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    IPL 7: Mumbai keep playoff hopes alive with 15-run win over Delhi

    Defending champions Mumbai Indians are still on their feet in IPL 7 as a 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils has kept them in the race for the playoffs, which stays a three-way fight between Mumbai, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

    Mumbai, who needed a win at all cost against Delhi, endured a middle-order collapse to reach 173 despite getting bowled out in 19.3 overs. A disciplined bowling performance, led by Marchant de Lange's 2 for 32, then helped the hosts restrict DD to 158 for 4.

    While Delhi's 11th defeat in 13 games kept them at rock bottom of the points table, Mumbai joined Hyderabad at 12 points but edged them to fifth spot on net run-rate. However, Mumbai will want Rajasthan to lose to Kings XI Punjab in the other match on Friday to stay in the hunt for the knockouts.

    Daredevils began the run chase in a very encouraging fashion with skipper Kevin Pietersen (44 in 31 balls) leading the way in his inimitable style as he put on 43 runs for the opening wicket with a subdued Murali Vijay. After the two openers departed and Dinesh Karthik fell cheaply it was left to their leading run getter Duminy (45 not out in 29 balls) and Tiwary (41 in 31 balls) to lead the charge with a partnership of 85 in 54 balls.

    But the target became a bit too distant when Tiwary fell in the death overs and Daredevils suffered their eighth straight defeat and 11th in 13 games.

    Earlier, a sudden batting collapse saw Mumbai lose eight wickets for just 33 runs as they failed to play out their quota of 20 overs. Placed comfortably at 140 for 2 in 14.1 overs, Mumbai batsmen fell like a pack of cards as Mike Hussey's 56 off 33 balls and last match's hero Lendl Simmons' 25-ball 35 were the only significant contributions.

    Put in to bat after losing the toss, Mumbai openers Hussey and Simmons started in a blazing manner thanks to some early aggression from the Aussie. Hussey, with just one 50-plus score as his best effort this season, took the attack to the Delhi bowlers from the word go and found boundaries consistently without any fuss.

    Hussey's innings included two sixes and seven fours as he put on 87 along with Simmons for the opening wicket in 8 overs. Simmons, who started cautiously, broke free in the middle overs and hit some wonderful shots in his cameo. The West Indian came into the game after hitting the lone century (100 not out) of the tournament so far against Kings XI Punjab. He was first one to fall as he holed out to deep extra cover off legspinner Imran Tahir.

    Rohit Sharma joined Hussey in the middle and the duo looked to rip apart the oppotistion before the latter was run out. Rohit made 30 with four fours in 21 balls but his fall triggered a collapse. During the end overs, Jaydev Unadkat and Tahir did strike at regular intervals to help Delhi keep Mumbai batsmen in check.

    Tahir (3 for 37) and Unadkat (2 for 24) were the most successful bowlers for Delhi, while three MI batsmen were run-out.

    With PTI inputs