Mumbai Indians pulled off a remarkable 40-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday with Caribbean duo Alzarri Joseph and Kieron Pollard turning out to be heroes with ball and bat.
Mumbai seemed to have finished well below par in Hyderabad with only Pollard’s 26-ball 46 taking them to a respectable total of 136-7.
However, that turned out to be more than enough on a helpful track as West Indies pacer Joseph – playing his first IPL game – tore through the Sunrisers line-up by picking up 6-12. It was the best bowling performance in IPL history, bettering Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir’s 6-14 in the 2008 season.
Sunrisers were bowled out for just 96 as Mumbai romped to a massive win.
MUMBAI STRUGGLE FOR TIMING
The slowish nature of the Uppal pitch on Saturday saw Mumbai batsmen struggle to get their timing right. Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the ball to move around while off-spinner Mohammad Nabi got into the act once again to be among the wickets.
Captain Rohit Sharma was given a reprieve early on with seamer Siddarth Kaul dropping a sitter at third man in the first over itself. But that didn’t cost the hosts much as Nabi had Rohit caught a mid-wicket a couple of overs later. Runs were hard to come by as Mumbai screeched to 52-3 after 10 overs, well behind the eight ball.
NABI AND RASHID SHOW
Sunrisers held their ace bowler – Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan – back for the slog overs and pushed Nabi to bowl the power play overs. That worked out perfectly as Nabi ended up conceding just 13 runs from his four overs.
Rashid was pressed into action from the 10th over when Pollard and later Hardik Pandya came to the crease. With four overs to go, Mumbai were struggling at 80-5 and Hardik tried to get a move on, depositing Rashid over long on before getting caught at midwicket going for an encore.
POLLARD MAKES SUNRISERS PAY
Rashid dropped a sitter of Pollard at cover with the batsman on eight of 12 balls. That drop ended up hurting the hosts. The Trinidadian hit seamer Kaul for three sixes in the penultimate over before clobbering Bhuvneshwar for two fours and six. A dropped chance by Nabi at square leg in the final over that went for a six and a misfield by Deepak Hooda at long on that resulted in a four gave Mumbai momentum right at the end.
In all, Pollard smashed four sixes and two fours in his 26-ball 46. In the context of a low scoring game, it was a match-winning effort.
MUMBAI TURN UP THE HEAT
Sunrisers have relied heavily on openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow to do the bulk of the scoring. That has meant their middle order hasn’t been tested. On a pitch that had a bit in it for seamers and spinners, Mumbai struck early with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar getting Bairstow to mis-hit a slog to short third man before new recruit Joseph struck first ball- castling David Warner.
When Vijay Shankar miscued Joseph to point, Sunrisers were 42-3.
JOSEPH TAKES CENTRESTAGE
Even so, Sunrisers were in with a chance at 84-5 needing 53 from 30 balls. But Rohit brought Joseph back into the attack with an older ball and the Antiguan got the ball to curve in a mile.
Hooda lost his middle stump trying to launch Joseph. Next ball, Rashid tried to attack a short ball from the lanky quick but could only offer a simple return catch. Captain Bhuvneshwar also lost his middle stump to a sharp in-coming delivery from Joseph before last man Kaul edged an away going ball to the keeper. The 22-year-old ended up with the best figures in IPL history, and that too on debut.
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