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Mumbai, May 7 Openers Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha had laid a solid foundation with a century partnership for the opening wicket but clinical bowling and good work in the field helped Mumbai Indians pull off a five-run win in Match 51 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Saha struck a superb 40-ball 55, hitting six boundaries and two sixes while Gill blasted 52 off 36 deliveries, hitting six fours and two sixes as they went neck-and-neck in scoring runs to give their team a brilliant start as they chased Mumbai Indians’ 177/6 in 20 overs build largely on vital innings by skipper Rohit Sharma (43), Ishan Kishan (45) and Tim David (44 not out).
But a hit-wicket and two run-outs changed the course of the game as Mumbai Indians dragged the match to 9 needed off the final over and Daniel Sams denied David Miller many opportunities as Gujarat Titans were restricted to 172/5 in 20 overs.
Sai Sudarshan was out hit-wicket as he lost his balance and fell on his wickets while trying to pull a short one by Kieron Pollard. And an over later, Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya was run out caught agonizingly short by a smart bit of work by keeper Ishan Kishan, going for a quick single. From 111/2 in the 13th over, Gujarat Titans slumped to 156/4 and their batters succumbed to the pressure.
This was Mumbai Indians’ second win in 10 matches as they moved up four points. Gujarat Titans slumped to their third defeat in 11 matches but remained at the top of the table with 16 points. This was their second successive defeat.
However, at one stage Gujarat Titans were cruising towards the target with Saha and Gill going great guns. However, the never-say-die attitude of the Mumbai Indians helped them snatch victory in a close finish.
Saha started on a more aggressive note, hitting Jasprit Bumrah for two fours and a six in his first over — picking his India teammate off his pads for a superb wristy six over midwicket.
He struck Riley Meredith for two fours in an over and then blasted Bumrah for a six and a four in the fifth over as Gujarat ended the powerplay with 54 runs.
Gill struck his first big shot, a six off Murugan Ashwin in the sixth over and then struck the bowler for a four in the same over. He despatched Daniel Sams to successive boundaries in the eighth over and hammered left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya a six and a four in the ninth over as Gujarat reached 100 runs in the 11th over.
However, both of them fell in quick succession, falling to spinner Murugan Ashwin. Gill was out to a skier, failing to reach to the pitch of a leg break full on the off-stump, Kieron Pollard grabbing an easy catch. Saha too departed soon, sweeping Murugan Ashwin to Sams at deep square leg — from 106 for no loss, Gujarat Titans fell to 111/2 which soon became 156/4 as they made a hash of the chase.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan gave Mumbai Indians a superb start but the five-time champions lost their way a bit before recovering thanks to a brilliant cameo by Tim David to post 177/6 in 20 overs.
Sharma struck 43 off 28 deliveries and Kishan 45 off 29 as both of them failed to complete their half-centuries and got out to soft dismissals after raising 74 runs for the opening wicket in quick time after table-toppers Gujarat Titans won the toss and asked them to bat first.
With skipper Sharma getting off to a brisk start Mumbai Indians raced to 63 for no loss in the power-play, one of their best starts in the tournament coming when they are already out of contention. While Rohit was all aggressive and superb timing, his partner Ishan Kishan started cautiously and unleashed some fine shots after settling in.
Sharma started with a superb boundary, lofting a length delivery by Alzarri Joseph that goes one-bounce into the advertisement boards. The Mumbai Indians and India captain edged the next delivery past the slip for another four and followed that up with the first six of the match on the last ball of the over, launching the English pacer over the mid-wicket boundary.
He struck Joseph for fours off successive deliveries in the fourth over again — the second one a superb punch through point for a cracking four
But from 74 for no loss, they soon slumped to 119/4 and looked like they may not cross 150 before Tilak Varma and Tim David came together for a 37-run partnership that helped them recover to position from which Tim David could land a few lusty blows in the last three overs to take them to a total they could fancy defending.
David remained unbeaten on 44 off 21 deliveries, hitting four superb sixes — one off a free-hit following an above-the-waist delivery by Lockie Ferguson that unfortunately resulted in the run out of Tilak Varma, Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya getting him with a superb direct hit. David ended the innings by smacking two sixes off the 20th over bowled by Mohammed Shami.
In the final analysis, it was Gujarat Titans’ match to lose and that’s what they did, falling narrowly short to slump to another defeat.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians (Ishan Kishan 45, Rohit Sharma 43, Tim David 44 not out, Tilak Varma 21; Rashid Khan 2/24) beat Gujarat Titans (Wriddhiman Saha 55, Shubman Gill 52, Hardik Pandya 24, David Miller 19 not out; Murugan Ashwin 2/29) by 5 runs.
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