Mumbai Indians have done what they needed to. They tracked down a target of 201 with two overs to spare and gave their NRR a massive boost, and all that remains now is wait and watch. For MI to seal the last available playoff spot, they will need Royal Challengers Bangalore to lose against Gujarat Titans tonight or for that match in Bengaluru to be rained out.
Are Rajasthan Royals out?
Yes. They were in a three-way race with MI and RCB but are now stranded on 14 points, which will not be enough for qualification. MI already have 16 points and RCB are the only other side that can get there.
MI vs SRH in a minute
Rohit Sharma backed his side’s strengths and history and opted to chase, bringing in Kumar Kartikeya’s left-arm spin for SRH’s middle order dominated by right-hand batters. Markram, in turn, gave opportunities to the likes of Mayank Agarwal and Vivrant Sharma, both of whom added 140 runs for the first wicket and set up SRH to 200, a near-par total that was perhaps never going to be enough on Wankhede’s true pitch. And so it proved against the inexperienced bowling attack of SRH as Cameron Green completed a 47-ball hundred with the winning single and kept MI in the hunt for playoffs.
All perfect about MI’s chase?
Yes, for they were never behind the eight-ball. And a lot of that was down to sending Green at No.3, a position he’s done well at but where hasn’t always been given an opportunity. His maiden IPL hundred and the pace at which it was scored (it’s the fastest hundred this season) also gave Rohit Sharma some time to settle in and find his way to a half-century, only his third in 41 innings. The 128 runs between the two batters came off only 10.2 overs and really set the chase in motion after Ishan Kishan’s early dismissal. Suryakumar Yadav came and did exactly what Rohit did: play the enabler for Green and hand him the strike. Nine of the 16 balls that Suryakumar faced were singles and that’s rare.
What about the bowling from SRH?
Was it a very good pitch to bat on? Yes. Was the bowling poor? Also yes. The inexperience in the bowling attack came to the fore especially during the Green-Rohit stand for the second wicket. Green faced Bhuvneshwar for one ball until he was on 75, and it was evident in the way he scored his runs: at an easy pace and all round the park. Nitish Reddy, Umran Malik and Kartik Tyagi had pace but little control, and Vivrant wasn’t quite the legspinner Markram wanted him to be. To be honest, it would have been unfair to expect any better from the SRH bowlers, five of whom came into this match with a total experience of 47 IPL matches. There was only so much Bhuvneshwar Kumar could do on his own, and it showed. What else hurt SRH? Beyond the chasing hoodoo and inexperienced bowling? The catching. Rohit was dropped twice by Sanvir Singh, who was playing only his third match this season. How did SRH end up with only 200/3 from 140/0? It was down to change in lengths from MI bowlers, who had been too full early on in the innings and had to wait nearly 14 overs for the first breakthrough. Akash Madhwal was rewarded as soon as he dragged his length back, accounting for both the openers with short balls. And like it happens after a big partnership, wickets tumbled in a cluster. Madhwal sent back Heinrich Klaasen and Harry Brook off consecutive balls, both bowled, as SRH were only able to add only 43 runs in the last five overs. That’s where this game was lost before Green took over with his power-hitting. Any positives for SRH? Yes. Vivrant with the bat. The young batter from Jammu & Kashmir used his feet adeptly against pace and spin, and brought up a fifty off only 36 balls. Mayank Agarwal impressed too with a 32-ball fifty and a century-like celebration but we already know what he’s capable of. Does the SRH management now know too? That’s a good question to ponder going into the next season. Brief Scores: SRH 200/3 (Mayank 83; Madhwal 4-27) lost to MI 201/2 in 18 overs (Green 100, Rohit 56) by 8 wickets