IPL 9, Match 54: GL v MI - 5 Talking Points

IPL 9, Match 54: GL v MI – 5 Talking Points

Brendon McCullum, Gujarat Lions
Brendon McCullum. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Gujarat Lions make it to the playoffs in their very first season, as they defeated Mumbai Indians by 6 wickets at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur. Being put into bat first, Mumbai put on 172 on board. Nitish Rana was the major contributor with 70. For the Lions, Brendon McCullum’s brilliant 48 and skipper Suresh Raina’s swift 58 nearly bagged the match. Towards the end, Dwayne Smith finished things off with a quick cameo.

1. Mumbai off to a brilliantly start but lose quick wickets:

Rohit Sharma came out all guns blazing. On a wicket where the ball came nicely onto the bat with a lightning fast outfield, Rohit started off with two boundaries the very first over. Both Dhaval Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar were taken to the cleaners, all with proper cricketing shots. However, Dhaval pulled back one for Gujarat with a well directed short ball which bagged the wicket of the opposition skipper who hit the ball directly into the hands of the fine leg fielder. This triggered a mini-collapse as Martin Guptill and Krunal Pandya soon followed him back to the dugout thanks to some poor shot selection. With the scoreline reading 45 for the loss of 3 wickets, Mumbai Indians were in deep trouble.

Stats and records of the match – IPL 9, Match 54: GL v MI – Statistical Highlights

2. Rana’s counterattack, Gujarat fumbles:

Nitish Rana’s promotion reaped dividends for MI. Rana slowly but steadily took them out of danger. He was severe against Ravindra Jadeja and Shahdab Jakati, both created an angle which was coming into the left hander. Rana utilized the angle to go well over the mid wicket region. Jos Buttler, who had a modest outing in his debut IPL season, played the role of second fiddle to the firing youngster, but rotated the strike well to keep the scorecard ticking. However, just when Mumbai were setting themselves to reach a par-200 total, Buttler was dismissed by Dwayne Bravo in what can be considered as an extraordinary caught and bowled effort. This led to the eventual choking of the Mumbai lower middle order.

3. Gujarat Lions tighten the screws to restrict Mumbai:

While Pollard’s promotion was meant to accelerate the innings scoring rate, excellent bowling efforts from Bravo and Dhaval Kulkarni choked the Mumbai Indians. Pollard was outsted by a low full toss, Rana was dismissed trying to clear the field off a slow ball. Their dismissals was eventually the final nail in the coffin as they eventually settled for just 172/8 at least 20 runs short of what they could have achieved.

How did Twitter react to the game? – Twitter Reactions: Raina, McCullum star as GL qualify for the playoffs

4. Raina, McCullum off to a blazing start:

A wicket maiden in the very first over was exactly what Mumbai Indians needed. However Raina is a changed man after his short break from the game, as he went berserk against the MI attack. On a fast outfield, the visitors were extremely sloppy on the field, assisting the Lions to get the required momentum shift. Raina was severe against their best bowler thus far Mitchell McCleanaghan, who’s predictable line and length was easily deciphered by the GL skipper. The Lions ended with a huge 70 runs on board at the end of the power play, thereby keeping one foot on the play-offs.

5. Lions finish it off in style, guarantee top-2 finish:

While MI tried to pull one up with the wickets of McCullum and Dinesh Karthik, Raina was at his brilliant best; punishing anything and everything short. Though he perished after scoring 58, the required run rate by that time was less than 7 per over. Dwayne Smith came out all guns blazing, punishing every ball which was in his range. Mumbai’s horror show on the field slowly but surely killed off their chances of winning the match. Eventually Jadeja, who was deft in his strike rotations, finished it off with a mishit single off McCleanaghan.

How did the match pan out? – IPL 9, Match 54 Review: Mumbai submit against the roaring Lions