Mumbai Indians (MI) pulled off a thrilling 5-run win against Gujarat Titans (GT) on Friday night at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The table-toppers needed 9 runs off the final 6 balls to win the face-off. However, left-arm pacer Daniel Sams conceded just 3 runs to restrict Hardik Pandya & Co to 172 for 5. The five-time champions remain at the 10th spot following their 2nd consecutive win this season but GT, who still lead the table, have to wait a bit longer to confirm a playoff berth.
Gujarat’s chase of 178 began in a spectacular fashion; courtesy of a century stand between Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill for the opening wicket. While the wicketkeeper-batter continued his impressive form in the game, his partner, who struggled to get runs so far this season, announced his return to form with a well-made half-century.
While Saha went after the Gujarat bowlers right from the beginning, Gill took his time to settle in the middle and then shifted the gears. The duo brought up a fifty partnership inside powerplay while got the triple figures at the completion of the 11th over.
Meanwhile, Saha notched the second fifty this season off just 34 deliveries while his partner reached the milestone in 33 balls. After a remarkable start, the partnership was dented by Murugan Ashwin. The leg spinner removed both the set batters in the 12th over to create a little chance for Mumbai Indians.
Following the two quick dismissals, GT skipper Hardik Pandya took charge and teamed up with Sai Sudharsan to keep the chase going. The duo batted brilliantly but couldn’t form a partnership to look up to. The latter succumbed to an unfortunate dismissal, getting hit-wicket while pulling a slower ball from Kieron Pollard in the 16th over. A couple of overs later, an underarm direct hit from Ishan Kishan ended the Pandya’s innings.
Sai Sudharshan (14), David Miller (19 not out) and Rahul Tewatia (3) could not complete the task, needing 40-odd runs off 24 deliveries.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan produced the early fireworks while Tim David provided the late flourish as Mumbai Indians posted 177 for 6.
Invited to bat, Rohit (43 off 28 balls) and Ishan Kishan (45 off 29 balls) gave Mumbai a rollicking start but the five-time champions lost three quick wickets before David (44 not out off 21 balls) lifted the team to a competitive total.
Rashid Khan was the most successful bowler for the Titans with his two wickets for 24, while Pradeep Sangwan and Lockie Ferguson got one each. Alzarri Joseph also took a wicket but he bled 41 runs in his four overs.
After a series of low scores, Rohit seemed to be in good touch as he took the early initiative, dominating the proceedings with his strokeplay as Kishan played the second fiddle. The MI skipper was particularly harsh on Alzarri Joseph as he smashed the bowler for four boundaries and a six, while Kishan joined the party in the fifth over, slamming Rashid Khan for a couple of fours to bring up their 50-run partnership.
Rohit then hit Lockie Ferguson for a four as MI posted 63 for no loss in the powerplay.
Suryakumar Yadav produced his trademark whip for a maximum but perished in his next attempt off Pradeep Sangwan. Joseph then struck with a slower delivery which Kishan ended up sending to Rashid at mid-wicket as MI slipped to 111 for 3 in 12 overs.
Kieron Pollard lived dangerously with Sangwan and Ferguson bowling two quiet overs and was eventually cleaned up by Rashid, who set up the West Indian with two googlies.
Tilak Verma (21) and Tim David then tried to put together a partnership with the latter launching Mohammed Shami for two fours at mid-off and long leg respectively. David next sent one over Joseph’s head for his first maximum before depositing a no-ball from Ferguson for another six in the 19th over.
(With PTI Inputs)