High five for Madhwal and Mumbai Indians, walk out for LSG in IPL Eliminator | Cricket

A T20 game is rarely decided with about ten overs remaining in the second innings. Something similar happened in the Eliminator on Wednesday as Mumbai Indians beat Lucknow Supergiants by 81 runs at Chepauk.

Mumbai Indians bowler Akash Madhwal celebrates with teammate Rohit Sharma (PTI)

Chasing 183 for a spot in Qualifier 2, the final nail in Lucknow’s coffin came in the 12th over when Marcus Stoinis was dismissed for 40. Got reduced to 89/6, there was no way back. Akash Madhwal, the 29-year-old Mumbai Indians pacer from Roorkee in Uttarakhand, playing in his debut season and only his seventh game, was the star of the show, claiming figures of 5/5 in 3.3 overs.

Madhwal ended the proceedings with a jump of joy, after bowling Mohsin Khan and firing a lethal yorker to wrap up Lucknow in 16.3 overs. Mumbai’s emphatic win means they will play Gujarat Titans in Friday’s Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad. The winner will face Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday.

While Cameron Green was Mumbai’s top-scorer with 41, the other batsmen took the five-time champions to 182/8. The difference between the two sides was evident in the ground fielding as Mumbai suffered three crucial run-outs.

For Lucknow, Naveen-ul-Haq – he had grabbed attention earlier in the season following a spat with Virat Kohli – was the lone bright spot. The Afghan seamer claimed 4/38 with a clever assortment of variations. A section of the crowd chanted Kohli’s name while he was working, only seeming to satisfy his desire to take wickets.

Opting to bat, MI were extremely active in the powerplay, reaching 62/2 at a run rate of 10.33, despite losing Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma. Expecting the surface to aid spin from the start, LSG skipper Krunal Pandya started with himself and off-spinner K Gautam. Mumbai put pressure on him. Kishan favors the region square on the off side for each of his three fours. Sharma hits Krunal for a six over mid-on and then sweeps it over short fine leg for a four.

With Mumbai at 29/0 after three overs, Krunal turned to his pacers and was immediately rewarded. Naveen was successful in getting Sharma caught at cover on his second ball. Yash Thakur induced Kishan to edge a delivery that hit short.

Those successes, however, haven’t prompted Green and Suryakumar Yadav to exercise restraint. Green took advantage of the width on offer from Naveen, hitting two fours in his first three balls. Suryakumar was equally buzzing, pulling off that trademark shuffle across the stumps to help him hit a fourth-ball six over the keeper.

Suryakumar would repeat that shot three overs later. Green relied on brute force. The onslaught meant that his fifty-run stand came in just 28 deliveries, setting the stage for MI to knock Lucknow out of the competition.

If LSG were still in the contest at that stage, it was because of Naveen’s strikes. In the 11th over, he dismissed the set batsmen in three balls. A 107.3 kmph leg-cutter caught Suryakumar behind, his mischievous drive traveling to Gowtham over long-off. Green’s downfall began with a 104.9 off-cutter that broke the stumps.

While Tilak Verma hit leggie Ravi Bishnoi for a six over mid-wicket in the 12th over, they could manage only 15 runs in three overs without a boundary. Verma finally broke the shackles against Naveen in the 16th over, again relying on the sweep shot to get a much-needed maximum. But Naveen won that short fight, yet another slower ball in the 18th over ended the left-hander’s innings.

Tim David also got out without making the most of the slog overs. It was then left to Nehal Wadhera, who came in as an impact batsman at No.7, scoring 23 off 12 balls to ensure a brilliant end to the Mumbai Indians innings.

In reply, Kyle Mayers – the strong batting arm for Lucknow’s second innings – began with three fours in the first two overs off Jason Behrendorff. His stay was short-lived though, as a back-of-length ball from Chris Jordan hit the edge of the bat and looped towards Green at mid-on. With opener Prerak Mankad already back in the dugout, Stoinis and Krunal had to lead the Lucknow counter-attack.

While the Australian did a commendable job of attacking the MI bowlers, Krunal was unable to get going. Desperation was mounting, as the Lucknow skipper was caught by David at long-on after an unsuccessful attempt to cross the boundary.

If this was unpleasant from Lucknow’s point of view, there was more suffering to come. In the 10th over, Madhwal dismissed Ayush Badoni and Pooran on consecutive balls. While Badoni was bowled after a wild swipe across the line, Pooran fired a probing delivery outside off to the wicketkeeper.

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