SunRisers Hyderabad deliver Mumbai Indians a knockout punch

With 5 losses out of six games including this 31-run defeat to SunRisers Hyderabad (118-10), it is highly unlikely that Mumbai Indians (87-10) would be able to bounce back in IPL 2018.

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This is what momentum does to you! Defending champions Mumbai Indians started their campaign in contention for the IPL title. In all of their first 3-4 matches, they lost in the last over with miniscule margins. However, it always looked as if MI would bounce back. After all, a team studded with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah was too strong not to qualify for the Playoffs. But the name of the game is cricket and it does funny things to you.

The match started on a strange note with SRH, who usually do not tinker too much with their side, making 4 changes. Out of these, 2 were forced changes as Billy Stanlake and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to miss out due to injuries.

Unfortunately, lanky Australian pacer Stanlake has suffered a broken finger and has been ruled out of the entire season.

On a Wankhede stadium pitch that did not seem to have too many demons, MI won the toss and invited SRH to bat first. Returning from the elbow injury, Shikhar Dhawan (5) did not seem in his usual golden touch as he was bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan first up.

Hyderabad Captain and fellow opener Kane Williamson played a 29-run knock which ultimately proved to be the joint highest with Yusuf Pathan. Other contributions were far and few, with SRH suffering a batting collapse. The mainstays of the team’s batting line up in Manish Pandey (16), Shakib al Hasan (2) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) departed cheaply to some impeccable bowling by the MI bowlers.

Each of Mitchell McClenaghan, Mustafizur Rahman and Hardik Pandya took 2 wickets apiece and tied down the SRH batsmen. As a result, the entire team was bundled up at 118 with 8 balls to spare.

It was Mumbai’s game to begin with. Most thought that chasing a small target on a decent Wankhede pitch, with the explosive firepower that the Mumbai batting possess, shouldn’t be an issue at all.

However, with some early strikes - three of them to be precise - in the Powerplay overs, the baggage that MI was carrying seemed to get the better of them.

Ever after losing the wickets of Even Lewis (5), Ishan Kishan (0) and Rohit Sharma (2) and languishing at 22 for 3 at the end of the Powerplay overs, MI could have still have got over the line if the Mumbai batsmen would have paced their innings wisely.

Surya Kumar Yadav though held one end up till the 15th over, but his lone 34-run hand could not take his team to the much-coveted win.

All the same, courtesy of some outstanding bowling by the likes of Siddarth kaul (4-23-3), Sandeep Sharma (3-9-1), Rashid Khan (4-11-2) and Basil Thampi (1.5-4-2) coupled with some poor shot selection by the MI batsmen, they lost 5 wickets in their last 5 overs and could only manage to score 12 runs.

As a result, MI were all out for 87. For Hyderabad, this turned out to be the smallest score that they have ever defended and the lowest total that has been ever defended in the IPL in India.

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