Mumbai dial M for victory
Pace bowlers Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan came up with stellar bowling display to help Mumbai Indians defend a modest score and beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs in IPL-8 on Saturday.
Sri Lankan Malinga grabbed his season’s best four for 23, including three wickets in his last over, while New Zealander Mcclenaghan picked up three for 20 that included top scorer Shikhar Dhawan’s scalp, to restrict the Sunrisers to 137 for eight, chasing 158.
The Sunrisers lost their way after a brisk opening stand between left-handers Dhawan, who top-scored with 42 off 29 balls, and David Warner (9). Once these two departed within a short span to leave the Sunrisers reeling at 52 for two in six overs, the other batsmen did not prove to be good enough.
Earlier, electing to bat, MI rode on opener Lendl Simmons’s 51 off 42 balls and some useful contributions from skipper Rohit Sharma (24) and West Indian Kieron Pollard (33) to reach a total of 157 for eight.
The victory, which was only their second of the season in seven games, helped MI stay afloat in their quest to reach the play-offs. This was Sunrisers fourth defeat in six games.
Chasing the target, the visitors set off to a fine start with Dhawan scoring at fast pace. The left handed Indian opener struck Harbhajan for three fours and a six in the bowler’s second over to banish the offie from the attack.
But Warner soon holed out to third man off a short ball from Malinga. Then Dhawan departed while pulling McClenaghan to short mid-wicket. MI sensed a whiff of a chance with the visitors at 52 for two at the end of powerplay and applied pressure on new batsmen Lokesh Rahul and Naman Ojha with some tight bowling and sharp fielding.
Ojha fell to MI’s strategy, as he needlessly gave the charge to left arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith
and was consumed at long-off. The going was slow during the next wicket stand between Rahul and Ravi Bopara who put on 36 off 37 balls, before the former stepped out to attack McClenaghan and was caught at deep extra cover.
When Rahul’s wicket fell, the visitors needed just 54 more runs to win from 31 balls. But they lost Bopara, Hanuma Vihari, Praveen Kumar and Steyn for the addition of just one run to the total, to lose the plot completely. From 126 for four, the Sunrisers were reduced to 127 for eight. McClenaghan got the wicket of Bopara while the remaining three were sent back by an inspired Malinga in one over. The wickets of Praveen and Steyn fell in successive balls before Karn Sharma, who remained unbeaten, prevented the hat-trick.
BRIEFSCORES MI 157/8 (Simmons 51, Pollard 33, Bhuvneshwar 3-24, Praveen 2-35) beat SRH 137/8 (Shikhar Dhawan 42, Lasith Malinga 4-23, McLenaghan 3-20) by 20 runs.