Free Press Journal

Malinga, McClenaghan bowl Mumbai Indians to 20-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad


lasith malinga

Mumbai: Pace bowlers Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan came up with stellar bowling display to help Mumbai Indians defend a modest score and beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs in their IPL cricket match here today. Sri Lankan Malinga grabbed his season’s best four for 23, including three wickets in his last over, while New Zealander Mcclenaghan picked up three for 20 that included top scorer Shikhar Dhawan’s scalp, to restrict the Sunrisers to 137 for eight, chasing a target of 158.

The Sunrisers lost their way after a brisk opening stand between left-handers Dhawan, who top-scored with 42 off 29 balls, and David Warner (9). Once these two departed within a short span to leave the Sunrisers reeling at 52 for two in six overs, the other batsmen did not prove to be good enough.

Earlier, electing to bat, MI rode on opener Lendl Simmons’s 51 off 42 balls and some useful contributions from skipper Rohit Sharma (24) and West Indian Kieron Pollard (33) to reach a total of 157 for eight. The victory, which was only their second of the season in seven games, helped MI stay afloat in their quest to reach the play-offs. This was Sunrisers fourth defeat in six games.

Chasing the target, the visitors set off to a fine start with Dhawan scoring at a fast pace. From the moment he caressed Harbhajan Singh’s first ball of the innings to the cover fence, he looked in fine nick. The left handed Indian opener later struck Harbhajan for three fours and a six in the bowler’s second over to banish the offie from the attack. Warner, watching from the other end, also hit Harbhajan for a four but then holed out to third man off a short ball from Malinga. Then Dhawan departed while pulling Mitchell McClenaghan to short mid-wicket.

MI sensed a whiff of a chance with the visitors at 52 for two at the end of powerplay and applied pressure on new batsmen Lokesh Rahul and Naman Ojha with some tight bowling and sharp fielding. Ojha fell to the strategy of the Mumbai Indians, as he needlessly gave the charge to left arm spinner and was consumed at long-off. The going was slow during the next wicket stand between Rahul and Ravi Bopara, both of whom put on just 36 off 37 balls, before the former stepped out to attack McClenaghan and was caught at deep extra cover off the leading edge.

When Rahul’s wicket fell, the visitors needed just 54 more runs to win from 31 balls. But they lost Bopara, Hanuma Vihari, Praveen Kumar and Steyn for the addition of just one run to the total, to lose the plot completely. From 126 for four, the Sunrisers were reduced to 127 for eight.

McClenaghan got the wicket of Bopara while the remaining three were sent back by an inspired Malinga in one over. The wickets of Praveen and Steyn fell in successive balls before Karn Sharma, who remained unbeaten, prevented the hat-trick.

Earlier, electing to bat, Mumbai Indians got off to a steady, if not explosive start, with openers Simmons and Parthiv Patel putting on 42 runs. The partnership was broken off the last ball of the sixth over when left-handed Patel flicked South Africa pacer Dale Steyn straight to the deep mid wicket fielder. Praveen then dismissed Unmukt Chand cheaply. But Simmons, who swung leggie Karn Sharma for a six over mid wicket besides hitting six fours, and captain Rohit Sharma (24) added 51 runs to take the score to 100. However, both the batsmen fell in quick succession, within the space of eight runs.

Simmons was castled by Steyn while trying for a leg side slog while Rohit was caught in the deep when giving the charge to leg spinner Karn. Though Kieron Pollard held one end up, MI lost the wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan to catches in the deep to be reduced to 128 for six with 15 balls remaining.

The hopes of reaching a big score rested on Pollard, who hit three fours and a six, but he was clean bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first ball of the final over. Bhuvneshwar, who grabbed three for 26, then saw off Vinay Kumar in the next ball itself. Steyn and Praveen Kumar picked up a couple of wickets apiece after conceding 38 and 35 runs, respectively. Boult, who had missed the previous two games, was economical and used his slower balls to good effect, while Karn secured the other wicket that fell.

MI take on table toppers Rajasthan Royals next on May 1 here, while Sunrisers travel to Mohali to clash with Kings XI Punjab on April 27.