Mumbai pip Sunrisers in nail-biting run-chase
Mumbai Indians edged past the Sunrisers Hyderabad after a nail-biting run-chase in Hyderabad to make it three successive wins after a shaky start to the season. After Mumba Indians posted an imposing total, SRH made a shambolic start to the chase, but had phases of recovery that lent the hosts a semblance of hope. They however lost wickets in clusters which ultimately cost them the match.
Carnage cut short
On the 15th anniversary of the first game of the IPL, the Mumbai Indians faced off against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the latter’s home venue. The hosts won the toss and opted to bowl first, and started off poorly, submitting to the carnage of Sharma and Ishan Kishan. However, a slower ball from Natarajan got rid of Rohit Sharma for an 18-ball 28, just when he looked set for a big innings. After that, Cameron Green joined Kishan at the crease and struggled for timing initially, attempting to cut loose but mistiming balls regularly.
The middle-overs spin choke
Fortune favours the brave. It does. But not always. Mayank Markande and Washington Sundar bowled some extremely tight overs to Green and Kishan, but a wicket eluded them, as they choked the runs after the powerplay. This phase lasted alarmingly long, with 56 runs coming off 8 overs after the powerplay, and the wickets of Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav for good measure — both by Marco Jansen in the very same over…
The “surge” over
…And little did Jansen know, that he’d be peppered all around the stadium by Tilak Varma and Green in the very next over, going for 21 runs and setting it up nicely for the death. Green hammered two boundaries to make his intention clear before turning the strike over to Varma, who hammered the tall left-armer for two gigantic sixes. Even after the dismissal of Varma, Green went ballistic, as MI smashed 82 off the last 6 overs, with Natarajan getting some targeted special treatment from the batters. This surge lifted the Mumbai Indians to 192 in 20 overs.
Powerless in the powerplay
After losing the dangerous Brook early, the Sunrisers were dented a second time in the powerplay by Jason Behrendorff, losing the in-form Rahul Tripathi, which brought the scoring rate to a halt, as the Sunrisers scored 42-2 in the first 6 overs. Mayank Agarwal carried on with Aiden Markram, and stitched together a stand of 46 runs, but the Sunrisers’ tendency to lose wickets in packs burdened him visibly, as Markram and Abhishek Sharma departed in quick succession.
A ray of hope, a touch of Klaas
There was a hint of panic after the fall of the fourth wicket. And then Klaasen came in. Singles, the occasional boundary, and a partnership was starting to build. The heart-rates eased a bit. And then, Piyush Chawla was taken apart — 4,6,6,4 — 20 in four balls, and the Sunrisers had been resurrected. And then things turned again, as Klaasen went for one too many, handing Tim David a catch off Chawla. It was a fascinating phase of play that brought the Sunrisers back into the game.
Mayank succumbs, triggers a collapse
With wickets falling regularly at the other end, Mayank managed only 48 in almost 15 overs, and perished in an attempt to clear long-on. Jansen struck some clean blows to breathe life into the chase, and once again, just when he looked like he’d get going, he holed out to David (who picked up his fourth catch). This was the seventh wicket, and the required rate had climbed over 15 by the point, taking the target well out of their reach. A clumsy piece of running from Washington Sundar sent him back to the hut, and put the final nail on the Sunrisers’ coffin.
A blockbuster finish feat. Tendulkar
Despite a 19-run over from Behrendorff, with plenty of fortuitous runs, a tight penultimate over by Green ensured plenty of cushion for Arjun Tendulkar in the final over, defending 20 runs. Tendulkar, a novice to the ruthless death overs in the IPL, nailed his yorkers, and conceded only 5 runs in the over, and picked up the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar off what would be the final ball of the match, keeping his nerve in a high-pressure situation and getting his team over the line. The Mumbai Indians climbed up the table to the 6th position with the same number of points as the second-ranked LSG, with only Net run-rate separating them.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 192-5 in 20 overs (Cameron Green 64*, Ishan Kishan 38, Tilak Verma 37, Marco Jansen 2-43) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 178 in 19.5 overs (Mayank Agarwal 48, Heinrich Klaasen 36, Riley Meredith 2-33, Jason Behrehdorff 2-37) by 14 runs
Mumbai Indians fly back home where they host Punjab Kings on Saturday (April 22) evening. Sunrisers Hyderabad head to Chepauk to face Chennai Super Kings on Friday (April 21).