Tewatia, Manohar, and Miller planned to destroy Mumbai Indians

With David Miller, Abhinav Manohar added 71 runs in just 35 balls

On a hot and muggy evening in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Titans’ explosive batting in the final overs and the five wickets shared by Afghan spinners Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad gave the hosts their second consecutive victory. 

Mumbai Indians, however, suffered their second consecutive defeat at the hands of the hosts as they were thrashed by Gujarat Titans. After successfully defending the significant score of 207 for 6, Titans moved into second place with 10 points, even with the table-toppers Chennai Super Kings.

With Jofra Archer out with an illness, Arjun Tendulkar not bowling in that phase, and their quicks giving up 70 runs in the final four overs after giving up 65 in the same phase against Punjab Kings in their previous game, Mumbai’s death bowling was once again brought to light.

Mumbai’s batting power fizzled against Afghanistan’s spin duo after Shubman Gill fifty and a boundary-filled partnership of 71 off just 35 balls between Abhinav Manohar and David Miller for the fifth wicket. Only one of their top six players crossed 25 and they fell short by 55 runs after being reduced to 59 for 5 in the 11th over.

Together with Jason Behrendorff, Tendulkar kept the Titans to 33 for 1 after five overs by keeping things tight early on with his inswing, which got Wriddhiman Saha caught down leg. 

With a strong pull, a scythe through off, and a superb lofted straight drive for six to push the run rate above eight, Gill then began his onslaught by milking Cameron Green for 17 in the final over of the powerplay.

Piyush Chawla was quickly brought on by Mumbai, and Hardik Pandya immediately holed out to long-off for 13. Gill’s pace was unaffected by this, though. 

At the midway point, he drove Chawla through the covers for four and then smacked Kumar Kartikeya to the leg side to register a 30-ball fifty and lead Titans to 84 for 2.

When Gill and Vijay Shankar holed out to long-on in back-to-back overs against the spinners, the innings was poised to go any way at 103 for 4 after 13 overs.

Manohar bravely engaged a stingy Chawla, tipping the scales in Titans’ favor to the point where Mumbai was never able to recover. Chawla began the 15th over with two full deliveries, but the field was already spread out, and Manohar smashed both to the cover boundary. 

Manohar rushed down and hit a straight six on the fifth ball to make it a 17-run over, matching the number of runs Chawla had allowed in his first three.

After that, Manohar and Miller could not be stopped. With Rahul Tewatia’s assistance, the pair smashed three sets of consecutive sixes in the final three overs, giving Mumbai’s bowling enough to consider going into their next match. 

Miller used his golf strokes to conclude Meredith’s final over, which also saw Manohar hole out to long-off for 42 off 21. In the 18th over, Manohar used his raw force to hit Green for the first of those batches.

Miller’s departure for 46 off 22 on the last ball was barely a consolation for Mumbai because by that point Titans had passed 200. Tewatia swiped his first ball for six before slamming two more off Behrendorff’s slower ones in the final over on the leg side to finish on 20 off 5.

Even though the WTC final is still a month and a half away, Mohammed Shami’s early pace and swing accuracy gave Mumbai and India’s Rohit Sharma cause for optimism. Perhaps not. 

Mumbai did not pursue after Shami’s rapid succession of deliveries outside Ishan Kishan’s off stump, which caused him to appear like a deer caught in headlights. At numerous such Shami deliveries, Kishan prodded, stabbed, and poked his way to eight runs off of 13 balls and limped to 10 runs off of 17 at the end of the powerplay.

From the other end, Hardik bowled at a pace of 140-145 km/h with an outswing, taking Rohit’s return catch off a leading edge for just 2, and repeatedly outswinging Green’s swings throughout the powerplay, which left Mumbai floundering at 29 for 1.

Rashid struck right away when Titans combined their Afghan spinners after the powerplay. To finish a difficult stay of 13 off 21, he first caught Kishan off a heave on the leg side, then three balls later, with the aid of a review, he trapped Impact Player Tilak Varma for 2. In the ninth over, despite the asking rate being over 14, Green had already hit two sixes and hammered a third off Noor.

Then, in the eleventh over, Noor struck again, rattling Green’s stumps and also getting the powerful Tim David caught off a full toss for a two-ball duck. With Mumbai at 59 for 5 after 11, there is little possibility of a comeback.

Mumbai would be happy to discover another new batter, the 22-year-old Nehal Wadhera from Punjab, aside from a cameo from Suryakumar Yadav. 

Even though the chase was all but done when he batted, Wadhera still impressed with his composure under pressure and his ability to move around the field to locate holes and hammer massive sixes down the ground and to the leg side. 

Even though Mumbai struggled in yet another difficult chase, he and Suryakumar defeated Noor for 15 runs in the 13th over, and Wadhera concluded with 40 off 21 studded with three sixes and as many fours.