The IPL table toppers Mumbai Indians hosted the Rising Pune Supergiant in the 28th match of the season. The in-form hosts who had been on a six-game winning streak were the favourites to win the game as RPS have had an inconsistent run in this season so far.
But as it turned out, RPS once more surprised MI and won for the second time in the season against the same opponent. For a large part of the game, MI looked in control but somehow they ended up on the losing side.
Let’s take a look at the five things that went wrong for MI
#5 Not bowling Harbhajan in the powerplay
The off-spinner has done well for Mumbai in the league so far. He was being introduced into the attack inside first six overs and his witty bowling didn’t allow the opposition to score big from the start.
The veteran off-spinner has produced wickets at the start that pegged the opposition back and played a crucial role in MI’s victories. But this time, he was called on to bowl in the 7th over when the two RPS openers had got their eyes in.
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi went after the fast bowlers and collected 48 runs in 6 overs without losing a wicket that gave them the momentum. If Bhajji had picked up an early wicket, the story could have been different. At the end, Bhajji finished with magnificent figures of 1/20 in 4 overs.
#4 Nitish Rana’s early dismissal
The biggest reason for MI’s winning run has been the contributions from young Nitish Rana. He has played beautifully up the order and has four half-centuries already to his name. The boy from Delhi was instrumental in MI chasing down four targets in a row successfully.
But it was a one-off day where the left-hander suffered a failure. He had walked in the 5th over after the openers had added 35 runs for the first wicket and there were expectations of a repeat of his previous performances tonight as well.
But Rana struggled for runs and managed only 3 runs off 9 balls and mistimed a short ball from Daniel Christian that landed into the hands of Jaydev Unadkat. He went back in the 8th over when the score read 51/2.
#3 Karn Sharma batting at number 5
After Parthiv Patel was dismissed in the 9th over, everyone was expecting either Kieron Pollard or Hardik Pandya to walk out. But to everyone’s surprise, the leg-spinner was seen walking out to bat.
The move turned out to be a howler as the left-hander scored only 11 runs off 10 balls and couldn’t play the role of a pinch hitter that he was expected to. That put extra pressure on the batsmen that followed as the required run rate just kept creeping up.
Pollard and Pandya have been in great forms and the order of the day would have been to send one of those earlier but the decision to promote Karn left MI rue it.
#2 Failure to deal with Stokes’ final over
With the skipper Rohit Sharma batting beautifully and Hardik Pandya at the crease, MI looked like cruising to a victory. They needed 24 runs from the last two overs and with the kind of form the team has been in, it looked like a walk in the park for them.
Ben Stokes had the responsibility to bowl the penultimate over and the Englishman delivered a wonderful one. He gave away just seven runs and didn’t concede a single boundary. Six singles were scored off the six legitimate deliveries with one going for a wide.
He bowled the yorkers with dead accuracy and didn’t allow the batsmen to get under the ball. The Englishman’s over proved to be the turning point as 17 runs were left to be defended off the final over.
#1 Rohit’s dismissal in the last over
17 was needed off the last over and Jaydev Unadkat had the ball in hand. He removed Hardik Pandya off the first ball that made more it difficult for MI. But Rohit had found the strike which was crucial for the team as he was fully capable of bringing his side home from that situation.
The Mumbai skipper smacked the next ball for six over long-on that brought the equation down to 10 off 4. Off the next ball, he moved towards the off side and the bowler followed him. The ball had gone past the marker for wide but the umpire didn’t signal one.
Rohit indulged into an argument with the umpire that distracted his concentration and he mistimed a lofted shot off the next ball that gave an easy catch to the bowler. The hopes for MI were shattered with his departure as RPS snatched a victory from their jaws.