Millennium Post

Gujarat Lions restrict Mumbai Indians to 143/8

Mumbai Indians batting failed to click for the second time in as many home games as they were restricted to 143 for 8 by IPL debutants Gujarat Lions here on Saturday.

Only two top-order batsmen - opener Parthiv Patel (34 in 29 balls) and Ambati Rayudu (20 in 19 balls) - managed to cross 20-run mark as the strong batting line-up caved in meekly against both pace and spin after being put into bat on a seaming Wankhede Stadium track offering good pace and bounce.

The 42-run stand for the eighth wicket between debutant Krunal Pandya (18 not out off 10 balls) and Tim Southee, who used the long handle to hit two sixes and one four in a 11-ball 25, was the highest of the innings.

At the same ground on April 9, MI had been kept down to 121 for 8 by the other IPL debutants Rising Pune Supergiants before losing the tournament opener.

The main wreckers of the Mumbai innings were two city-bred bowlers, seamer Dhawal Kulkarni (2 for 19) and leg-spinner Pravin Tambe (2 for 12).

MI slumped into trouble straightaway by losing the wickets of captain Rohit Sharma and one-down Hardik Pandya in the second and fourth overs respectively.

Both were dismissed by Mumbai Ranji Trophy pacer Kulkarni who got a chance to play at his home ground since all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja did not accompany the team to the game as he’s getting married on Sunday at Rajkot.

Both were planned dismissals with fielder Shadab Jakati stationed at square leg to pouch the flick by Rohit and the pull off a short ball by Pandya to leave the home team at a tricky 19 for 2.

At the end of six overs, MI had moved to 31 for 2 with Parthiv looking good at one end after having struck Kumar for two boundaries in the bowler’s second over and lofted Jakati for his first six over long on.

But two wickets in the space of seven balls, that saw the backs of Buttler (16) and the big-hitting Kieron Pollard (1) put MI on the back-foot again at 59 for 4 just past the half-way stage of the innings.

Buttler, who hit three fours, was stumped on leg side by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik off a ball declared wide from left arm spinner Jakati soon after MI reached 50 in ninth over.

And then Pollard departed to a skier off the first ball he faced from leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, with fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo bringing off a well-judged catch just inside the rope and then doing the ‘Champion’ jig that he had made popular during the Windies’ victory in World T20. When Patel departed while attempting to hit a third six over mid wicket off Tambe’s long hop, MI were in deep trouble.

Harbhjan Singh, who had made a counter-punching 45 against Pune, could not repeat that show, and with Rayudu too falling in trying to up the tempo, MI were 99 for 7 before adding 42 runs in the last three overs. Brief Scores: MI 143/8 in 20 overs (Patel 34; Tambe 2/12, Kulkarni 2/19) 

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