Mumbai Indians had lost both their games against Gujarat Lions in the previous edition of the IPL. And on Sunday, MI reduced that deficit on head-to-head to one after registering a six wicket win with three balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium. The win propelled Mumbai Indians to the top of the IPL table with Kolkata Knight Riders having played a game less. Nitish Rana played a pivotal knock for his second half century in the IPL to give the home side the edge after losing Parthiv Patel early. Rana took his run-scoring tally in IPL 10 to 193 runs with 53 on the day and took over as the Orange Cap holder from KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir.
Mumbai Indians batting setup produced an all-round show with everyone producing the goods after Parthiv’s exit on the second ball. Chasing 177 for the win, Jos Buttler and Rana took over the reign and added 85 runs for the second wicket. Rana maintained his place with the bat in the first 10 overs as Buttler waited it out at the non-striker’s end. During the first 10 overs, Buttler faced only 20 balls as Rana kept the score ticking for Mumbai.
Rana brought up his half century in 32 balls with four boundaries and two sixes during the inning. However, the game could have been very different had his catch been taken by Jason Roy. At 9, Rana skied one at deep midwicket but Roy let the ball go from his grasp after holding on momentarily.
Later in the game with the asking rate climbing, Kieron Pollard produced some meaty hits to Dwayne Smith and Andrew Tye in the 15th and 17th over with fours and sixes coming with ease. Alongside, Rohit Sharma kept the score going and scored an unbeaten 40 from 29 balls to take his side over the finishing line.
Earlier, batting first, Gujarat Lions started the same fashion as MI would later on – with a wicket conceded on the second ball to invite early pressure. But Brendon McCullum evaded the storm to top score with 64. He stitched together an 80 run stand with Suresh Raina.
Then Ishan Kishan and Dinesh Karthik put together 40 runs for the fourth wicket to look at building a large score. In the end, 176/4 is all they could muster which unfortunately for them wasn’t enough to get the win.
The loss kept Gujarat seventh in the table and their problems are far from over.