Mumbai Indians have not been able to plan their batting strategy in a proper manner. With Rohit Sharma moving down the order, he is mostly busy in reconstructing the innings rather than creating a solid start up front. On several occasions in IPL-8, the lower order has lifted Mumbai out of troubled starts. Harbhajan, Corey Anderson, Rohit Sharma, Pollard and Suchith have played the saviors on different occasions after early collapse. The story on Saturday was a little different, when Mumbai Indians hosted Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium. After winning the toss Rohit Sharma chose to bat. The home side began well and crossed 100 in the 12.2 overs with solid efforts from opener Lendl Simmons. They had lost just 2 wickets at that stage. Now rather than stepping up in the next 7.4 overs, Mumbai’s lower order collapsed in a heap as the next six wickets fell for the addition of a mere 57 runs. Though Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard made useful contributions, other batsmen just couldn’t stand against B Kumar, P Kumar and T Boult. It was too small a total to defend but for a change Mumbai’s bowlers put heavy pressure on SRH batsmen, when they began the 158-rub chase. Once Warner and Dhawan fell, Malinga and Mitchell McLenaghan didn’t allow other batsmen to settle down. Between the two of them they yielded just 43 in 8 overs and shared 7 out of 8 wickets that fell in the SRH innings. In the end, SRH were 20 short at the end of their 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians scored their second victory, when they seemed least likely to do so after managing just 157 in their fateful innings. Rohit Sharma won the toss and probably avoided fielding in the murderous Mumbai heat on a scorching afternoon. Parhiv Patel and Lendl Simmons did well to put on 42 in the 6th over, before Patel lofted Dale Steyn in the hands of a fielder stationed at the boundary. Unmukt Chand couldn’t control himself after getting a juicy delivery from Praveen Kumar and was caught at the midwicket fence to make it 49/2 for MI. But afterwards, Rohit Sharma and Simmons played sensibly to take MI past 100 and Simmons departed at that score. Rohit followed him soon leaving the damage-repair job for Kieron Pollard. But the West Indian ran out of partners, who couldn’t hang around for the innings building exercise. Thanks to Pollard’s 33 off 24 balls Mumbai could reach 157 at the end of 20 overs.
With David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan to open for SRH, it was expected that Hyderabad would hand another defeat to Mumbai Indians in the 2015 IPL season. They made a good start to take the score to 45 in 5 overs. However, Warner fell to a slower delivery from Malinga as he tried to use the pace for an upper cut over third-man. The low speed did its job as Warner was comfortably caught. 7 runs later, Dhawan’s full-blooded pull was caught by a reflexive Malinga at midwicket. The slide had begun for SRH and the pace combo of Malinga and McLenaghan not only slowed down the scoring but also got rid of one batsman after another. Lokesh Rahul, Ravi Bopara and Hanuma Vihari were the only batsmen, who could get into double-digit scores as SRH innings ended at 137/8 in 20 overs. McLenaghan took 3 wickets for 20 in 4 overs and Player-of-the-match Malinga ended with 4/23 in his quota of 4 overs. The remaining wicket was taken by Harbhajan Singh as Mumbai delighted home fans with a 20-run win.
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