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Titleholders Mumbai crash out of IPL, Royals enter play-offs

NEW DELHI (Web Desk) Defending champions Mumbai Indians crashed out of the Indian Premier League on Sunday after losing to the Delhi Daredevils by 11 runs, while the Rajasthan Royals became the fourth team to enter the play-offs.The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai winners in 2013, 2015 and 2017 — suffered their eighth loss in 14 season matches of the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.In the final league match late Sunday, the Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI.

Punjab by five wickets to clear the way for the Royals, who had registered their seventh win on the weekend.South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi starred for second-placed Chennai, taking four wickets for just 10 runs to help dismiss Punjab for 153.Punjab, who needed a 53-run win over Chennai to edge out the Royals with a better run-rate, were then at the receiving end of some attacking batting by Suresh Raina, who remained unbeaten on 61 as skipper Mahendra Singh.

Dhoni hit the winning six.Rajasthan, coached by Australian spin legend Shane Warne, finished fourth in the eight-team table with 14 points while Mumbai, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab had 12 points each.

Delhi, who remained at the bottom despite winning their last two league games, got the better of Mumbai after a blazing 64 by wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.Chasing 175 for victory, the Mumbai batsmen faltered against the Delhi spinners, and were bowled out for 163 despite a late-order 37-run blitz by Ben Cutting.Nepal sensation Sandeep Lamichhane, veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra and medium-pace bowler Harshal Patel claimed three wickets each at Delhi´s Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

But it was Pant´s 44-ball knock that set up the win for Delhi. The left-handed batsman leads the batting chart this season with 684 runs, including five fifties and a century.Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson is not far behind at 661 runs and is expected to overtake Pant when the table-toppers take on Chennai in the first qualifier on Tuesday.Kolkata Knight Riders, who were the third team to book a playoff spot on Saturday, will face the Royals in the eliminator on Wednesday.

There will be a another qualifying match between the loser of the first qualifier and the winner of the eliminator on Friday.The IPL final is on May 27 with $4 million going to the winner.

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