The Mumbai Indians showed why they are the Indian Premier League (IPL) defending champions with a clinical 13-run win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
Choosing to bat first on the challenging Chennai wicket, Mumbai successfully defended their total as the Sunrisers fell 13 runs short.
Mumbai were not cohesive in their batting and ended with a lacklustre but competitive 150-5. This was mainly thanks to a late flourish by Kieron Pollard (35*), the big-hitting West Indian smashing two sixes off the final two balls of the innings.
Before that, the 55-run partnership between Quinton de Kock (40) and Rohit Sharma (32) threatened to set up a huge total for Mumbai. Sharma fell first and this caused a very subdued middle-order reaction with nobody taking charge of the innings.
Medium pacer Vijay Shankar (2-19) and Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-29) picked up the wickets of Sharma and De Kock, respectively. Star leg-spinner Rashid Khan might not have been among the wickets, but he was economical in his four overs which went for just 22.
The Sunrisers’ destructive duo of Jonny Bairstow and captain David Warner were reunited at the top of the order and it paid dividends for them initially with a 67-run stand. Bairstow (43) in particular was in a free-flowing mood scoring at a strike rate of 200. The Englishman was dismissed hit-wicket, a cruel way to considering how well he was striking it.
Once Bairstow was out, the Sunrisers’ resistance crumbled slowly, going from 67-0 to 104-5 mainly due to Mumbai leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (3-19) in the middle overs. Warner was needlessly run out as well by the impressive Hardik Pandya (who had two run-outs on the night) and his team never recovered.
Jaspirit Bumrah (1-14) was once again outstanding in terms of his economy (3.50) and, just like Tuesday against KKR, Trent Boult (3-28) and he closed out the match in a professional fashion. Sunrisers were bowled out tamely for 137.
Mumbai join RCB on two wins but the Sunrisers are still winless after three matches this season, a huge concern for skipper Warner.