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IPL 10, Match 16, MI vs GL Review: Rana, McCleneghan help MI keep winning momentum

MI won by 6 wickets to win their 4th match on a trot.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Two-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) have been on a juggernaut off late and made it 4 wins on a trot after defeating Gujarat Lions by 6 wickets and with 3 balls to spare. Nitish Rana yet again proved why he is one of the most promising youngsters in the league. Kieron Pollard played another blinder of an innings to ensure MI reached the target with 3 balls remaining in the end.

Earlier in the day, it was the brilliant innings of Brendon McCullum and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik which propelled the visitors to a score of over 175. While McCullum made a quickfire 64, Karthik remained unbeaten on 48 of 26 deliveries. Mitchell McLeneghan was the pick of MI bowlers finishing with impressive figures of 2/24 in 4 overs.

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Winning the toss in front of a jam-packed Wankhede crowd, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma put the visitors in. Gujarat Lions were jolted pretty early in the innings with the fall of Dwayne Smith’s wicket. It was a short of length delivery outside the off stump and Smith smashed it straight to the point fielder Nitish Rana.

Captain Suresh Raina joined Brendon McCullum in the middle and began with a couple of delightful boundaries of Lasith Malinga n the 2nd over of the match. McCullum also joined in the fun as he clipped Mitchell McLeneghan for a boundary towards the fine-leg region. McCullum smashed a couple of sixes of Lasith Malinga in the final over of powerplay.

While he swatted the first delivery over the point region for a huge six, his 2nd biggie came over the mid-wicket region. Both batsmen manoeuvred the ball around and struck the occasional boundaries to take GL to 75/1 in 10 overs. McCullum reached his half-century in the 11th over and looked in ominous touch.

Raina was eventually dismissed by wily fox Harbhajan Singh in the first delivery of the 12th over as the southpaw gave away an easy catch towards the cover point region. After smashing Jasprit Bumrah for a gigantic six over the mid-wicket region, McCullum fell in the 14th over as the slinga Malinga did the job for his captain. It was a well-directed Yorker which disturbed the timbers.

Youngster Ishan Kishan and Dinesh Karthik joined in the middle and immediately Karthik began with a big six of Hardik Pandya in the 4th delivery of the 15th over. Karthik who is ringing the bells for a national comeback looked in the league of his own and started taking on the Gujarat bowlers on a consistent basis.

He struck a hat-trick of boundaries of Jasprit Bumrah in the 17th over followed by a six of McLeneghan in the very next over. Meanwhile his partner Ishan Kishan fell in the same over. Jason Roy who is a natural opener walked out in the middle at the fall of the 4th wicket and struck a four and a six of the last two overs to help Gujarat Lions post 176/4 in their allotted 20 overs.

Mumbai got off to the worst possible start losing opener Parthiv Patel in the very first over. It was Praveen Kumar who provided them with the early breakthrough as Parthiv slashed a wide delivery straight to the backward point fielder Jason Roy. Nitish Rana and Jos Buttler started the repair work and struck some delightful shots in the process.

Basil Thampi was smashed for a couple of sixes in the 5th over by Rana and Buttler and the southpaw added another in the very next over of Andrew Tye. They looked in ominous touch and looked like taking Mumbai to a position of safety. Fours kept coming on a consistent basis as Rana was literally toying with the Gujarat bowlers.

After scoring a well composed 53 of 36 deliveries including 4 fours and a couple of sixes Rana was dismissed by Tye in the 2nd delivery of the 10th over. Despite his wicket, MI was in a position of strength and looked to chase the total down with relative ease.

Buttler too threw his wicket away to Munaf Patel in the 12th over as GL clawed their way back into the match. Captain Rohit Sharma and big hitter Kieron Pollard took 13 runs from the 14th over with a four and a six and followed it up with another 13 runs over. With 45 required of the final over the scales were tilted in Mumbai’s favour.

Sharma and Pollard struck a couple of sixes in the next two overs to bring the calculation down to 23 required off the last 3. Basil Thampi bowled a sensational 18th over where he conceded a mere 5 runs to keep GL in the match. Pollard was dismissed by Tye in the first delivery of the 19th over but was followed by a boundary which made the calculation down to 8 required of the final over.

It was the captain Rohit Sharma who finished off proceedings by hitting the winning shot. His unbeaten 40 of 29 deliveries which surely keep him in good stead as the tournament progresses. With the nail-biting victory, MI go to the top of the ladder with 4 wins from 5 matches.

Brief Scores:

Gujarat Lions: 176/4 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 64, Dinesh Karthik 48*, Mitchell McLeneghan 2/24)

Mumbai Indians: 177/4 in 19.3 overs (Nitish Rana 53, Rohit Sharma 40*, Kieron Pollard 39, Andrew Tye 2/34)

Mumbai Indians won by 6 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)

Check out – Full scorecard here

Check out – Points table here

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