(Cricket news) The chase, which was supposed to be thrilling, turned out to be a comedic catastrophe for Lucknow Super Giants. They tied for third position in the table on the basis of net run rate after finishing the league stage with Chennai Super Kings, putting them in a game versus Mumbai Indians that would decide their fate. Much of Lucknow’s ability to perform better and overcome a challenging total of 182/8 hinged on the overseas batters Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis, and Nicholas Pooran after they were eliminated at the same level previous year.
Instead, Mumbai’s attack which has been their weakest point this year because of the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer delivered blow after blow, with pacer Akash Madhwal returning with dream figures of 5/5. Five-time champions Mumbai are now in Ahmedabad, where they will play Gujarat Titans in Qualifier II on Friday following their decisive 81-run victory. Although Mumbai had to work hard to get this far, they proved on this night that their comeback is well and fully underway, and a seventh IPL championship is within their grasp thanks to their most proficient ball handling.
Prerak Mankad was dismissed by Madhwal in his first over, and when Mayers, who had been selected as the Impact Player over Quinton de Kock, was dismissed by Chris Jordan in the fourth over, Mumbai had the game in hand. From that point on, Marcus Stoinis and Krunal Pandya of Lucknow fought to stay in the game while the latter mounted a counterattack of his own to control the asking rate.
Pandya left the pitch in the ninth over, but Madhwal’s next over, which he bowled, changed the course of the match. As Lucknow started to fall apart, he managed to locate the edge of Pooran with the following delivery before first dismissing Ayush Badoni off the third ball.
For Mumbai, the task was halfway complete at 74/5. But things were only going worse for Lucknow, as three absurd dismissals of Stoinis, K Gowtham, and Deepak Hooda the latter of whom was involved in all three brought an end to their innings as early as the 17th over. Madhwal took the final wicket, appropriately.
In the powerplay, it appeared as though Mumbai Indians were losing the benefit of batting first when Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan left the game in a span of six deliveries. The decision to bat first after winning the toss was expected from a squad that has always preferred chasing to offset its inexperience in the bowling department.
The Gujarat Titans knew what to anticipate on Wednesday after watching Chennai Super Kings defend a total of 172 against them easily in Qualifier I. They were also familiar with the field, which they had used to score 139 runs off eight balls against the Super Kings, and they knew the pace of the game would only slacken as it went on under the lights.
Therefore, despite losing the openers early, Mumbai’s batting lineup decided against taking a chance on scoring a low total in search of a total above 200 to make up for the bowling errors. Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav, though, had to make some quick runs before the ball turned soft because they needed a total to stay ahead in the situation at the halfway point. The pair didn’t abandon their attacking strategy, instead choosing to act bravely right away and swiftly apply pressure to Lucknow.
A few huge overs were all they needed on a pitch where batsmen would find it difficult to be fluid. Their 38 deliveries for 66 runs together gave the impression that there was much more. Suryakumar might make the most of the arc behind the wicket on the leg side if Green went for his customary place on the leg side.
Even though he only managed two sixes, you were still in awe of his wrists on both shots. Even for someone with Suryakumar’s reputation, you might not think it was possible for him to hit the ball in pockets. The first one came off a short ball that Yash Thakur scooped behind the goalkeeper’s head while crossing the off-stump. Even excellent was the second Mohsin Khan effort. Suryakumar got off the line and pulled it over the fine-leg fielder when the left-arm bowler thought he had sent down a well-directed bouncer. It appeared as though Green and Suryakumar would put Mumbai out of Lucknow’s grasp with a couple of comfortably hit boundaries in the following two overs.
Naveen-ul-Haq made an early impression once both ends of the pitch began spinning. After dismissing Rohit in his first over, he delayed bowling his second over until the eleventh, and since pace wasn’t a friend on this pitch, he was wise enough to change his tempo. Naveen bowled a leg-cutter at 107.3 kph because Suryakumar needed something spectacular to be removed.
It skidded off the former’s bat as he was already in the shot, and K Gowtham safely pouched it while racing in from long range. Naveen still had work to do. He threw his other slow-ball variation, the off-cutter, off the final ball, and it landed on a decent length, allowing Green to drive. Green, like Suryakumar, started the shot too early, and the stumps were removed when the ball slipped between the bat and pad. Lucknow had now unexpectedly returned with Mumbai on 101/4.
Also read: Upbeat Mumbai Indians face IPL defending champions Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2