Parthiv Patel: Expensive final overs not to blame for loss

Mumbai Indians gave away 21 runs in the last two overs in the Indian Premier League Qualifier on Tuesday, but wicketkeeper and opener Parthiv Patel refused to blame it for its 20-run loss.

Parthiv Patel scored a half-century for Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.   -  Vivek Bendre

When bowling, Mumbai Indians had things well in control before losing the plot in the last two overs - it conceded 41 runs in those overs - but opener Parthiv Patel refuted suggestions that it affected its chances in the IPL Qualifier against Rising Pune Supergiant.

“These kinds of things can happen in this format when someone like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni is batting. Obviously we were in control, but I won’t say it (loss) was just because of those two overs,” said Parthiv in the post-match media conference at the Wankhede Stadium. Dhoni smashed five sixes, taking Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah to the cleaners.

Patel defended Bumrah for bowling short of a length instead of yorkers in the first four balls of the last over. “If you see the last couple of games or even last year, he had been successful against Dhoni with the kind of length he was bowling. He obviously is a good player and has been bowling brilliantly throughout the tournament. You got to sometimes give credit to the batsman.

“(After) one odd game like this, you have to give credit to someone (Dhoni) who has played so many knocks like this.”

Bumrah bowled successive dot-ball yorkers to Dhoni to end the over and the innings. Resting key players in its last match was also not a factor in the loss, said Parthiv. “Not really. I had niggle and stayed back. I played with niggles in the last three or four games. It (break) was needed and rightly so and we were sure of the first or second position,” said Parthiv who top scored for his side with a 52.

Supergiant’s total of 163 was a “par score” at the Wankhede stadium, according to the wicketkeeper. “We were thinking 160, but we lost too many wickets after six overs,” he said referring to Supergiant rookie slow bowler, Washinton Sundar’s triple strike early on that had Mumbai stuttering 51 for 4 after 8 overs.

Sundar’s victims included Mumbai Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma and two other seasoned players - Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard. Parthiv also backed the team management’s decision to drop Mumbai Indians’ highly successful and experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh from the game. “You can look at it in both ways. Seeing all right-handers it was decided to go in with two away going (spinning) bowlers,” said Parthiv on the decision to leave out Harbhajan and include leg-spinner Karn Sharma and left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya.

All is not lost for Mumbai Indians in its quest for the title, pointed out Parthiv, and said the key now ahead of the Eliminator in Bengaluru on May 19 was to put the loss to Supergiant on the back burner. “We got to believe in ourselves. We got another chance because we played well throughout the tournament. That’s the reason we got another chance of playing the Eliminator. It’s very important for us to forget what has happened today and treat the next game as the semifinal.”

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