REPORT: Mumbai Indians posted their fourth successive win in IPL 2017 as they beat Gujarat Lions by six wickets after Nitish Rana scored 53.
After deciding to chase, Mumbai knocked off the 177 required reached the target of 177 in the final over with skipper Rohit Sharma (40 off 29 balls) seeing them home. anchoring the chase. It was Rana’s efforts that claimed the Man of the Match award.
Rana had shared an 85-run stand for the second wicket between Jos Buttler, after Parthiv Patel was dismissed for a duck. Playing his first IPL match since May 2013, Munaf Patel removed Buttler but the Lions could not make further inroads. Following on his fantastic knock in MI’s previous game against the RCB, Kieron Pollard played another crucial knock and this time he added 68 runs with Rohit for the fourth wicket.
When the big man got out on the first ball of the 19th over, MI still needed 17 runs from 11 balls but with Rohit at one end and Hardik Pandya taking no time to settle down, the chase was never off track. Hardik hit a four off the first ball he faced and with eight needed from the final over, Rohit started with a four off the first ball and took two doubles off the next two balls to seal their third straight victory this season at the Wankhede Stadium.
The home team had struck in the first over from Mitchell McClenaghan to remove danger-man Dwayne Smith. Smith earned an unwanted record in the process. It was his 25th Twenty20 duck and he went past cricket Umar Akmal’s tally of 24 to become the most blobbed player in T20 history.
But the second wicket pair of captain Suresh Raina and McCullum added 80 runs before Raina got out to Harbhajan Singh (1-22). The veteran spinner picked the wicket in the 12th over of the game as Rohit took a fine overhead catch. The wicket put the brakes on scoring as young Ishan Kishan struggled to find the big shots.
Having brought up his half-century in 36 balls, McCullum accelerated from the other end, but he fell in the 14th over to Lasith Malinga, who bowled a straighter one. Malinga however was expensive, conceding 51 runs, the most he had let slip in an IPL match.
Dinesh Karthik carried on his fine form and hit some delightful shots. His first six was a spectacular scoop having moved far down the off side. It was Karthik, who helped the team post a competitive total on a batting-friendly pitch. With just 14 balls left in the innings, Jason Roy arrived in the middle and pushed the total up with 14 from seven balls.
The team chasing at the Wankhede Stadium has now won the last seven IPL matches played there.
The victory was Mumbai Indians’ 95th in the IPL and moved them past the Chennai Super Kings as the most successful ever IPL side.
Gujarat Lions 176 for four in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 64, Dinesh Karthik 48*, Mitchell McClenaghan 2-24)
Mumbai Indians 177 for four in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 53, Rohit Sharma 40*, Kieron Pollard 39, Andrew Tye 2-34) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match: Nitish Rana
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