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All-round Mumbai trump Hyderabad

Wisden India logo Wisden India 12-04-2017
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Harbhajan Singh’s love for a challenge brought the best out of him in Mumbai Indians’ four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the tenth game of Indian Premier League 2017 at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday (April 12).

His 2 for 23, and a fine display of slower deliveries and yorkers by Lasith Malinga (1-30) and Jasprit Bumrah (3-24) restricted the defending champions to 158 for 8. After that, Parthiv Patel (39), Nitish Rana (45) and Krunal Pandya (37) took Mumbai to 159 for 6 in 18.4 overs for their second consecutive win, and extended Hyderabad’s losing streak at the venue to three games.

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The last time Harbhajan had opened the bowling at the Wankhede was against the same opponents in 2015. As Hyderabad returned to the stadium for the first time since that loss, Rohit Sharma, after winning the toss, gave the new ball to Harbhajan. The idea, like it was back then, was to take the ball away from the left-handed opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan (48) and David Warner (49). Tactfully, Mumbai started the innings from the end from where the leg-side boundary for the left-handers was longer.

Harbhajan and Malinga gave only five runs in the first two overs before Warner used the bounce off the pitch to play with the turn for fours off the first two balls in the offspinner’s second over. Rohit, though, made appropriate bowling and field changes to restrict Hyderabad to 34 in the Power Play overs.

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With dew being a big factor in the second half, Warner and Dhawan needed to step up. They used the pace of Mitchell McClenaghan for 25 runs in his first two overs, and also targeted Hardik Pandya to take Hyderabad to 75 for no loss in ten overs.

There was a major umpiring error during that phase of play. Warner hit the last ball of the sixth over, bowled by Bumrah, for a boundary, and then took strike for the first ball of the seventh over from McClenaghan. Though McClenaghan’s 15-run over did not matter in the final analysis, this was another example of the poor umpiring standards that have marred the tournament so far.

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Rohit brought back Harbhajan in the 11th over for the game’s turning point. Warner welcomed Harbhajan back with a switch-hit six that went to fine-leg for the wow moment of the innings, but was deceived by the slowness of the follow-up delivery. Warner’s reverse sweep took the top edge and Parthiv ran towards his left before diving full stretch for a superb catch at short point.

Watch: Rana, Pandya take Mumbai to thrilling win

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Hyderabad lost control after the opening stand of 81 runs. Harbhajan had Deepak Hooda caught at long-on, Dhawan missed McClenaghan’s full toss to be bowled, Yuvraj Singh played on to Hardik, Bumrah bowled Ben Cutting with a yorker, and Malinga, playing his 100th IPL game, had Vijay Shankar, making his franchise debut, caught at point off a slower ball. Naman Ojha and Rashid Khan fell to Bumrah in the final over, as Hyderabad lost their last seven wickets for 50 runs.

Mumbai came out all guns blazing in their chase. Even though Ashish Nehra bowled Jos Buttler with a cutter, Parthiv was in supreme touch, his seven fours and three sixes in a 24-ball knock keeping the innings on track.

Rashid, as is his wont, trapped Rohit in front of the wicket with a googly, but Mustafizur Rahman, who joined the team last night, gave away 19 runs to Parthiv and Nitish Rana in the very next over as Mumbai ended the Power Play at 61 for 2.

High on confidence after his match-winning 50 against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rana took charge of the chase after Hooda had Parthiv caught on the straight boundary. Where Parthiv’s innings was different from Hyderabad’s openers was the manner in which he found the gaps.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned to have Kieron Pollard caught on the pull, but dew meant that there were too many easy balls on offer for Rana and Krunal to capitalise on during their 32-run stand. The two fell against the run of play before Harbhajan hit the winning run.

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