Ever since his meteoric rise four years ago, Hardik Pandya has replaced Kieron Pollard as Mumbai Indians’ primary all-rounder. On Wednesday, both contributed in more ways than one to set up the home team’s crucial win against defending champion Chennai Super Kings.
Once Pollard joined Hardik at the end of the 18th over, the duo plundered 45 runs off the last two overs to ensure Suryakumar Yadav’s anchoring knock was followed by a perfect finish to the innings at the Wankhede Stadium.
Doing his bit
After setting a respectable target of 171, while Pollard sizzled in the field, Hardik did his bit with the ball to resurrect Mumbai Indians’ campaign.
In the end, despite Kedar Jadhav’s slow fifty, Chennai Super Kings fell short by 37 runs for its maiden loss in the 12th edition. The margin of the victory may give an impression of a one-sided contest. However, the quality of cricket lived up to the billing of the game between the two most successful IPL outfits.
Despite the top-order failing to fire yet again, Suryakumar held the Mumbai Indians innings together. In Krunal Pandya, he found an able ally. The elder Pandya, who was dropped by Mohit Sharma at mid-off on 17, couldn’t really switch gears against a well-oiled CSK attack.
His dismissal in the 17th over — holing a slower ball from Mohit to Ravindra Jadeja at long-on — brought the younger sibling to the crease. Despite losing Suryakumar in the next over, Hardik and Pollard put MI right back in the game.
The duo’s power-hitting helped the hosts add 77 runs in the last five overs.
They were especially harsh on death-over specialist Dwayne Bravo. Having conceded just 20 runs off his first three overs, Bravo was taken to the cleaners, with Hardik and Pollard plundering 29 off the last. Of the three sixes in the over, Hardik’s helicopter shot that sailed into the second tier over mid-wicket was the stand-out stroke.
The MI bowlers — led by debutant Jason Behrendorff — then took a cue from their CSK counterparts in keeping the batsmen quiet.
Soon after Behrendorff’s bounce undid Ambati Rayudu in the opening over, Pollard’s fielding came into play as he took a sharp catch at point to dismiss Shane Watson.
In the fifth over, the burly West Indian pulled off a trademark stunning effort at deep point — timing his dive to perfection to take a one-handed catch and finish with a somersault — to see Suresh Raina’s back and put MI on top.
In walked captain M.S. Dhoni to the crease. Just when he and Jadhav were beginning to switch gears, Hardik returned to the attack and dismissed Dhoni and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the 15th over to seal the fate of the game.
Quinton de Kock c Jadhav b Deepak Chahar 4 (7b, 1×4), Rohit Sharma c Dhoni b Jadeja 13 (18b, 1×4), Suryakumar Yadav c Jadeja b Bravo 59 (43b, 8×4, 1×6), Yuvraj Singh c Rayudu b Tahir 4 (6b), Krunal Pandya c Jadeja b Mohit 42 (32b, 5×4, 1×6), Hardik Pandya (not out) 25 (8b, 1×4, 3×6), Kieron Pollard (not out) 17 (7b, 2×6); Extras (lb-1, nb-1, w-4): 6; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 170.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-8 (de Kock, 2.3 overs), 2-45 (Rohit, 7.1), 3-50 (Yuvraj, 8.3), 4-112 (Krunal, 16.4), 5-125 (Suryakumar, 17.6)
SUPER KINGS BOWLING
Deepak Chahar 3-0-21-1, Thakur 4-0-37-0, Mohit 3-0-27-1, Tahir 4-0-25-1, Jadeja 2-0-10-1, Bravo 4-0-49-1.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Shane Watson c Pollard b Malinga 5 (6b,1 x4), Ambati Rayudu c de Kock b Behrendorff 0 (1b), Suresh Raina c Pollard b Behrendorff 16 (15b, 2×4, 1×6), Kedar Jadhav c de Kock b Malinga 58 (54b, 8×4, 1×6), M.S. Dhoni c Suryakumar b Hardik 12 (21b), Ravindra Jadeja c de Kock b Hardik 1 (2b), Dwayne Bravo c de Kock b Malinga 8 (9b, 1×6), Deepak Chahar c Bumrah b Hardik 7 (7b, 1×4), Shardul Thakur (not out) 12 (5b, 1×4,1 x6), Mohit Sharma (not out) 0 (2b); Extras (lb-7, nb-2, w-5): 14; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 133.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-1 (Rayudu, 0.4 overs), 2-6 (Watson, 1.2), 3-33 (Raina, 4.6), 4-87 (Dhoni, 14.1), 5-89 (Jadeja, 14.4), 6-108 (Jadhav, 17.1), 7-115 (Bravo, 17.5), 8-122 (Chahar, 19.1).
MUMBAI INDIANS BOWLING
Behrendorff 4-0-22-2, Malinga 4-0-34-3, Hardik 4-0-20-3, Bumrah 4-0-27-0, Rahul Chahar 2-0-11-0, Krunal 2-0-12-0.
Toss: Chennai Super Kings.
MoM: Hardik Pandya.
Mumbai Indians won by 37 runs.