MI was hungrier for the victory than KKR, reckons Mahela Jayawardene

MI was hungrier for the victory than KKR, reckons Mahela Jayawardene

Mumbai won their last game with 23 balls to spare, chasing 134.

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene. (Photo: IANS)

Prior to yesterday’s game against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Mumbai Indians (MI) were placed in the third position and needed to win the game in order to finish in the top two. The team, captained by Rohit Sharma, came out trumps by nine wickets and even went on to top the points table with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC) also on 18 points.

Had the Knight Riders won, MI would not only have had to play the Eliminator but also win three matches in a row in order to win the championship. Now Rohit’s men can afford to lose the Qualifier 1 and yet enter the final after winning the Qualifier 2. In the meantime, MI’s head coach Mahela Jayawardene feels that MI wanted the win more badly than KKR at the Wankhede Stadium.

“We wanted it more today and the guys out there showed that. Playing at Wankhede, given how good the wicket is, we have lots of variation in our bowling attack,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying in the post-match press conference.

Mahela’s words of praises for the bowlers

On a track deemed to be a batsman’s paradise, KKR could only score 133 in 20 overs with Chris Lynn being their top scorer with 41 runs off 29 balls. For MI, even as Lasith Malinga was the wrecker in chief with three wickets, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya got a couple of wickets each. Jayawardene also lauded the bowlers and understands the significance of the potent bowling attack.

“When you have the bowling options that we do, it gives Rohit enough options to attack any opposition line-up. We’ve seen a lot of teams scoring lots of big runs at the death, and we wanted to have something different. (Jasprit) Bumrah has been brilliant for us, and to add to that Hardik (Pandya) and (Lasith) Malinga as well.

“We’ve bowled well at the backend in the last few games and it gives us a few options. We knew that to do well in IPL competition, your bowling attack has to be such that it delivers for you day in, day out,” Jayawardene, also a former Sri Lankan cricketer, added.

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