An absolute cliff-hanger which witnessed the first super over of IPL 10 was won by Mumbai Indians as they defeated Gujarat Lions to consolidate their position in the top half of the standings.
The nail-biting encounter had all the ingredients to make the match a memorable one. Fine batting performances were countered with top-quality bowling in the game which saw some brilliant pieces of fielding too. Mumbai were on course for an easy victory after getting off to a blazing start, chasing Gujarat’s below-par score. But the Lions refused to give up so easily and kept trying to make a match out of it.
The hosts’ efforts paid dividends as they bowled out Mumbai to force the match to a super over. The one-over eliminator too had its fair share of drama as fans got full worth of their money. In the end, it was Mumbai who had the better over their opponents, claiming the character-defying win.
In a game full of twists and surprises, here is a look at the Heroes and Zeros.
— Dhaval Maraskolhe (@Dhaval750) April 29, 2017
Bumrah’s death bowling skills ensured MI skipper Rohit Sharma handed him the ball for the super over ahead of the experienced Malinga. Nerves got the better of him initially as he bowled a no ball and a wide from the first three balls. But the talented bowler kept his cool and delivered the goods when MI needed the most. Thereafter his slow balls bamboozled Finch and McCullum and Bumrah conceded only three from the next five balls, handing Mumbai a nerve-wracking victory. Also not to forget his crucial spell during the Gujarat innings, in which he finished with 2/32 from 4 overs.
Mumbai’s diversity in bowling once again came in the spotlight with part-timer Krunal Pandya recording his best T20 bowling figures against the Lions. Coming into the attack when Gujarat had already lost three top order batsmen, Krunal kept it simple, bowling to the stumps. His tidy line and length reaped great harvests as he snapped up the wickets of Karthik, Faulkner and comeback man Irfan Pathan. Immensely effective in restricting the hosts to a modest score, Krunal finished with figures of 3/14 in his 4-over spell. In batting, he almost took Mumbai to the brink of victory with a 20-ball 29 cameo, until he got run out in the final ball of the innings.
After three single digit scores in the last 5 innings, a good innings from Parthiv was just what the doctor ordered for MI. Trying to achieve a bit of consistency, the 32-year old did not throw away his start and looked set for a big score. Five fours and a six in the first three overs from Parthiv saw him off to a flier. After a quiet few overs in the middle, he hit Jadeja for consecutive boundaries in the 14th. But Patel paid heavy price for his lapse of concentration in the next over, edging one from Faulkner to the keeper. A needless poke for a single cut short his century chances, but the fine knock from Parthiv yielded 70 from 44 and kept Mumbai in the game.
Coming into this match on the back of an absolute destructive innings of 72(34) against RCB, the Lions had pinned their hopes on Finch for another carnage. But all the Aussie could manage this time was a 3-ball duck. They had already lost McCullum and Raina within the powerplays and Finch was expected to bail them out of trouble. Nevertheless, failing to read Malinga’s slower, he dragged it on to stumps and Gujarat’s situation worsened with the scoreboard reading 48/3. In the super over too, Finch failed big time. From the three legitimate deliveries he faced, he could score only one run, and Gujarat’s chance on wining the tie faded away.
After Suresh Raina, McCullum has been the second highest scorer for GL this season. However, in this crunch game, the former New Zealand skipper failed, not once, but twice. He could only last 4 balls in the innings scoring six before falling prey to Malinga. Coming to the super over, like Finch, Baz scored just one off three balls he faced, looking completely clueless against Bumrah’s variations.
For the first time in the tournament, McClenaghan went wicketless against Pune in the previous match. The unwanted stat for the pacer continued in this match too as the Black Caps bowler scored a half-century in his spell. Starting off with a wide and finishing with a six summed up McClenaghan’s bad day in office. First Kishan and then Tye’s brutal hitting ensured he finished with disappointing figures of 4-0-50-0.
Special mention- James Faulkner and Basil Thampi
If Gujarat was able to take the game to the super over, it was only because of these two players. In the absence of Tye (was off the field due to injury), rookie Thampi stepped up and bowled the 15th, 17th and 19th overs of the innings. In a miser spell, he conceded just 16 runs from the three overs ensuring Gujarat stayed in the hunt. Experienced Faulkner too played his part with the ball, giving away only 18 off his final two overs (16th and 18th). These two gave Irfan Pathan a cushion of 11 runs in the final over, which the all-rounder defended after being hit for a six off the very first ball of the 20th over.