Mumbai Leave It Late To Qualify
Mumbai Indians 195-5 (Anderson 95no) beat
Rajasthan Royals 189-4 (Samson 74) by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Mumbai
The final game of the Indian Premier League 2014 league stage ended in dramatic circumstances when the Mumbai Indians beat the Rajasthan Royals by five wickets to seal a remarkable passage into the play-offs.
Chasing 190 to win, they needed to do it in 14.4 overs or less to qualify and the scores were level after 14.3 overs after Ambati Rayudu was run out attempting a second run.
Needing to hit a boundary first ball, Aditya Tare obliged, swinging James Faulkner into the stands.
Corey Anderson remained unbeaten on 95 on 44 balls as Mumbai joined the Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings in the final four.
With this win, Mumbai have now finished on equal points with Rajasthan with 14 points from 14 games (seven wins each) but moved ahead on run-rate to set up an eliminator clash with the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Chasing 190 in 14.3 overs to win and qualify, Mumbai didn’t get off to the best start possible because they lost in-form Lendl Simmons (12) cheaply.
Anderson then came in to bat at number three and with Mike Hussey put on 34 runs for the second wicket. In doing so they brought up the 50-run mark in just 3.5 overs and set the tempo for the chase early.
Hussey was dismissed in the fifth over, after scoring 22 runs off 11 balls with one four and two sixes. Mumbai were rocked with another big blow with Kieron Pollard (7) and Rohit Sharma (16) out cheaply as well.
But Anderson at the other end was single-handedly putting the Royals to the sword. He smacked a half-century off only 25 balls, hitting three fours and five sixes, bringing up the 100-run mark in just 8.4 overs.
Anderson wasn’t finished as he hit 45 more runs off the next 19 balls he faced, including six fours and one more six, as he scored 95 not out off 44 balls and he found an able partner in Ambati Rayudu who scored 30 runs off just 10 balls.
The latter hit five fours and one six as the duo put on 81 runs for the fifth wicket off just 31 balls and took Mumbai to the cusp of victory.
It was then that the dramatic finish was played out in real time and Rajasthan were knocked out.
Mumbai needed to chase this score down in 14.3 overs, and they managed to tie the scores at that mark when Ambati Rayudu was run-out going for a double.
Then it was announced that a boundary off the next ball would still be enough to send Mumbai through and new batsman Aditya Tare delivered the killer blow, depositing Faulkner’s leg-side full toss into the fine leg stand, starting off a chain reaction of maddening celebrations.
Dhawal Kulkarni (2-42) and Kevon Cooper (2-38) were the wicket-taking bowlers for Rajasthan.
Earlier, Mumbai won the toss and elected to field first. Skipper Shane Watson opened the innings but he made little impression with his innings of 8 runs off 18 balls.
It was left to youngsters Sanju Samson and Karun Nair to make their marks and they did so, adding precisely 100 runs for the second wicket. And they did so in quick time, bringing the 50-run mark in the ninth over and then the 100-run mark in the 13th over.
Both batsmen creditably celebrated their half-centuries, with Samson scoring his off 36 balls, with five fours and two sixes, while Nair got there in 26 balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes. The latter fell in the 15th over and it helped Rajasthan attain more impetus as they went after a tall score.
Samson ended up with 74 off 47 balls, with seven fours and three sixes in all, but it was Brad Hodge’s 29 off 16 balls with two fours and one six that really gave them momentum.
Faulkner also hit 23 off 12 balls, with three big sixes, to push them towards a more than par target.
For Mumbai, Jaspreet Bumrah (1-30), Harbhajan Singh (1-43), Shreyas Gopal (1-36) and Kieron Pollard (1-33) were the wicket-takers.
© Cricket World 2014