Another good performance from the Mumbai Indians meant that their IPL 2018 dream is still alive. They were down and out a couple of matches back, when they needed to win all of their last six games to progress to the play-offs. Now, four out of four seems like less of a gruelling task for the Men in Blue.
They were put in to bat by Kolkata Knight Riders and they seemed solid right from the start, with Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav giving them a 91-run opening stand. Lewis was dismissed for 43, Surya for 59 (his 4th fifty of the season), and Hardik Pandya hit a few lusty blows at the back-end, to take Mumbai up to a competitive score of 181/4.
West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine picked up 2 wickets each while debutant Prasidh Krishna (replacing the injured Shivam Mavi) didn’t have a very memorable day – 0/39. KKR then decided to drop Narine down the batting order, promoting the young Shubman Gill after his match-winning knock in the last game.
However, both KKR openers were sent back to the hut by the 4th over before Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana steadied the ship and brought them back into the game. Rana was dismissed for 31 by Hardik, Mayank Markande sent Uthappa back for 54 and both the West Indians failed with the bat as Kolkata began to lose their way again.
Eventually, the 37 needed in the last 2 overs turned out to be far too much, even for the in-form Dinesh Karthik, who ended with 36(26)* as Mumbai won by 13 runs and completed their second consecutive win. Hardik Pandya’s 2/19 turned out to be a match winning spell and surprisingly, his tally of 14 wickets in IPL 2018 earned him the Purple Cap. Interestingly, he has only bowled 27 overs in the season so far, while no one else in the top 10 bowlers have bowled less than 32 overs. Man of the Match: Hardik Pandya.
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