Mumbai Indians might have just about crawled into the playoffs but on Wednesday it showed why it is the most successful side in the history of the IPL (Indian Premier League) with a clinical performance as it thrashed Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs in the Eliminator here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
Right from the moment Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat, the five-time champion came hard at Super Giants and posted 182 for eight thanks to quickfire knocks from Cameron Green (41 off 23 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (33 off 20b).
However, the day belonged to Akash Madhwal, who blew away Super Giants’ batting line-up with a sensational spell of fast bowling to finish with figures of 3.3-0-5-5 as he helped his side bundle out the opposition for just 101.
Chasing 183 for victory, LSG’s reply never got going as its batters kept throwing their wickets away. Madhwal gave Mumbai the first breakthrough when he removed opener Prerak Mankad before Chris Jordan dismissed the dangerous Kyle Mayers.
Only Marcus Stoinis (40, 27b) looked in some control and gave LSG hope during his brief stay. But the match swung decisively in MI’s favour in the 10th over when Madhwal struck twice off consecutive deliveries.
The pacer first bowled Ayush Badoni before he had the in-from Nicholas Pooran caught behind with a peach of a delivery that swung into the left-hander and moved enough to find the edge as LSG slumped to 74 for five.
Shortly after that, Stoinis was run out when he collided with his partner Deepak Hooda as they tried to complete a double, which effectively sealed the game in Mumbai’s favour.
Earlier, Green and Suryakumar’s 66-run stand for the third wicket helped set the platform for a competitive total for Rohit’s men.
The Australian, who scored a ton in the previous match, continued from where he left off as he used his cut shots to good effect against pace and spin.
At the other end, Suryakumar displayed some of his best hits with a few of his trademark scoops behind the wicket that sailed over the fence as Mumbai reached 100 in the 11th over.
Afghan Pacer Naveen-ul-Haq briefly got LSG back in the game with some clever bowling. He first had Suryakumar checking his shot to a leg-cutter and giving a simple catch to long-on before castling Green two balls later with an off-cutter to leave Mumbai at 105 for four.
But cameos from Tilak Varma (26) and later Nehal Wadhera (23) helped Mumbai finish with an above-par score which proved more than enough.
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