Mumbai Indians, one of the most consistent sides in Indian Premier League, had missed out on a playoffs berth by a whisker last season. However, the three-time champions didn’t leave it to the eleventh hour and qualified for the knockout stages of IPL 2019 by surviving a Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai Indians climbed to the second spot of the eight-team IPL 2019 points table. Rohit’s men now have 16 points from 13 matches and have a better Net Run Rate than third-placed Delhi Capitals, who along with Chennai Super Kings are in the playoffs as well.
Having set a 163-run target for Sunrisers on a sluggish wicket, Mumbai Indians did well to limit the visitors to 162. Manish Pandey played a blinder as he remained unbeaten on 71 from 47 balls and hit a six off the final ball to force a Super Over.
Mumbai Indians though executed their plans wonderfully well in the Super Over as Jasprit Bumrah conceded just 8 runs in four balls after Manish Pandey and Mohammad Nabi, who had played a cameo in Sunrisers’ chase, walked out to bat in the Super Over.
Rohit Sharma sent in-form Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard to gun down 9 runs in the Super Over and the big-hitting duo got past the finish line in just 3 balls. Hardik hit a six off Rashid Khan’s first ball and Pollard kept his cool to knock a double in the third ball.
Speaking after Mumbai Indians’ Super Over win, Rohit Sharma said: “Feels good knowing that we are amongst the top four now. Not easy to come through the ranks and we have played some consistent cricket throughout and we have the results for it.”
Rohit heaps rich praise on Jasprit Bumrah
Rohit conceded Mumbai didn’t put enough runs on the board but he lauded his bowlers for their efforts to help the team earn two crucial points. Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya picked up two wickets each and young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar just gave away 21 runs in his four-over spell as Mumbai put the brakes on Sunrisers scoring rate in the absence of the visitors’ in-form openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.
“We wanted to put runs on the board, the pitch played good for all 40 overs and runs on the board is crucial and I knew that we didn’t get the score we wanted but we knew if we get early wickets we can put the pressure on their middle order. Manish batted really well and he played some excellent shots but I think the game-changing moment was the eight overs of spin. They bowled very well and contained the batsmen which was very important at that stage,” Rohit said.
Heaping rich praise on Bumrah, the MI captain added: “Bumrah has been brilliant for us and he keeps improving every game and he is hungry for success. He wants to be out there and express himself and he understands that he is a lead bowler for us. He held the nerve in the crucial overs and in the Super Over as well.”
Fantastic effort from Manish Pandey: Kane Williamson
Meanwhile, Kane Williamson, the losing captain, lauded Manish Pandey’s valiant knock. The in-form No.3 batsman stepped up and waged a lone battle, bringing up his third half-century in four matches.
Despite not clinching two points, Sunrisers Hyderabad remain on the fourth spot with 12 points from 13 matches. They will next face Royal Challengers Bangalore away from home on Saturday.
“I have experience of few Super Overs and that time too, I finished on the wrong side. It was a fantastic effort by Manish and Nabi to get us so close. The first half was very good for us, our bowlers did a brilliant job. We just couldn’t get over the line,” Williamson said.