LSG vs MI: KL Rahul’s masterclass hands Mumbai their 6th loss in a row.
This is Mumbai’s worst start to their campaign in the history of the Indian Premier League.
- LSG won a see-sawing game that was decided in the final over
- KL Rahul scored an exceptional century to set the tone early in the game
- Rohit & Ishan failed to put MI in a big spot of bother in the IPL
Mumbai Indians slumped to the joint-worst start in the history of the Indian Premier League, losing six out of their first six games in the 15th edition of the cash-rich league, in Brabourne Stadium on Saturday, 16 April. Rohit Sharma’s men fell short by 18 runs while chasing 200 set by Lucknow Super Giants in the first innings, owing to a scintillating century by KL Rahul.
Rahul led from the front, scoring 103* off just 60 balls, becoming the only player to score a hundred in his 100th game in the IPL. His knock included 9 fours and 5 sixes to set the tone in the first innings itself, one that MI just about succeeded to break in the final overs of the game.
A see-sawing game:
After a quiet start to the innings, a glimmer of hope was brought by none other than Suryakumar Yadav, who stitched a 64-run partnership with Tilak Verma. Just when Mumbai thought they were starting to build momentum, Lucknow came back strong after their strategic timeout in the 13th over to seal the game.
Three very good overs from LSG after the time-out changed the complexion of the game and they grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck by picking two wickets in quick succession.
The dismissal of Verma and Surya meant that MI had two fresh batters in the crease, but like it has happened many, many times in the history of the IPL, Mumbai was not ready to let go.
Kieron Pollard after a long slump in the early days of the IPL brought his familiar self back into the game and smashed 25 off just 14 balls.
Dushmantha Chameera was hit for two huge sixes in the 17th over, leaking 16 off his penultimate over and Jason Holder was smacked for 17, majorly by Unadkat, who chose to channel his big-hitting capabilities in the most difficult of situations.
Fielding makes the difference:
Needing 26 off the final over of the game, LSG affected two run-outs. One of Unadkat (14 off 6) in the first ball off the over and then of Murugan Ashwin (6 of 2) in the third.
Unlike Mumbai, they saved several boundaries in the outfield, managing to keep twos to one and taking crucial catches. Both Fabian Allen and Pollard were dismissed off excellent catches off Chameera and Marcus Stoinis respectively as Lucknow fielders chose to fully back up their bowlers on the day.
At the end of it, MI was restricted to 181 runs off their registered 20 overs, surrendering the game by 18 runs.
Failure for Rohit & Kishan:
Coming into today’s game against LSG, head coach Mahela Jayawardene was fairly confident that Rohit Sharma was going to come through sooner or later in the tournament. He had stated that Rohit was looking in good touch and it was just about converting his starts into a big score.
However, that did not happen. Rohit looked uncomfortable against the searing pace combination of Dushmantha Chameera and Avesh Khan, who troubled him with their lines and accuracy. He hit a boundary off Avesh after being beaten by a peach of delivery but then got out trying to guide the pacer down to the third man.
If Mumbai is to do better, the captain and his most expensive buy in the auction will have to pull their socks off and take charge at the top.
The rise & rise of Dewald Brevis:
Is it time to give ‘Baby AB’ his own name? This incredible talent of the South African shores came into the IPL with quite a reputation to his name. But if the world expects you to fill into the shoes of a generational batsman, it indeed brings a lot of added pressure, especially in a tournament like IPL.
However, at the moment, all looks well for Brevis, who scored yet another rapid 31 off just 13 balls, before hitting it straight into the hands of Deepak Hooda at extra cover.
Brevis showed his ability against pace by taking on both Avesh and Chameera, tormenting them in his brief stay. There was a collective groan across the stadium when Brevis got out, and one can understand why as the teenager is slowly starting to become a fan favorite. If Brevis manages to develop well, one can hope for a long stay for him in the IPL, and possibly at Mumbai Indians.
KL Rahul takes on MI:
Earlier in the day, LSG captain KL Rahul was off to a blistering start after seeing off the first few balls to pile on the misery on the Mumbai bowling line-up. Rahul raced to a half-century partnership for the opening stand before Quinton de Kock was caught plumb in front by Fabian Allen in the sixth over of the game.
MI used six bowlers in the powerplay overs of the game but failed to slow down KL Rahul who looked set for a big one very early in the innings. He saw off the tough overs of Bumrah and took on the likes of Tymal Mills and Fabian Allen.
After playing second fiddle to de Kock in the opening overs, KL started punishing Mumbai bowlers who went short against him. Like the opposition captain, KL Rahul is well regarded for his ability against stuff that is aimed at his head and scored a stunning century off just 56 balls – the first player to do so in their 100th game, and the first player to achieve this feat for the Lucknow franchise.
Rahul found support in Manish Pandey in the middle overs, whose inclusion in the line-up worked magic for the Lucknow franchise. Pandey played a decent cameo off 38 off 29 to set it up for the rest of the lineup.
MI comeback in death:
At the time Manish Pandey was dismissed, LSG were cruising at 124/2 in 13.2 overs. With power hitters like Marcus Stoinis and Deepak Hood still to come, the stage was set for LSG to take the target beyond 200 runs.
However, LSG fell way short of going all out in the last five, as Jayadev Unadkat and Jasprit Bumrah piled on the pressure on the LSG line-up.
49 runs were scored in the last five overs, with 22 coming off it from Tymal Mills’ 19th. Four overs between Bumrah and Unadkat went just for 27 runs, something that wasn’t ideal for LSG, but they managed enough against Mills to put up a decent total.
At the end of the day, it proved to be too much for Mumbai who has now lost their sixth match in a row, while Lucknow has moved up the order with eight points to their name and looks like a very strong group of players who are gelling well at the moment.