Shahbaz Nadeem’s fine spell, and fifties from skipper David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha helped Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) enter the IPL 2020 playoffs with a crushing 10-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians (MI), in Sharjah on Tuesday (November 3). With SRH’s win, Kolkata Knight Riders’ campaign ended after they finished last on Net Run Rate (NRR) among the three teams tied on 14 points.
For SRH, the equation was simple: win against MI and progress to the playoffs. For MI, the No. 1 had already been secured and their only target would have been to keep the winning momentum going. There was room for experimentation and MI made full use of that. Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Hardik Pandya were rested. Skipper Rohit Sharma, who had been declared unfit for India’s upcoming tour of Australia, came out for the toss much to everyone’s surprise.
However, Rohit (4) failed to leave a mark with the bat was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma inside the Powerplay. Quinton de Kock (25) soon became Sandeep’s second victim. Suryakumar Yadav (36) and Ishan Kishan (33) then stitched a 42-run stand before the former was removed by Nadeem.
Both Krunal Pandya and Saurabh Tiwary fell cheaply as MI continued to stutter. But Kieron Pollard’s 21-ball 45, which included two fours and four sixes, pushed the defending IPL champions to 149/8. Sandeep took a total of three wickets, while Nadeem and Jason Holder grabbed two apiece.
In reply, SRH were off to a slow start, scoring just three runs off Dhawal Kulkarni in the first over before putting their foot on the accelerator. Eleven runs came off the next over from Nathan Coulter-Nile and it turned out to be the start of something big. Coulter-Nile, Kulkarni and James Pattinson all were hit for boundaries and even the spin options Krunal and Rahul Chahar were negotiated with ease in the middle overs.
In the 12th over, David Warner reached his fifty off just 35 balls. Shortly, Saha also reached the landmark. SRH, the 2016 IPL champions, eventually sealed the deal with 17 balls to spare. Warner and Saha remained unbeaten on 85 and 58 respectively.
“It feels good now after that dreadful loss against KXIP,” said Warner.
“They (MI) rested a few players but to hold them to 150 on this ground was great. A lot of credit goes to the bowlers. Nadeem was superb. We were trying to be as clinical with the bat then, and it feels good. We try and put our best foot forward, and that stems from the franchise owners. They are great people and it is like a family. We have a never say die attitude and that is how we approach each game. We looked at 2016, we were in the same situation where we had to win every game to win the title. If we can take this performance and momentum into the next game we’ll be really happy.”
While SRH will head to Abu Dhabi to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator on Friday (November 6), MI will take on Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 on Thursday (November 5) in Dubai.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 149/8 (Kieron Pollard 41, Suryakumar Yadav 36; Sandeep Sharma 3-34, Shahbaz Nadeem 2-19) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 151/0 in 17.1 overs (David Warner 85*, Wriddhiman Saha 58*) by 10 wickets.
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