The Mumbai Indians became the first team to successfully
defend a total against the Gujarat Titans this season in the IPL as the
five-time champions narrowly edged out the table-toppers to win by five runs at
the Brabourne Stadium on Friday. Following contributions from Rohit Sharma and
Tim David with the bat, Mumbai were saved at the death with the ball by Daniel
Sams, who held his nerve and defended just nine runs in the final over to give
the team their second win this season.
Having been put in to bat on the highest-scoring ground of
the tournament, Mumbai got off to a flier in the powerplay thanks to some
glorious strokeplay from Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai captain had endured a poor
IPL campaign before this game but took on the Gujarat pacers against the new
ball to smash 42 runs inside the powerplay. He collected five boundaries in
Alzarri Joseph’s opening two overs and also went after pacers Mohammed Shami
and Lockie Ferguson to give Mumbai their best powerplay score of the season at
63 for no loss.
Rohit’s fireworks were cut short by Rashid Khan in the
eighth over, with the right-hander trapped on his pads by the leg-spinner while
looking to play a reverse sweep. The captain’s dismissal caused MI to
temporarily lose their way through the middle, with Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar
Yadav departing in consecutive overs before Kieron Pollard was bamboozled by
Rashid Khan to leave MI reeling at 119 for four after 15.
The innings was eventually rescued at the backend by the
brilliance of Tim David, who smashed four sixes in his incredible cameo off 44
from 21 to take Mumbai to a more respectable score of 177.
In the run-chase, Gujarat’s start was emphatic, as
Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill had the measure of the MI bowlers and added 54
runs in the powerplay. The veteran keeper went after Jasprit Bumrah early on
while Gill punished the Mumbai spinners – M Ashwin and Kumar Kartikeya. Gill
continued his onslaught by taking a trio of fours against Daniel Sams in the
eighth over, and Gujarat were cruising in the run-chase as both openers reached
their 50s and brought up the century partnership in 11 overs.
Mumbai hit back with Murugan Ashwin dismissing both openers
in the same over, but Sai Sudarshan, Hardik Pandya and David Miller continued
to find the boundaries for the Titans to keep them on track. However, with just
22 needed off 15, Hardik Pandya ran himself out while trying to steal a bye to
give Mumbai a much-needed lifeline. David Miller hit a six in Jasprit Bumrah’s
penultimate over to leave the Titans needing just nine off six, but Daniel Sams
produced a sensational final over as he nailed his wide yorkers and slower
deliveries to concede just three runs and give Mumbai a narrow victory at the