Bumrah and Rohit combine to give another victory to Mumbai Indians : Mumbai Indians (MI), who were in all sorts of trouble at the commencement of the tournament, got the ‘better of’ Royal Pune Supergiants (RPS) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, and moved on to the second position in the Points Table with 10 points from 9 games, pushing down Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders to the third and fourth positions, respectively.
First, Jasprit Bumrah, who had a wonderful World T20 outing, with a bowling performance of 4-0-29-3 and the MI skipper, Rohit Sharma with another stellar batting performance scoring an unbeaten 85* runs off 60 deliveries, helped MI to get past the target of 160 runs set by RPS.
Put into bat, RPS had a woeful start with their star opener, Ajinkya Rahane (4), failing to get going.
Mitchell McClenaghan bowled one fuller and wider. Rahane tried to loft it over the covers. The ball took the outside edge, gained in height but not in distance and Krunal Pandya, who was manning the third-man area, ran down and took a simple catch.
Promoted up the order, Saurabh Tiwary and Steven Smith then stitched together a second-wicket partnership of 84 runs in 7.3 overs and took the team tally to 92 runs in 9.2 overs.
Smith was accounted for by Jasprit Bumrah taken behind the stumps by Parthiv Patel, low down at ankle level. Smith tried to dab the back of a length delivery to the third man region. Patel anticipated that, moved to the right and took a good catch. Smith scored 45 runs off 23 deliveries with 4 fours and 3 sixes.
The fifth-wicket partnership between RPS skipper, MS Dhoni (24) and Tiwary yielded another 33 runs in 5.2 overs.
Tiwary’s half century came up in 39 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes. He departed after scoring 57 runs off 45 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes. It was again Bumrah, who bowled a slower ball and short in length which, a visibly tired Tiwary, hit straight to Hardik Pandya at deep mid wicket.
RPS ended their innings with 159 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in their 20 overs.
Chasing 160, Rohit Sharma, deciding to bat till the end and finish the match, had three useful partnerships along the way.
With Parthiv Patel (21) as his opening partner, Rohit added 39 runs in 4 overs for the first wicket, stitched together a second-wicket partnership of 52 runs in 7.4 overs alongwith Ambatti Rayudu (22) and finally had an unbroken third wicket-partnership of 70* runs in 6.5 overs alongwith Jos Butler (27*).
Rohit’s half-century came in 38 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes. He eventually remained unbeaten on 85* runs.
MI won the game by 8 wickets with 9 deliveries to spare.
For his scintillating knock, Rohit Sharma was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post match presentation ceremony, he said. “I think it was a great effort from the bowlers. One department where we didn”t do well was our fielding. Dropping catches is not a good sign. Restricting them to 160 was a great effort, considering the way they started. Coming back, and tightening up was important, and the spinners and the fast bowlers did a brilliant job. I”ve not had a great time batting first, but when I”m chasing, obviously, the score is in front of you, I plan my innings really well. But again, it”s a challenge, batting first or chasing, toss is not in your hands. The win is important for us, last three games have been superb, but there is room for improvement in our fielding. [Harbhajan and Rayudu] are both aggressive on the field, they like to give it all on the field, they are good mates, these things happen. They are mature, they are professional cricketers, and going into the next game onwards we will try and keep everything in mind.”
A dejected MS Dhoni said. “We didn”t bat well after the 10th over. That includes me also, on this kind of wicket, 23 off 24 doesn”t really help the team. At times we were thinking too much about what happens if we lose a few wickets. What we need to do is go out there, express ourselves. The bowling has shown improvement, but it doesn”t really count if you”re not winning games. We will change a few theories and try a few more things, and hopefully it will come off.”