Phew. The Paltan might just breathe a bit easy now. They have come out triumphant in a do or die battle against the table toppers. This is the kind of last over finish which MI fans wanted to see. Many would believe that CSK missed a trick in the penultimate over of the second innings, but then everyone is wiser only in the hindsight. Mumbai Indians were playing at Chennai Super Kings’ new home ground, in Pune, and their performance in the match would have determined their fate going forward in the league.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and chose to field first on a track which looked good for batting. They had a couple of changes in their lineup. Pollard, who didn’t contribute much up until now had to sit out. Fizz wasn’t just consistent enough in his performances to qualify himself for an automatic selection in the playing eleven. JP Duminy got a game last night and so did Ben Cutting. It was a good move I felt because it provided some additional solidity to the batting. Dhoni played an unchanged side.
CSK didn’t get off to a flier. They had some quite powerplay overs before Watson departed trying to hoick Krunal over the midwicket region. Rayudu made it count yet again and played some glorious shots. He is in the form of his life and would like to make an impression especially with the World Cup being just a year away. Raina looked busy at the wicket and both put on a good partnership for the third wicket. Krunal, who invariably provides the breakthroughs when MI need it the most, got the danger man, Rayudu, out. Mumbai Indians’ blowers were able to pull things back a bit in the middle overs.
McClenaghan got two (big) wickets in quick succession, those of Dhoni and Bravo. MI dugout would have been happy seeing Bravo go for naught. Bumrah and Hardik closed out the innings well and Mumbai batters were set a target of 170 to stay alive in this tournament.
It was still a good pitch to bat on. However looking at the way things have gone for MI this season, it still required some chasing. Experts have been wanting to see Rohit open the batting for them but he believes he is better off in the middle order. Suryakumar and Lewis walked out to the middle to begin the run chase. Suryakumar faced majority of the deliveries in the power play overs and did bulk of the scoring. Chahar pulled up his hamstring in the sixth over and walked off the field. Lewis for some strange reason, wasn’t getting his timing right last night and played a lot of dot balls. Eventually, Suryakumar fell trying to up the ante in the tenth over.
Rohit Sharma came in at no. 3 ahead of Ishan Kishan. His knock was going to be crucial for MI to get those two points from last night’s match. He looked settle at the crease knocking the ball around, in the gap for one’s. Lewis got hold of a couple of deliveries and sent those over the ropes. His struggling stay was put to an end by Bravo who had him caught by Thakur. It brought Hardik in and the match was evenly poised at that moment. It was Mumbai’s, but one had to be fair and give CSK an even chance. Rohit was middling them very well and it was just a matter of staying at the wicket and taking the game deep.
Dhoni gave Thakur the 19th over of the game and that raised quite a few eyebrows. Rohit smashed 17 off his over and went past his fifty. With five to get off the final over, the game was done and dusted with 2 balls to spare. MI crossed the line without any hiccups and secured an eight wicket win. Their captain led from the front and Rohit made sure that he stayed till the end. They maintained their healthy net run rate and also bagged two crucial points. They have no choice but to go out all guns blazing. They can afford to lose only once from here on. They would want to take one game at a time and nail it. Here’s wishing them more success in their upcoming matches.