Mumbai Indians proved once again tonight, how hard it is for a visiting team to set a target and defend it. If any team could put up a tough fight, it had to be Sunrisers Hyderabad. SRH had a good start to their IPL this year with two wins but had to taste defeat at the Wankhede Stadium against a spirited Mumbai team playing at home.
In a battle of two bowling powerhouses of the IPL, the home team expectedly chose to field first and made the best use of good bowling conditions to restrict the visiting team to 158. While the Hyderabad team found it difficult to get off to a good start, the Mumbai side got off to a flyer and managed to maintain the momentum through their innings even though they lost a few wickets.
Here’s a look at how the players performed in the match:
Parthiv Patel – 10
The tiny pocket-rocket from Gujarat was at his best today. First, he pulled off a wonderful catch to dismiss the opposition skipper. Warner got himself into a tangle and the ball went up off his pad only for Parthiv to run and dive full length to complete a fantastic catch. Coming in at the top of the order for the chase, the little wicket-keeper got the hosts off to a quick start from which they never looked back. He played some enterprising shots, taking Nehra and Mustafizur to the cleaners.
Jasprit Bumrah – 9.5/10
The lanky pacer was at his best tonight, winning the man of the match award for his efforts. Along with Harbhajan and Malinga, he not only stifled the scoring rate but also picked up crucial wickets towards the tail end of the innings.
Had either Cutting or Ojha fired at that point, Mumbai might have found themselves chasing a target closer to 180. Giving away only two boundaries, Bumrah bowled a wonderful spell conceding only 24.
Harbhajan Singh – 9/10
The experienced offspinner provided the perfect start to Mumbai as he bowled the first over for only 2 runs. Although Warner found width and slashed two boundaries off the first two balls of the spinner’s second over, the next four balls turned out to be dots. He came back to bowl later in the innings, picking up the wickets of Warner and Deepak Hooda to open the floodgates. Conceding just 23 runs in the full quota of four overs, he was once again, the most economical bowler for the Mumbai Indians.
Nitish Rana – 9/10
The young batsman from Delhi has been in good form in the three games so far. Tonight, the home team’s batting revolved around the industrious Rana who compiled another steady innings to take his team to safety, getting out when the win was agonisingly close. For the third time in three matches, he proved his worth as a top order batsman, getting singles and rotating the strike while also smashing boundaries with good looking strokes.
Krunal Pandya – 8.5/10
While his younger sibling's batting exploits enthralled the audience in their previous game, it was Krunal tonight who set the stage on fire with his imaginative batting. With only 3 runs off his first six balls, he seemed to be taking things easy. Rashid Khan’s full toss woke up Krunal as he smashed it into the stands for his first boundary.
After that, there was no looking back as he took full toll of Nehra and Cutting, smashing two more sixes along with three boundaries. While his solitary over went for 12 runs, he more than made up for it with the bat, tilting the match decisively in the home team's favour from a point where it looked even-stevens.
Hardik Pandya – 7.5/10
The hero with the bat in MI’s last match, Hardik did not get to do much with the bat as his older sibling stole the thunder. He did, however, turn in a good performance with the ball. Off only his third delivery of the night, he had Dhawan dropped by none other than his brother. He did cop some stick from the visiting batsmen, but in his third over, after being hit for a boundary by Yuvraj, he came back with a good delivery to hit the Punjab batsman’s middle stump.
Lasith Malinga – 7.5/10
The slinger from Sri Lanka has considerably slowed down in terms of pace as he has grown older. However, what he has lost in pace, he has made up for with a good cricketing brain. While Warner and Cutting got him away for two boundaries each, the leading wicket-taker in IPL history showed his class and experience in reacting to those shots.
He realised that his pace was being easily put away and resorted to taking the pace off the ball. Cutting couldn’t get the slower ones away and Vinay Shankar was completely deceived, losing his wicket.
Jos Buttler – 6/10
Buttler is widely regarded as a very dangerous batsman in the shortest format of the game. However, he has yet to set the stage on fire in this year’s IPL. He supported Parthiv well in the powerplay, helping the home team get off to a blistering start. Although he was at the receiving end of an umpiring howler in one of the previous matches, tonight he had his stumps rearranged by the experienced Nehra.
Kieron Pollard – 6/10
The burly West Indian has not fired so far in this year's IPL, apart from firing away tweets to express his displeasure over Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments about him. Once again, he failed with the bat, coming up with only 11 runs before miscuing a pull of Bhuvneshwar that was taken easily by Dhawan. He did take two important catches on the boundary, showing his value to the team on the field.
Mitchell McClenaghan – 5.5/10
The Kiwi pacer did not have a great outing, being the most expensive of the frontline bowlers for the home side. Although he conceded 42 runs off his four overs, he picked up the wicket of Dhawan with a full toss that the left-hander completely missed. Apart from that one success, he couldn’t really make an impression, failing to trouble any of the opposition batsmen.
