There is no ending to Mumbai Indians’ woes as KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants handed Rohit Sharma and his men their eighth straight defeat at the Wankhede Stadium on April 24. Rahul led from the front, hitting another season’s century against Mumbai to help his team post a competitive 168/6. Lucknow then restricted Mumbai to 132/8 to win the match by 36 runs. With this win, Lucknow moved to the 4th spot in the points table, while Mumbai is still at the bottom of the table, yet to notch up their first win.
Mumbai asked Lucknow to take the first strike as dew could hamper defending any total at the small Wankhede ground. Lucknow began well, with Rahul first putting a stand of 27 runs with Quinton de Kock (10), and later a 58-run stand with Manish Pandey (22). However, the bulk of the scoring was done by Rahul who looked to be batting on anything other than the slow Wankhede pitch. Jasprit Bumrah dismissed de Kock, while Kieron Pollard took the wicket of Pandey.
At 102/2 in 13 over, Lucknow looked in a great position to score a total above 180. But a mini-collapse saw Rahul turn both accumulator and anchor for the sake of his team. Marcus Stoinis was dismissed for a three-ball duck by Daniel Sams, while Krunal Pandya holed out in the deep for 1 off Pollard.
Rahul then found a partner in Ayush Badoni to support him till the end. The two put up a 47-run stand in 4.1 over before Badoni was dismissed by Riley Meredith for 14. Rahul got to his century in the last over. He remained unbeaten on 62-ball 103 not out with 12 fours and 4 sixes. A couple of games before, Rahul had struck 103 not out against Mumbai at the Brabourne Stadium in a winning cause.
Mumbai began well with captain Rohit Sharma batting aggressively, while Ishan Kishan struggled to get going. Rohit and Kishan put on a 49-run stand in just 7.1 overs before the latter was dismissed in an unfortunate manner. Kishan tried to cut a wide ball from Ravi Bishnoi, but he under-edged it to de Kock’s shoes, and that ball bounced to Jason Holder at first slip. Kishan made 20-ball 8. South African young sensation Dewald Brevis then perished for 3, giving a catch to Dushmantha Chameera off Mohsin Khan’s bowling.
Rohit then attempted a wild slog sweep against Krunal Pandya, but only got a thick edge to K Gowtham. Rohit made 31-ball 39 with 5 fours and 1 six. When Suryakumar Yadav fell for 7, giving a catch to Rahul off part-timer Badoni, it looked curtain for Mumbai at 67/4.
But Tilak Varma combined with Pollard to resurrect Mumbai’s innings, stitching a stand of 57 runs for the fifth wicket. But the pressure of the required run-rate got to Tilak who holed out in the deep to Bishnoi off Jason Holder. Tilak made 27-ball 38 with 2 fours and 2 sixes.
Pollard was the last hope for Mumbai, but he too disappointed, failing to clear long on, holing out to Deepak Hooda of Pandya’s bowling for 19. Mumbai was restricted to 132/8 to lose the match by 36 runs.
Brief scores: LSG 168/6 (KL Rahul 103 not out, Kieron Pollard 2/8) beats Mumbai Indians 132/8 (Rohit Sharma 39, Krunal Pandya 3/19) by 36 runs.