Match Report: M54 - GL vs MI

Gujarat Lions seal playoff berth with commanding win over Mumbai Indians

Mumbai 21 May 2016
The Gujarat Lions became the first team to seal a berth in the VIVO IPL 2016 Playoffs after they defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by six wickets on Saturday night. After the Mumbai Indians had posted 172-8 having been put in to bat, the Gujarat Lions chased down the runs in the 18th over, losing only four wickets in the process.

Though the Lions’ run-chase began with Aaron Finch being dismissed of the second ball of the innings, the home side wrested back the initiative in splendid style, with Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina unleashing a flurry of strokes. McCullum hit the first boundary of the chase, but it was Raina who took the Mumbai Indians bowlers to the cleaners first; he targeted their highest wicket-taker of the season – Mitchell McClenaghan, hitting him for three boundaries and a six in the third over.

McCullum joined in the act soon after and MI continued to bleed runs from both ends. McCullum hit Krunal Pandya for two boundaries and a six in the fifth over and then picked up consecutive boundaries of the sixth over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. By the time the Powerplay overs were bowled, the home side had raced to 70 for 1, and the required run rate which was 8.65 at the start of the chase had been brought down to 7.35.

Both Raina and McCullum continued to find the boundary regularly; even the experienced Harbhajan Singh couldn’t put the plug on the spree of boundaries. In the tenth over, almost against the run of play, McCullum was dismissed when he attempted to sweep Harbhajan Singh, but played around the ball and had the ball clipping the top of leg stump bail behind him. McCullum made 48 from 27 balls, studded with eight fours and a six, and the 96 runs he scored in the company of his captain came at the rate of 10.67.

Raina perished a couple of overs later when he top edged a pull shot to be caught by the wicketkeeper; the southpaw made 58 from 36 balls and hit eight boundaries and two sixes. A belligerent Dwayne Smith then came out and blazed away, hitting four boundaries and two sixes in his 23-ball 37. Ravindra Jadeja, who hit the winning runs, remained unbeaten on 21 (15 balls). The 5th wicket pair added 51 runs in 5.3 overs and helped their team past the finish line in 17.5 overs.

R Vinay Kumar was the pick of the Mumbai Indians bowlers; he returned with figures of 3-1-17-2, in the process becoming the fifth Indian bowler to pick up 100 wickets in the IPL. Jasprit Bumrah and Harbhajan Singh picked up a wicket apiece. Overall though, MI had a forgettable outing, with the bowlers dishing out several boundary balls and the fielders guilty of lapses in the field.

Earlier in the evening, the defending champions, put in to bat, slipped to 45 for 3, before Nitish Rana and Jos Buttler rescued the innings with a 75-run partnership. The left-handed Rana took time to get going; he had scored 10 runs from 11 deliveries at the 10-over mark, after which he accelerated. The first signs of aggression came in the eleventh over when he hit Ravindra Jadeja for a six and a four, and followed that up with a four and a six off Dwayne Smith at the start of the following over. He then took a liking for the left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati and hit him for three boundaries in the 15th over, in the process bringing up his half-century. The youngster was dismissed in the 17th over when he miscued a slower delivery from Dwayne Bravo and holed out to square leg; he made 70 from 36 balls, and hit seven boundaries and 4 sixes.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Bravo and Praveen Kumar bowled three very good overs at the end – conceding only 19 runs, while also picking up three wickets, to restrict the visitors to 172-8. Buttler (33 from 31 balls) and Rohit Sharma (30 from 17 balls) were the only other noteworthy contributors in the MI innings.

For the home side, the wickets were shared by Kulkarni, Bravo, Smith and Bravo, who all picked up two wickets apiece. The bowlers picked up three wickets in the powerplay overs, then kept things tight for most part of the middle overs, before finishing tidily.

Brief Scores

Mumbai Indians
172-8 in 20.0 Overs (Nitish Rana 70, Jos Buttler 33, Dwayne Bravo 2-22, Praveen Kumar 2-24) lost to Gujarat Lions 173-4 in 17.5 Overs (Brendon McCullum 48, Suresh Raina 58, R Vinay Kumar 2-17)

Man of the Match:
Suresh Raina, for his 36-ball 58.
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