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Friday, May 3, 2019

Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey heroics - super over thriller

IPL has entered its feverish pitch – if CSK is playing sleeplessness is guaranteed – match would boil down to last over rather last ball ! – yesterday there was no CSK but match extended beyond midnight and what a cracker of contest it was.

After that thriller, Mumbai Indians became the third team to qualify for the Indian Premier League 2019 playoffs after they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in Super Over eliminator at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was only the second Super Over played in the tournament this season after the Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders contest in April.

The all important top 4 scenario is not all that complex – CSK is already there – for Sunrisers Hyderabad, despite losing their last game against Mumbai Indians, can still qualify if they win their final game based on Net Run-Rate (NRR). Even if they lose their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, their superior NRR should see them through to the top four. Sunrisers Hyderabad: need to win their final match against RCB.  Kolkata Knight Riders, would need to win both their remaining matches against Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. MI qualifying for the playoffs will help KKR's cause as well. Kings XI Punjab, need to win both their remaining matches against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings in their final two games. It will be complicated for Rajasthan Royals to qualify, as they need to win their last game against Delhi Capitals and then hope that SRH lose their remaining two games and KKR and KXIP win just one of their final two games.

The brief score card reads :  Mumbai Indians 162 for 5 (de Kock 69*, Khaleel 3-42) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 162 for 6 (Pandey 71*, Nabi 31, Krunal 2-20) via the Super Over

Quinton de Kock  played somewhat scratchy innings but blossomed later to enable Mumbai Indians reaching 162 for 5 – de Kock scored unbeaten 69 that came off 58 balls, containing six fours and two sixes. None of the other Mumbai batsmen could take cues from de Kock, as they struggled against Sunrisers' accurate bowling.  Hardik Pandya was a revelation, the first ball six stood out for its brute power and the aggressive attitude !

Rohit Sharma got Mumbai off to a sound start with five fours, Khaleel's slower ball duped him into slicing one to mid-on. It cut short the opening stand to 36 runs.  Suryakumar Yadav too got out, picking the lone fielder at sweeper cover.  Towards the end    forcing Kieron Pollard top edged a slower length ball, to be caught at square-leg.  The strategy of MI would remain a mystery forever – they buy best players and ensure that players like Pollard do not bat enough – he would come in the end with say 3 overs to spare .. why ?

Martin Guptill, who replaced David Warner, and Wriddhiman Saha sprung to a fast start but the latter fell to Jasprit Bumrah's slower delivery in the fourth over, caught at point, just as the Sunrisers were gaining momentum. Bumrah then removed Guptill in his next over, and although the New Zealander reviewed the lbw decision, replays showed that the ball was hitting leg stump. Although the Sunrisers' 59 for 2 was better than Mumbai's score at the end of the Powerplay, Bumrah's removal of the openers chipped away at their run-rate. Krunal Pandya then had Williamson, after reviewing successfully for an lbw in the eighth over, before Vijay Shankar was caught at long-on to reduce the Sunrisers to 98 for 4 in the 14th over.

Then there was  Manish Pandey, who had been the Sunrisers' set batsman at the crease. After Abhishek Sharma was caught behind off Hardik, Mumbai held back the Sunrisers for the following 15 balls, conceding just 17 runs. Finally at the end of the 18th over, Mohammad Nabi swung Lasith Malinga for a six over point. Bumrah bowled four good balls in the penultimate over before Pandey struck him for two fours to bring down the required runs to 17 off the last over. With a last ball sixer,  Pandey took the Sunrisers into the Super Over .. .. but they flopped in the super over.

They opened with Manish Pandey and Mohammad Nabi.  Pandey stoked Bumrah to cover and tried a brace but was caught off with a good throw.  Martin Guptill walked in – scored a single.  Off the third, Nabi went for a pull, got a top edge and had a six. Next ball Bumrah cleaned him up, crashing out the leg stump – thus a target of 9 ..  Menacing Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard walked in to bat – Rashid Khan was the bowler.  First ball itself Hardik hit straight almost flat over long off for a 6, next was a single – third ball was milked to deep midwicket by Pollard for 2 and match was over.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
3rd May 2o19.

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