IPL-8: MI back in the hunt

Pacers McClenaghan and Malinga take seven wickets between themselves as Mumbai Indians beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs to keep play-off hopes alive

Mumbai Indians couldn't have asked for a better show to register their first home win of the Indian Premier League-8 at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

MI pacer Mitchell McClenaghan celebrates the wicket of Ravi Bopara on Saturday. Pics/Suresh KK
MI pacer Mitchell McClenaghan celebrates the wicket of Ravi Bopara on Saturday. Pics/Suresh KK 

Except for a minor blip in the middle order while batting, Mumbai Indians were clinical in all the three departments as they crushed Sunrisers Hyderabad (137-8) by 20 runs, thanks to man-of-the-match Lasith Malinga's 4-23 and Mitchell McClenaghan (3-20).

Yesterday's win, coupled with Kings XI Punjab's defeat in Chennai, took MI to the seventh position.

However, MI skipper Rohit Sharma said the win has put them back in the qualifying race. "This win has put us back in the hunt. It was a crucial win for us. Now, we know exactly what to do.

"I am not looking too far ahead though at the moment," Rohit said in the post-match press conference.

Mumbai Indians finally got the kind of start they were looking for in the Powerplay, scoring 46-1 in six overs before Hyderabad bowlers reined in the hosts. MI managed to score 95 runs off the last 66 balls and lost six wickets to eventually post 157-8 in their 20 overs.

Lasith Malinga bowls at the Wankhede on Saturday
Lasith Malinga bowls at the Wankhede on Saturday 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most impressive of the Hyderabad bowlers, claiming three crucial wickets — Kieron Pollard (24-ball 33), Ambati Rayudu (7) and Harbhajan Singh (0) — as Mumbai Indians failed to capitalise on the start provided by Lendl Simmons (51).

Dale Steyn (2-38), Praveen Kumar (2-35) and Karn Sharma, who got the big wicket of MI skipper Rohit Sharma (24), kept taking wickets at regular intervals to thwart MI's momentum.

'Wasn't a decent total'
Rohit accepted their batting in the middle order could have been better. "Our batting could have been better. It was not a decent total. It is not a concern. It happens sometimes that while trying to up the run rate you play a few shots and lose wickets," said the MI skipper.

Rohit was pleased with the bowlers' efforts, especially after the way SRH openers Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner went hammer and tongs in the first four overs (39-0). However, once Malinga, who finished with 4-1-23-4, removed Warner (9) and McClenaghan dismissed Dhawan (29-ball 42) in back-to-back overs, Hyderabad lost their momentum and never recovered.

Moody not impressed
SRH coach Tom Moody was not too impressed with their middle order's display. "We had utmost confidence in the middle order stepping up when the opportunity presented itself. Today there was the perfect opportunity for our middle order to build on a very good platform both Shikhar and Dave gave us in the chase. (But) we failed miserably.

"At the end of the day, that was a very bad loss for us. We bowled and fielded well, but a disastrous batting performance left us embarrassed," Moody said.

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