Defending a poultry total of 152, Mumbai Indians looked dead and buried when Nitish Rana was smoking it to all corners to reduce the equation to 40 of the last six overs with six wickets remaining in the bank.
With the likes of Nitish Rana and Shakib Al Hasan at the crease and the duo of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell to follow, the game had a foregone conclusion written all over it.
But Nitish Rana’s brain-fade against Rahul Chahar, who claimed 4/27 in his four overs, opened the floodgates for Mumbai Indians, and the defending champions did not relent post that.
Krunal Pandya got rid of Shakib Al Hasan and while Andre Russell was dropped off his bowling twice [once by him and then by Jasprit Bumrah], the left-arm orthodox did a brilliant job by bowling four economic overs for just 13.
Rohit Sharma lauded Krunal Pandya for his game-changing spell and the rest of his bowlers, who did a brilliant job in containing Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik in the end.
”Was a great fightback, excellent fightback by each one of them. You don’t see a game like this often. Lots of confidence from this game and we move forward. KKR batted brilliantly in the powerplay. Rahul came and got us crucial wickets in the middle. Krunal bowling those overs at the end was vital as well. It was a complete team effort and credit to all the bowlers,” said Rohit Sharma at the post-match presentation.
Rohit Sharma, however, pinpointed to the back-to-back failures of the Mumbai Indians’ middle-order’s inability to close out the innings as they had done in the previous season.
Just like the last game, Mumbai Indians much-vaunted middle-order failed to fire as they lost wickets in a heap to eventually get bowled out for 152.
While Rohit exuded confidence in his misfiring middle-order to come good, he heaped high praise on Suryakumar Yadav, who creamed a sumptuous half-century.
”As batters you need to carry on. The trend in Chennai is you can’t hit from ball one. You have to plan before you go into bat. We were 15-20 runs short. Should have batted well at the fag end. We need to understand how we need to bat at the death but I don’t want to take anything away from the boys. SKY has carried his form well. He plays fearless and it’s a positive sign for us in the first few overs. We need a guy there to do that. We have done the finishing part well as a team, just that we need to understand the surfaces here and adapt,” he added.