The Mumbai Indians moved to the top of the IPL standings with a six-wicket victory against the Gujarat Lions.
After the Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday, the Mumbai Indians went down to second, but their fourth victory in five matches has put them back at the summit against a side desperately lacking in bowling options.
The Lions only took one wicket in their first two matches, and it was their bowling which cost them again on Sunday, with the hosts chasing down 176 pretty comfortably.
Brendon McCullum gave the Lions plenty to work with, as he hit three sixes and six fours for his 64 off just 44 balls. Dinesh Khartik then came in towards the end and fired a 24-ball 48, while Jason Roy’s 14 off seven balls also played its part in the competitive total. New Zealand paceman Mitchell McClenaghan was brilliant for the Mumbai side, taking figures of 2-24 from his four overs.
In response, Nitish Rana was once again his side’s shining light as the 23-year-old took the Orange Cap for most runs in the tournament with his second fifty of the season, as the left-hander scored 53 off 36 balls, this after Parthiv Patel scored a second-ball duck.
The run rate was escalating to 11 an over as Jos Buttler lost his wicket for 26, but Rohit Sharma, who had posted scored of under five for four innings in a row, finally came right in a classy partnership with Kieron Pollard, the hero from their previous victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore with 70.
The big West Indian continued his form with 39 off just 23 balls, in a partnership of 68 with Sharma. Pollard fell in the penultimate over thanks to Andrew Tye (2-34), but the damage was done as Sharma hit the winning runs to finish on 40 off 29 balls.
Photo: Vipin Pawer/IPL/Cricinfo