After a bright start to the encounter from the Mumbai openers, the home side left it too late to rescue a victory in the Champions League SRL encounter against Sussex Sharks. It was the bowlers led by Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar who turned the encounter in Mumbai’s favour at home.
A rare bad start for the home side, with the Indian T20 veteran Rohit Sharma walking off early in the encounter after having scored just 13 runs in the early parts of the game. From there, it was a good partnership between Quinton de Kock and Chris Lynn which changed the game in Mumbai’s favour. After Lynn’s dismissal, de Kock continued his dominance, scoring with such elegance when the team required him. Suryakumar Yadav and a flurry of shots from the rest of the batting order ensured that the home side got to just 145 at the end of the innings with two deliveries remaining after they were bowled out.
Sussex Shark’s start too was threatening in a similar mould to the one by the Mumbai Indians, scoring 40 runs in the powerplay phase. It was after that their rate of scoring fell rapidly down, with the dismissal of Alex Carey. However, a partnership from Delray Rawlins and Laurie Evans brought them right back into the hunt of Mumbai’s first innings total. Rawlin’s wicket followed by Wiese’s wicket gave Mumbai the right platform to clinch the game from Sussex’s hands. From there on, the target looked daunting as Rohit’s bowlers applied the right amount of pressure.
Rahul Chahar’s twin-wicket over must go down as the turning point of the encounter and arguably for its merit and merit alone. After conceding four runs off the first four deliveries, the pressure was on the leg-spinner to close the contest down with his theatrics. Surely, boy-oh-boy did he not disappoint one and all watching the simulated encounter. In two deliveries, he changed the game single-handedly dismissing both the hard-hitting Rashid and all-rounder Chris Jordan.
Highs and Lows
3/27 in four overs - Rahul Chahar’s spell is a thing of beauty in the most pressure-cooker of situations. Right when the team needed him to close-down the encounter, he brought his ‘A’ game with the twin-wicket over. However, the fact about his spell was it can not be just defined by the twin-wicket over. His first spell, where he dismissed the dangerous Aussie keeper Alex Carey surely turned the way the English side had to approach their batting performance.
Just check around the world, on the various T20 circuits, they would tell you how dangerous is Philip Salt. His form has been exceptional since the last Big Bash season and could have arguably single-handedly changed the game in the Sharks’ favour. However, his early dismissal for just eight runs in eight deliveries was a telling blow to the franchise. Since that dismissal, the target looked above-par as the Mumbai spinners came into the attack.
Powerplay exploitation: Mumbai Indians 8/10 and Sussex Sharks 6/10
If you are 45/1 at the end of the powerplay overs, it just means that the franchise is on the right path in their innings. However, with Mumbai Indians - they have just set the standards way above the other franchises. Against Sussex Sharks, despite their run-rate of nearly eight runs in the powerplay, the dismissal of Rohit Sharma surely came in as a shocker to the IPL side.
On the other hand, Sussex started off well in the first two-overs, scoring 15 runs in just two overs. They did not stop there, as the duo scored nine runs in the next over as the English side scored 24 runs in just the first three at eight runs an over. Just after that, the downfall started, with the team losing twin wickets before the end of the powerplay with the score reading 40.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: Mumbai Indians 7/10 and Sussex Sharks 6/10
Both the sides gave a tough competition to each other in the middle-overs, which is also considered as the toughest part of an innings in T20. Rightly so, Mumbai scored 71 runs for the loss of three wickets at nearly 7.9 runs an over. However, the loss of three crucial wickets - Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn and Kieron Pollard derailed their scoring rate towards the end of the encounter.
Just 60 runs in the middle-phase, Sussex did an awful job of chasing a target. So much so someone has already signed a petition supporting Sussex from getting any kind of momentum later on in the innings. On top of that, they lost three wickets, which really just kind of took any fizz that was remaining in the Sharks’ soda can.
Death bowling: Mumbai Indians 6/10 and Sussex Sharks 8/10
Let’s talk about Mumbai Indians death bowling first before we head to the beautiful part of the innings. This is a franchise which has the host of International stars in the form of Bumrah and Malinga. Despite such heavyweight names in the bowling department, the way they nearly gave the game on a platter to the English side is appalling. After conceding just eight runs in the first two, Malinga in the end nearly botched up a pretty party.
Barring the first over, the Mumbai side lost a wicket every other over, which is the bare minimum. You would not believe it if I tell you that they lost six wickets in the overs leading up to the 20th. The way Tymal Mills bowled in the death end, he looked in the contrasting form to the one that he showed in the only IPL season that he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. On top of that, they just put up 29 runs, which is a disappointment in any form of cricket, leave T20.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Seat-clincher
This game had everything in it with just one-narrow moment differentiating the two sides. It had batsmen struggle, batsmen score runs, bowlers pick wickets, some fielding brilliance and moreso, a complete package. In the end, it really left the spectators, including me, hold tightly and dearly on to our seats.
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