IPL 2023 is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
For the third match in a row, the contest was decided off the final ball of the match as Mumbai Indians edged Delhi Capitals by six wickets in Delhi on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Chasing 173 for victory, MI nearly messed up an easy run chase. They needed five runs off the final over, but Anrich Nortje kept bowling yorker after yorker with unflinching accuracy to take the match to the final ball.
Tim David mistimed the last ball towards long-off as David Warner came charging in, but the DC skipper's high throw gave the MI batter an extra couple of seconds to make his crease with a desperate dive.
It was a stunning comeback from the Delhi Capitals as they looked out of the contest with MI needing 50 from the last five overs with nine wickets in hand. However, they bounced back with three wickets in the space of seven balls to set up a thrilling finish.
Even though Delhi came up with a spirited showing with the ball, they will rue their shocking batting collapse at the end of their inning, which proved to be a major factor in their heartbreaking loss.
Delhi looked on course for a total around the 190/200-run mark. They were well-placed on 165/5 in 18 overs with both Warner and Axar Patel unbeaten on half-centuries.
But the Delhi innings turned on its head in the penultimate over.
Australian left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff, who returned to MI after five years, did the star turn with the ball. He got Axar, who had slammed 54 from 25 balls, caught at deep square leg off the first ball of the 19th over.
Two balls later, he dealt Delhi another big blow when Warner was caught on the off-side for 51.
Kuldeep Yadav was run out off the next ball, attempting a suicidal single to mid-on and Abhishek Porel perished off the final ball of the over, caught at mid-off.
Behrendorff, who was part of the Chennai Super Kings in 2021 and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2022 but didn't get a single game, finished with career-best figures of 3/23.
Behrendorff last played an IPL game in 2019 when he took five wickets in as many games. This year he has already taken four wickets from three games -- the joint highest wicket-taker for MI this season.
Nortje was bowled by Riley Meredith in the last over as Delhi were bowled out for 172 in 19.4 overs.
It was an unbelievable collapse as Delhi lost their last five wickets for seven runs in the space of 10 balls, which ultimately made a difference of around 15-20 runs to their final total.
Delhi suffered their fourth straight IPL 2023 defeat while Mumbai Indians will be relieved to register their first win after two straight losses.