IPL 2023, MI vs GT | Who said what ft. Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya

IPL 2023, MI vs GT | Who said what ft. Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya

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Mumbai Indians inched closer to securing a playoff spot with a win against tournament leaders and reigning champions Gujarat Titans at Wankhede on Friday. The hosts batted first and posted a mammoth total of 218/5 before restricting the visitors to 191/8 to register a 27-run victory.

Gujarat Titans had a rare off-day at the Wankhede but still managed to put up a brave fight back in a largely one-sided encounter, led singlehandedly by a buoyant Rashid Khan. The Afghan wrist-spinner first turned the tables in the first innings by getting rid of both set openers, eventually ending up with sensational figures of 4-0-30-4, before setting the stadium alight with the willow.

Walking in at 100/6, the Purple Cap holder showed he is more than a capable all-rounder with an unbeaten 79 off just 32 deliveries, the knock laced with 10 maximums. Yet, even such monumental efforts were not enough for Rashid to clinch the man of the match award which was handed to the match-winning maiden IPL century of Suryakumar Yadav, his flamboyant 103 coming off just 49 balls.

GT skipper Hardik Pandya was humble in defeat but full of praise for his marquee player. 

It was like from our team only Rashid Khan turned up tonight. The way he bowled, the way he batted, it was tremendous overall. Don't have to try much after this result, have to keep it simple. As a group, we weren't there tonight. In bowling also we were very flat. Did not have clear plans or didn't execute them either. Wicket was very flat but I felt we gave 25 runs extra. We were far from winning this game but because of Rashid, we ensured there wasn't a big dent to our NRR... People have spoken enough about SKY, he is one of the best batters in T20 cricket. Really tough to set fields for him. You saw what he can do if you don't execute your plans.

Hardik Pandya

MI skipper Rohit Sharma admitted he felt relief after winning a game while batting first at the notorious Wankhede.

It was indeed an interesting game especially from our point of view, we needed those two points. It's pleasing to bat first and then come out and defend the total like that, apart from what happened towards the end. We kept picking wickets and in this format, you have to do that. Conditions got tough for the bowlers with a lot of dew coming in, great effort from our bowlers... Honestly, it's just the confidence Surya has got. At the start of the tournament, we were debating if we need a left-right combination, Surya said no, 'I want to go in'. That's the kind of confidence he brings and it rubs off on the guys who are batting with him. There's no looking back. Good thing is every game he's wanting to start fresh. Which is nice for a cricketer to think like that. Sometimes you can sit back and be very proud about it, but that's not the case with him.

Rohit Sharma

SKY, who has now scored four half-centuries and a ton in his last five innings at the Wankhede, expressed his thought process behind the historic innings and the effort that goes behind it.

Yes you can say that this was one of my best T20 innings. Whenever I score runs the team should win. Most importantly we batted first today and said that we would keep the same tempo as when you are chasing 200-220. There was a lot of dew on the ground, it was there from the 7-8th over and I knew what shots to play on the wicket. One side was 75-80 metres, so I was prepared for scooping over third man or flicking over square leg, I was not thinking about hitting straight. There's a lot of practice that goes behind [my 360-degree game], so when I come into the game I am very clear and just go express myself.

Suryakumar Yadav

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