Cameron Green‘s magnificent maiden century (100*) and Rohit Sharma‘s half century powered Mumbai Indians to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last league match of the IPL at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. Mumbai knocked off the target of 201 with 12 balls and eight wickets to spare to accumulate 16 points from 14 matches. But their fate will be decided after the match in Bengaluru — which is experiencing rain — between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans later in the day.
If the contest between RCB and GT is washed out, Mumbai will make it to the final four, but if the hosts win, they will qualify on the basis of better Net Run Rate. MI currently have NRR of -0.044 as against +0.180 of RCB.
With an inferior NRR, MI had the improbable task of scoring 201 in 11.4 overs or 70 balls if they had to get past RCB on the table.
Green smacked eight fours and eight sixes during his unbeaten 100 which came off just 47 balls. He added 53 runs with Suryakumar Yadav (25 not out) for the unbroken third wicket to take MI over the line.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar drew the first blood when he dismissed Ishan Kishan (14) in the third over. Rohit got a lifeline in the fifth over when sanveer singh dropped a difficult catch at midwicket off Nitish Kumar Reddy.
But Green provided the impetus, as his four boundaries and a couple of sixes took MI to 60/1 after the powerplay.
While Green brought up his fifty off only 20 balls, in the ninth over, Rohit was off to a modest start, hitting his first six only on the 22nd ball that he faced.
The MI skipper completed his second fifty of this IPL, off 31 balls, and his second-wicket stand with Green took the total past the 100-run mark. Soon after this, Rohit got another reprieve when Sanvir spilled a regulation catch at cover off. Karthik Tyagi,
However, a sensational catch from Reddy had Mayank Dagar celebrating Rohit’s wicket wildly in the 14th over. Rohit’s 56 came off 37 balls (8x4s, 1x6s), having added 128 off 65 balls with Green.
Earlier, Unheralded Uttarakhand pacer Akash Madhwal nailed his yorkers consistently at the death as Mumbai Indians restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 200 for 5 in their final IPL encounter, here on Sunday.
With one eye on Bengaluru weather where RCB is taking on Gujarat Titans, Madhwal’s four-wicket haul ensured that SRH ended with at least 15 short of what could be considered a par-score on a flat Wankhede track.
This was after a century opening stand between seasoned opener Mayank Aggarwal (83 off 45 balls) and rookie Vivrant Sharma (69 off 47 balls) threatened to take the game away, in the IPL here on Sunday.
The pair of Agarwal and Vivrant put on the best opening stand for SRH this season, reaching 53/0 in the powerplay without taking any undue risks, and eventually putting on 140 for the seventh century stand of this IPL.
For a bowling unit that has allowed contests to drift away, here at the Wankhede Stadium on several occasions, MI made regular inroads to keep SRH within reach.
However, the task is an improbable one for MI as they will have to score 201 in just 11.4 overs, or in 70 balls, to overtake Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Net Run Rate.
Playing in his third game this season and for the first time as an opener, the left-handed Vivrant gave a fine example of himself with strokes on both the sides of the wickets.
Vivrant struck seven fours and a six to bring up his maiden IPL half-century in the 10th over, as SRH cruised in the first half of the contest unscathed and unperturbed by MI’s bowlers.
Agarwal too ended his drought, hitting a six and a four off Jason Behrendorff in the 13th over to bring up his first fifty of this season, and celebrated with a gesture that batters usually do upon reaching the three-figure mark – taking off the helmet and arms stretched wide.
On a benign pitch with extreme hot and humid conditions, there was also not much that the Mumbai bowlers could do, on what has also been a batting-friendly surface here.
With no movement or turn off the surface, the MI bowlers had to contend with bowling disciplined line and lengths, and to their credit, they never really allowed the SRH openers to get away.
The first breakthrough came in the 14th over when Madhwal had Vivrat caught at deep mid-wicket, with his 69 off 47 balls (9 fours, 2 sixes) being the highest score since the first IPL for any Indian player in a debut innings.
Madhwal continued to use the short ball well and in the 17th over, he had Agarwal caught behind for 83, which came off 46 balls including eight fours and four sixes.
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