Rohit Sharma – 5/10
The Mumbai Indians captain became one of the biggest names to have been dismissed by the teenage spin sensation, Rashid Khan. The stylish stroke-maker has not been having the best of times since he gave up the opener’s spot to Jos Buttler. He managed to make 4 runs before being completely deceived by a googly.
Thankfully, the score wasn’t a big one and the rest of the batting line-up put in the hard yards to get the team home. He did rotate his bowlers well and ensured that the visiting team never ran away with the match in the first half.
Rashid Khan – 10/10
The young Afghan leg spinner has so far been the most spectacular revelation of this year’s IPL. Once again, he bowled with amazing control to some of the best batsmen in the business, even within the powerplay overs. The only blip in his entire four over spell was the one full toss that Krunal Pandya happily deposited in the stands.
Even with that six, which can be attributed to a ball wet with dew rather than an error, he still was the most economical bowler on show. He has increasingly depended on his variations and the googly, to extremely good effect.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 9/10
Last year’s purple cap holder registered an exceedingly good performance with the ball, claiming the purple cap from Imran Tahir. Giving away only 21 runs in his four overs, Bhuvi picked up three wickets. Although the wickets came in a bunch towards the end of the innings, by when the match had completely tilted in Mumbai’s favour, his excellent economy rate ensured that he did not concede too many runs even in the powerplay.
David Warner – 8/10
The explosive Warner wasn’t as explosive today as we’ve known him to be in the past. He did play an entertaining innings at the top of the order, but couldn’t carry on to get a big score. Dhawan’s slow start also meant that the pressure was on the Australian in the powerplay overs.
He kept scoring boundaries at regular intervals and kept rotating the strike, but his dismissal and the subsequent batting collapse once again proved how heavily dependent the SRH team is on his batting exploits.
Shikhar Dhawan – 7/10
He was slow to start with but started striking the ball well later in his innings. His difficulty in getting off the blocks meant that SRH couldn’t really generate any momentum in the powerplay overs, reaching only 34 in the first six overs. Dhawan managed only 7 from 15 balls in that period.
Although he increased his scoring rate after the powerplay, his slow start meant that the visiting team was playing catch up for the rest of the innings and eventually did not manage to reach a match-winning score.
Ben Cutting – 6.5/10
The hero from last year’s IPL final couldn’t recreate the magic tonight. He chipped in with a quick cameo of 20 runs coming off just 10 balls, but it was not enough to get the visiting team to a good score.
With the ball, he bowled a good first over, giving away just 3 runs, but in his second, he lost the plot against Krunal Pandya and ended up conceding 15 runs. Warner would have expected more from the all-rounder with both bat and ball.
Ashish Nehra – 6/10
Ashish Nehra bowled better than his figures would suggest. He picked up the wicket of the dangerous Jos Buttler with a slower delivery which the batsman failed to pick. The damage to the lanky left-armer’s figures was, however, done by Parthiv Patel, who took four boundaries off his bowling within the powerplay.
The southpaw was unlucky as well, with Buttler’s inside edge missing the stumps and going to the boundary once. And then, an outside edge off Parthiv’s bat went through exactly the spot where first slip would have been standing.
Deepak Hooda – 5/10
Hooda was sent up the batting order today at number 3, perhaps to push up the scoring rate. He couldn’t accomplish much with the bat as he went for a slog sweep off Harbhajan that landed in the large hands of Pollard at long-on.
With the ball, the tall spinner is usually expected to play the support role to some of the other outstanding bowlers that SRH has in its line up. The offspinner managed to get in two overs for 18 runs but also snapped up the wicket of Parthiv Patel who was looking dangerous.
Mustafizur Rehman – 4/10
The Fizz came back into the SRH bowling line up, but it appeared that he was short on match practice as he went for an astonishing 34 runs in his 2.4 overs. Nineteen runs were plundered off his first over by Nitish Rana and Parthiv. There was to be no respite as the Bangladeshi bowler went for 11 in his second over, courtesy a Kieron Pollard sixer.
Much was expected of Mustafizur tonight, but having gone for an economy rate of over 12 and managing only three dot balls, he was a bit of a disappointment.
Naman Ojha – 4/10
Ojha is an experienced batsman at the domestic level, and much would have been expected from him towards the end of the innings. He, however, only managed 9 runs from 9 balls without even a single boundary. His wicket-keeping was much better tonight than it had been for the past two matches.
Yuvraj Singh – 2/10
Consistently one of the most expensive players in IPL, Yuvraj has struggled to live up to his price-tag with as much consistency. Coming in at a crucial juncture, the stylish left-hander managed only 5 runs from 7 balls, losing his wicket to Hardik Pandya. Even a quick little cameo from Yuvraj would have taken SRH to a winning score. However, Yuvi never looked comfortable during his stay at the crease.
Vinay Shankar – 2/10
Brought in to add some strength to the batting line-up in a bowling heavy team, Vinay Shankar managed to face only two balls. He picked one single and on the second delivery he faced, he couldn't pick Malinga’s slower delivery with the ball going off the back of the bat to Rana at point who took a simple catch. A disappointing debut for the Chennai lad.