel after the hosts were invited to bat first.
Piyush Chawla rattled the opposition batting to return figures of 3-22 and was later substituted by David.
The once explosive Warner, who struck his third half-century of the season, stood firm but often struggled to find momentum until an attacking Axar joined the Australian opener in a 67-run partnership.