Mumbai Indians (MI) out-muscled Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 81 runs to cruise to the Qualifier 2 of the IPL playoffs. The two franchises squared off at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in the Eliminator on Wednesday, May 24.
The five-time winners posted a competitive first innings score of 182 runs, courtesy of invaluable knocks from Suryakumar Yadav and Cameron Green. However, it was Akash Madhwal’s masterclass which outfoxed Lucknow during the chase to help MI steer to the Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2023.
Here are the Talking Points from the MI vs LSG clash-
Green-Suryakumar steer MI towards competitive total
After losing the early wickets of Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma for just 38 runs, MI pinned their hopes on the middle-order to steer the side towards a competitive total. In came Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav, who combined to stitch a 66-run partnership which helped revive the innings for the five-time winners. Green clobbered a 23-ball 41 which featured six fours and one six whereas Suryakumar got 33 off 20 balls before he was dismissed. Down the order, Impact Player Nehal Wadhera slammed 23 runs off 12 balls which helped MI get 182 runs on the board in their 20 overs.
Naveen-ul-Haq’s impressive four-wicket haul
LSG pacer Naveen-ul-Haq returned an impressive spell as he claimed a four-wicket haul by getting the prized scalps of skipper Rohit Sharma and Tilak Varma. Furthermore, he broke the 66-run partnership between Green and Suryakumar thereby claiming both their wickets to complete a four-fer.
LSG snap courtesy of Akash Madhwal’s jaw-dropping spell
During the chase, LSG seemed nowhere in the game as Mumbai got the wickets at regular intervals despite some fight from Marcus Stoinis (40 runs off 27 balls). What triggered the regular fall of wickets was the jaw-dropping spell by Akash Madhwal. The pacer sliced through the top and middle-order like a hot knife through butter. Madhwal was at his lethal best as he recorded a five-wicket haul for just five runs in his 3.3 overs at a stunning economy of 1.42. With this, Mumbai comprehensively brushed aside LSG to obtain a spot in the Qualifier 2.
Winning captain, Rohit Sharma said-
“I had definitely thought of making it [to the Qualifier 2]… We managed our work, and scrambled through it. Akash Madhwal was part of the season last year. He didn’t get to play. We knew what he had, and we needed somebody to bowl at the back end. Having seen him, I was confident he could get the job done for us. Talking about scouts, we have seen so many guys have gone on to play for India and done well. First and foremost, it’s important to make them feel special and part of the team. They play lot of domestic cricket, but this is a different ball game… Our job is to make sure they are comfortable. As a team, we enjoyed the fielding. We want to keep getting better, and throw ourselves… We knew coming to Chennai, one man won’t take us through.”
Losing captain, Krunal Pandya said-
“We were in a really good position. Everything started when I played that shot… that was not on, and I completely take all the blame. The wicket was the same. We just had to bat better, just take that responsibility. But we didn’t do after that break (the first time-out). It’s always a tough decision; it’s just Kyle had a better record here [than de Kock]. We just felt we could go with Kyle. I just thought we could do something different [starting the bowling with spinners].”
Player of the Match, Akash Madhwal said-
“I was just practising, and waiting for this opportunity. I did my engineering, and played tennis-ball cricket since it was my passion. Engineers have a tendency to learn early! I just practice, and that is what we execute. I’m proud of myself, but I’ll try to be better. Bumrah bhai has his own place, and I’m just trying to play role. Nicholas Pooran was the best wicket. Everyone at home believes I’m working hard.”