Pacer Daniel Sams showed an icy temper as he allowed just three runs in the last remaining to help Mumbai Indians score a stunning five-run victory over table top champions Gujarat Titans in an IPL match on Saturday. MI was seemingly down and out with the Titans’ opening pair of Wriddhiman Saha (55 from 40 balls) and Shubman Gill (52 from 36 balls) splitting a 106-run partnership in 12.1 overs while chasing 178. The Titans however, continued to lose wickets, including two crucial run-outs as they needed nine runs in the last one left to win the match. They could only score three, losing one wicket to fall back on their second consecutive loss of the season.
For MI, who already had no chance for a play-off place, it was only their second win of the season, as they remained at the bottom.
Gujarat chose to bowl and limited MI to 177 for six, despite quick innings from opening pair Rohit Sharma (43 from 28 balls) and Ishan Kishan (45 from 29 balls) and Tim David (44 not out from 21 balls).
Rashid Khan was the most successful bowler for the Titans with his two wickets for 24, while Pradeep Sangwan and Lockie Ferguson got one each. Alzarri Joseph also took a wicket, but he bled 41 runs in his four overs.
Pursuing 178, Saha looked energized as he broke two fours and a six of Jasprit Bumrah’s first over, before crushing Riley Meredith for two boundaries.
Shubman Gill beat Murugan Ashwin for a six, before taking four more as the fifty-run tie quickly rose, bringing the Titans to 54 for one in six overs.
Chandigarh’s batter exploded in the eighth over with three limits off Daniel Sams, who had thrown a brilliant lead over.
Kumar Kartikeya was next in line as he delivered 15 runs, with Saha hitting his first ball for a four and Gill producing a clean hit long before dragging the bowler for another four.
Soon there were 100 in 11 overs and Saha also completed his fifty.
Gill also joined him when his Pollard single took him to half a century of 33 balls.
Both Saha and Gill have each crossed six limits and two maximums.
A bizarre hit-wicket ended Sai Sudharsan’s (14) innings, while Hardik Pandya (24) was short on an unnecessary single.
Needing 20 of the last two overs, Miller put Bumrah over a deep mid-wicket, but the Titans couldn’t lose nine of the last more than the game.
Previously invited to bat, Rohit appeared to be on good terms after a string of low scores as he took the early initiative and dominated proceedings with his stroke play while Kishan played second fiddle.
The MI skipper was particularly hard on Joseph as he crushed the bowler for four limits and a six, while Kishan joined the party in the fifth over, hitting Rashid Khan with a pair of fours to bring up their 50-run partnership to bring.
Rohit then hit Lockie Ferguson for a four while MI scored 63 for no loss, their best in power play this season.
Rashid broke through in the eighth over, clearing the dangerous Rohit, who was stuck up front as he looked for a reverse shot.
Kishan then took over and danced across the field to send Rahul Tewatia across the middle of the wicket.
Suryakumar Yadav produced his signature whip to the max, but was killed on his next attempt at Pradeep Sangwan.
Back on offense, Joseph struck with a slower delivery that eventually sent Kishan to Rashid halfway through the wicket as MI slid to 111 for 3 in 12 overs.
Kieron Pollard lived dangerously with Sangwan and Ferguson bowling two calm overs and was eventually cleared by Rashid, who set up the West Indian with two googlies.
So MI seemed to have messed up the solid start, but Tilak Verma (21) and Tim David then tried to team up with the latter, launching Mohammed Shami for two fours in mid-off and long leg respectively.
Varma got a run-out with Hardik Pandya who produced a direct pitch, while Daniel Sams also died with a duck from the second ball.
However, David skipped Shami for two maximums in the latter to take the team past the 170 run.