Needing a win to stay in touch of the top four and keep their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive, the Gujarat Lions were in desperation mode. And that desperation only grew when they lost their best player in IPL 2017 so far – Andrew Tye -- through injury.
However, they turned that desperation into inspiration courtesy James Faulkner, Basil Thampi and Ravindra Jadeja, to take this most thrilling of all IPL 2017 games into a Super Over, when the Mumbai Indians should have eased to victory in the original 40 overs.
In that Super Over, MI only lasted five balls, as Kieron Pollard, after hitting a four and a six, and Jos Buttler fell off successive deliveries to Faulkner.
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That left GL needing 12 runs off their over with the bat for a win.
Jasprit Bumrah was given the responsibility to try and defend those runs against Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum, and after five chaotic deliveries, one of which was a no-ball and another a wide, GL needed eight from three balls.
Bumrah was in the yorker and slow ball zone now, though, and Finch and McCullum just couldn't get the fast bowler away. Thanks to those brilliant deliveries, GL could only manage six runs in the Super Overs, which allowed MI to pick up their seventh win in nine matches.
The Gujarat Lions, much to everyone's surprise, decided to bat first, with the idea being to put a big score on the board to put the pressure on the Mumbai Indians on what looked like a dry wicket.
That plan did not work out too well, however, as the batsmen struggled, with GL only managing 153 in their 20 overs.
With Parthiv Patel leading the way, MI were cruising in the chase, before GL came back courtesy some outstanding bowling from Faulkner and Thampi and even better fielding from Jadeja.
The game went all the way to the final ball, with MI needing a run for victory and their No.11 Lasith Malinga at the crease. The Mumbai Indians tried to sneak a leg-bye, but Ravindra Jadeja, the sniper, hit the stumps directly to send this match into overtime aka the Super Over.
Gujarat Lions stay fifth in the table after the defeat, four points behind fourth-placed RPS, but they are now likely to be without Tye, their leading bowler in IPL 2017, after the Australian seemed to dislocate his left shoulder while diving near the boundary line.
MI's victory pushed them back to the top, level on points with KKR, but with an inferior net run rate.
Targets such as these can be tricky sometimes, and everything depends on what sort of start you get.
Parthiv made sure the trickiness of the chase would be taken out of the picture by blazing a trail of boundaries in the first three overs, which got MI to 40/0.
While Jos Buttler (9, 7b, 2x4) fell in the next over, run out again, Parthiv continued the assault, with the left-hander controlling the chase with his innings.
However, MI kept losing wicket as Nitish Rana (19, 16b, 1x4, 1x6) fell in the tenth over, before a bit of worry crept in when Rohit Sharma (5, 13b) and Parthiv (70, 44b, 9x4, 1x6) both fell in the same over, to James Faulkner, with the Australian unlucky to not have a third, when Kieron Pollard was dropped by Basil Thampi.
It got a little more nervy when Pollard (15, 11b, 2x4) holed out off Thampi, leaving MI needing 27 off 22 balls.
That was easy enough as long as the Pandya brothers – Krunal and Hardik – stayed together till the end, but GL kept at it, picked up Hardik (4, 5b) off the first ball of the penultimate over – Thampi the man to take the wicket again – to keep the match interesting.
Thampi would pick his third wicket, after trapping Harbhajan Singh (0, 1b) in front, before the MI panic set in as Mitchell McClenaghan (1, 1b) ran himself out going for a two that was never there.
However, that double attempt also meant Krunal (29, 20b, 2x4, 1x6) would be on strike for the first ball of the final over, with the Mumbai Indians needing 11 for a win.
It quickly became five from five though as Krunal smoked a straight six off the first ball, but MI were left with just one wicket in hand a couple of balls later, when Ravindra Jadeja smashed the stumps directly with a brilliant throw.
Then came another from Jadeja to cue the Super Over drama.
Earlier, the Gujarat Lions got off to a great start courtesy Ishan Kishan, before it all went pear-shaped as they lost their four best batsmen in a hurry.
Kishan was sent up the order again, and while Brendon McCullum (6, 4b, 1x4) failed to fire this time in Rajkot, Kishan got GL to 46/1 in four overs.
From there, it all went awry for the Gujarat Lions, as Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch got out inside the Powerplay, before Dinesh Karthik fell a little while later as well.
Raina (1, 3b) could not clear Kieron Pollard at mid-on off Bumrah, before Finch (0, 3b) became the returning Malinga's second wicket, when he chopped one on.
The Gujarat Lions needed Karthik (2, 8b) to build a partnership with Kishan, but it was not to be as Krunal Pandya drifted one down the leg-side, caught the batsman out his crease with Parthiv Patel ripping off the bails.
Kishan's impressive innings of 48 (35, 6x4, 2x6) would end in the 12th over, when the wily Harbhajan Singh induced a false shot, before Ravindra Jadeja (28, 21b, 2x4, 1x6), James Faulkner (21, 27b, 2x4) and Tye (25, 12b, 2x4, 2x6) got reasonable scores to get GL to a reasonable one.
GL vs MI scorecard: IPL 2017:
Toss: GL, who chose to bat.
Gujarat Lions: 153/9 in 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians: 153 all out in 20 overs.
Super Over: MI: 11/2 in 0.5 overs.
GL: 6/0 in 1 over.
Result: Mumbai Indians won via the Super Over.
Bowling: Mumbai Indians: Mitchell McClenaghan 4-0-50-0; Lasith Malinga 4-0-33-2; Harbhajan Singh 4-0-23-1; Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-32-2; Krunal Pandya 4-0-14-3.
Gujarat Lions: Basil Thampi 4-0-29-3; James Faulkner 4-0-34-2; Irfan Pathan 2-0-26-0; Ankit Soni 4-0-16-1; Suresh Raina 4-0-28-0; Andrew Tye 1-0-9-0; Ravindra Jadeja 1-0-11-0.
Fall of wickets: Gujarat Lions: 21/2, Brendon McCullum (2 overs); 46/2, Suresh Raina (4.2 overs); 48/3, Aaron Finch (5.5 overs); 56/4, Dinesh Karthik (8.1 overs); 83/5, Ishan Kishan (11.1 overs); 95/6, Ravindra Jadeja (13.5 overs); 101/7, Irfan Pathan (15.4 overs); 144/8, Andrew Tye (18.5 overs); 144/9, James Faulkner (19 overs).
Mumbai Indians: 43/1, Jos Buttler (4 overs); 82/2, Nitish Rana (9.4 overs); 104/3, Rohit Sharma (13.1 overs); 109/4, Parthiv Patel (13.5 overs); 127/5, Kieron Pollard (16.2 overs); 139/6, Hardik Pandya (18.1 overs); 142/7, Harbhajan Singh (18.5 overs); 143/8, Mitchell McClenaghan (19 overs); 150/9, Jasprit Bumrah (19.3 overs); 153/10, Krunal Pandya (20 overs).
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