The Mumbai Indians had everything to play for at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday night. But they delivered nothing.
On the great Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday, staring at a won one-loss four record this was time for the men in royal blue and shiny gold to stand up.
But instead they melted away. Chasing the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s very gettable target of 119, Mumbai surrendered meekly being bowled out for 87.
The Wankhede Stadium is located just off Marine Drive, in what is known as the Queen’s Necklace, one of the most beautiful parts of the capital of Maharashtra – but the home side’s performance was anything but.
As the usually boisterous Indians’ fans sat watching in stunned silence their much vaunted batting line up, came and went with increasing regularity.
Only two batsmen Suryakumar Yadav (34) and Krunal Pandya (24) reached double figures. Take away their combined total of 60 (including two extras) and the rest of the side only contributed 27 runs between them.
It was Mumbai’s lowest ever total in an IPL match.
Here are three things learned from the game:
4⃣-1⃣-1⃣1⃣-2⃣— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) April 24, 2018
Figures that help you defend the lowest scores in #VIVOIPL! Rashid Khan, along with Siddarth Kaul guided #SRH to a thrilling win against #MI - their first ever victory at the Wankhede! pic.twitter.com/IcSN97KKi8
Bowlers get on top
After the bat firmly dominating the ball in the opening weeks of the IPL, the bowlers have struck back in the last few days.
Last night we had a low-scoring tussle in Delhi with Kings XI Punjab just edging out the Daredevils 8-143 to 8-139.
Defending just 118 – their second-lowest total in IPL history – a depleted Sunrisers Hyderabad attack systematically dismantled Mumbai.
The Sunrisers’ win was the second-lowest total successfully defended in the IPL, and only the third time all 20 wickets had fallen in the tournament’s 11-season history.
The star for Hyderabad was Siddarth Kaul. The 27-year-old journeyman generated good pace for the Sunrisers and had Krunal ducking and weaving early.
The right-arm pacer finished with three wickets for 23 runs from his four overs with 13 dots.
He combined superbly with young Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan who took two wickets for just 11 runs from his four overs with 16 dots.
Together the two Ks tore the heart out of the Indians batting line up – at one stage Hyderabad taking five wickets for eight runs off 27 balls.
I cannot understand Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard's batting strategy in this IPL. Good players, bad season.#MIvSRH— Sachin Nair (@nairsach) April 24, 2018
Mumbai their own worse enemies
This was a chase that nine times out of ten Mumbai would have done at a canter.
But their demise was part good tight bowling from Hyderabad and poor shot selection from Mumbai.
Suryakumar Yadav was well set to play a loan hand and keep the Indians’ hopes alive and then threw it away with a completely needless swoosh off Basil Thampi down to deep square leg easily caught by Rashid Khan.
Kieron Pollard was another example. The powerful West Indian was just getting into his stride with nine runs off six deliveries, including a massive straight six off Shakib Al Hasan.
But then he chased a wide one off Khan, spooning a catch to Shikhar Dawan at first slip. Another completely needless dismissal at a crucial moment.
Too late for Mumbai?
It’s only six matches down with eight to play but Mumbai’s hopes of reaching the playoffs are looking like a lost cause.
Last year eight wins were required to reach the final four and to reach that mark Mumbai would need to win all but one of their remaining matches.
A tough task for any team but for a side down on confidence and form like the Indians it looks impossible.
Yes they have been narrowly defeated four times in the final over but this game wasn’t close.
When the pressure came on Hyderabad, who improved to four win from six games, rose to the challenge. Mumbai melted.
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar turned 45 on Tuesday and was present for Mumbai Indians’ Indian Premier League match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.
The home team’s Icon revealed just how he spent his special day as well during a brief pitch-side interview during the first innings with the visitors at the crease.
“It’s been a special day,” the Indian cricket legend said.
“You can see what’s happening in the stadium. A lot of people were outside my house this morning, coming from various parts of India.
“I started the day with my mother and received her blessings. Later on we also launched my company’s website and then I spent some time with cancer patients.”
Tendulkar also touched upon Mumbai Indians’ form in the IPL this season, addressing defeats that went down to the last or penultimate balls of matches.
“We’ve been playing good cricket but you need to deliver in the crunch moments. It’s about going back to doing simple things. The more complicated things are, the more difficult they become.
“You need to finish well. It becomes critical how you finish the second half. The first three games were all decided on the last ball.”
The Australian quick will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured finger. The franchise confirmed the news on Tuesday evening, on the eve of their clash with Mumbai Indians.
Pacers like Mitchell Starc, Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins are among several players who have had to pull out due to injuries.
Stanlake has so far played four matches for the Hyderabad franchise and has managed to pick up five wickets.
Billy Stanlake has been ruled out of the remainder of IPL 2018 owing to a fractured finger. The #OrangeArmy wishes him a speedy recovery.
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) April 24, 2018
The 23-year-old’s injury will come as a huge blow to Kane Williamson’s men who are already grappling with the absence of pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the clash against Mumbai due to a niggling back injury.
Stanlake’s place in the squad for Tuesday’s clash was taken by Basil Thampi. This was the Australian’s second stint in the IPL The tall pacer had been a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in 2017 before being purchased by the Sunrisers during the auctions earlier this year.
It remains to be seen which bowler the Hyderabad franchise will sign as a replacement, if any. Given the recent injury troubles though, one would fully expect them to bring a fresh face in to shore up the bowling attack.