Mumbai Indians defeat Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs and set up a clash with Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2
Playing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the Mumbai bowlers caused carnage on the field as they restricted the LSG batters to a score of 101 runs while they were following 183 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Cricket fans are one step away in the 13th season of the Indian Premier League from getting a chance of witnessing two of the best teams in the history of the T20 Championship, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, play the final against each other. MS Dhoni & Men qualified for the final on Monday as they hammered Gujarat Titans by 15 runs in the first Qualifier.
The much-hyped battle between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Supergiants kick-started with Rohit winning the toss in Chennai and opting to bat first, The Mumbai-based franchise did well on the slow and sluggish surface in the first innings by posting a good score of 182 runs.
The five-time champion had a poor start to the game as their opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan scored only 11 and 15 runs respectively. Naveen-ul-Haq gave the first breakthrough to LSG by dismissing the opposition skipper in the fourth over while Kishan followed Rohit in the next over after handing his wicket to Yash Thakur.
Following a slow start, Mumbai gained momentum as the number three batter, Cameron Green smacked 41 runs off just 23 balls. He hit six boundaries and one maximum throughout his innings. Green was supported by Suryakumar Yadav who added 33 runs to the scoreboard after facing 20 balls in the middle.
Green and Yadav stitched a partnership of 54 runs in the middle and it came to an end in the 11th over as Naveen cleaned up both batters to bring the momentum back to the LSG Camp. At the end of the 11th over, MI found itself reeling at 105 runs after losing four wickets.
However, the team did not anything to worry about as the lower-middle-order batters played quickfire cameos. Tilak Verma played a knock of 26 runs off 22 balls while Tim David and Nehal Wadhera added 13 and 23 runs to the scoreboard in 13 and 12 balls respectively. With an active contribution from all batters, Mumbai racked up a score of 182 runs while Lucknow had Naveen-ul-Haq as their top bowler with four wickets.
Following the good score in the second innings, the Super Giants started with good spirits and a relatively new opening pair of Kyle Mayers Prerak Mankad. It was a bad day at the office for both the openers as Mankad fell prey to Akash Madhwal in the second over only when he was playing at three runs.
Mayers also could not stay in the middle for long as he walked back after scoring 18 runs off 13 balls and giving his wicket to Chris Jordan. The next to follow the openers to the pavilion was the skipper Krunal Pandya who added only eight runs to the scoreboard. The number four player, Marcus Stoinis showed some good intent to win the game as he tried to get settled in the middle.
The Australian star hammered 40 runs off just 27 balls with the help of five boundaries and one maximum. However, the knock was not enough to take his team over the line as Stoinis did not receive support from any other LSG batter.
Some horrendous running between the wickets displayed by the LSG batters led to the downfall of their team. Ayush Badoni, Nicholas Pooran, Ravi Bishnoi, Krishnappa Gowtham and Mohsin Khan failed to get their score in the double digits.
Madhwal was the standout performer for the Mumbai Indians as he picked a total of five wickets at an astonishing economy rate of 1.4. The 29-year-old also took the Player of the Match home for single-handedly taking MI to a win in the Eliminator.
Meanwhile, Mumbai has made their chances of reaching the final strong by thrashing Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs in the Eliminator match. They will now be taking on the Titans in the second Qualifier on Friday to earn a seat in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.