The Mumbai Indians stormed into Qualifier 2
with a dominant performance against the Lucknow Super Giants in Chennai,
hammering Krunal Pandya’s side by 81 runs to put them on the brink of another
IPL final. Akash Madhwal starred for the five-time champions in the do-or-die
encounter, picking up a stunning 5 for 5 in 3.3 overs to dismiss Lucknow for
just 101 after Rohit Sharma’s side posted a commanding total of 183 while
Mumbai’s clinical showing at Chepauk sets
up a meeting with the Gujarat Titans in the second qualifier in Ahmedabad on
Friday, with the Chennai Super Kings awaiting the winner in the grand finale on
Despite the worries of a sluggish Chennai
wicket, MI burst out of the gates swinging after opting to bat first. Rohit
Sharma and Ishan Kishan provided the early fireworks, scoring 29 runs in the
first three overs before Cameron Green picked up from where he left off against
SRH after the opener’s dismissals. The Australian made full use of the fielding
restrictions, slamming Naveen-ul-Haq and Krunal Pandya to help Mumbai finish
the powerplay on 62 for 2.
Green continued his charge through the
middle alongside Suryakumar Yadav to put Mumbai in a strong position. The pair
smashed towering sixes against Mohsin Khan and added 66 runs for the third
wicket. Mumbai remained in control at 98 for 2 at the halfway mark, but
Naveen-ul-Haq dismissed both set batters in the 11th over with his slower
deliveries to pull LSG back into the contest.
Lucknow capitalised on the Afghan’s double
blow to neutralize Mumbai’s batting muscle at the death, but impact substitute
Nehal Wadhera produced a priceless cameo of 23 from 12 balls to take Mumbai to
a promising total of 182.
In response, Lucknow lost both openers in
the powerplay, but Marcus Stoinis played the role of the aggressor early on,
smashing 18 against Hrithik Shokeen in the sixth over to get the chase up and
running. However, Lucknow’s innings collapsed dramatically after the powerplay
as Akash Madhwal ripped through their middle order.
Krunal Pandya started the slide by holing
out to long-on against Piyush Chawla before Madhwal removed Ayush Badoni and
Nicholas Pooran off successive deliveries to turn the game in Mumbai’s favour.
The Super Giants also shot themselves in the foot with some calamitous running
between the wickets. Marcus Stoinis was run out for 40 after a mix-up with
Deepak Hooda, while Krishnappa Gowtham was sent back by a direct hit from Rohit
Sharma, leaving LSG reeling at 92 for 7.
Madhwal returned to finish the job for
Mumbai after Deepak Hooda became Lucknow’s third run-out victim, dismissing
Ravi Bishnoi and Mohsin Khan to bowl the Super Giants out for 101 and complete
his five-fer, registering the best figures in IPL history in the playoffs.