IPL 10: Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana steer Mumbai home

The Asian Age.  | Irfan Haji

Sports, Cricket

Young Delhi left-hander Nitish Rana set up Mumbai’s 177-run chase with a well-made 53.

Mumbai Indians batsman Nitish Rana en route to his half century. (Photo: BCCI)

Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (40, 29b, 3x4, 1x6) signalled his return to form while Kieron Pollard (39, 23b, 2x4, 3x6) sparkled yet again as Mumbai Indians surged to their fourth consecutive win, outclassing Gujarat Lions by six wickets at the Wankhede here on Sunday. Young Delhi left-hander Nitish Rana set up Mumbai’s 177-run chase with a well-made 53 (36b, 4x4, 1 2x6).

Rohit won the toss for the third time in a row as his side chased down the target comfortably under lights with three balls to spare.

The home side had a disastrous start while chasing, losing Parthiv Patel for a duck. Jason Roy dropped Rana on nine, which turned out to be the turning point.

Rana went on to score a half-century and shared a 84-run partnership with Jos Buttler (26, 24b, 1x4, 2x6). Buttler’s untimely dismissal left skipper Rohit and last match hero Pollard to finish the job.

Gujarat bowlers Munaf Patel (1/35), bowling for the first time in the IPL since 2013, and Andrew Tye (2/34) were impressive. But Praveen Kumar (1/25) erred in line, bowling four successive wides. Basil Thampi (0/34) was predictable with his slow deliveries, getting hit for two sixes in an over inside the Powerplay. Thampi bowled impressively in the block hole in his second spell but couldn’t stop the Mumbai batsmen.

Earlier, Brendon McCullum set Gujarat’s innings with an attacking half-century and Dinesh Karthik helped them reach 176/4. McCullum (64, 44b, 6xa, 3x6) was the principal run-getter, while Karthik played a cameo of 48 (26b, 2x4, 2x6).

Gujarat began quietly as Mitchell McClenaghan (2/24) bowled two tight overs. Veteran Harbhajan Singh (1/22), introduced in the fourth over, was right on the money. Fit-again Lasith Malinga replaced Tim Southee but wasn’t in his elements. He was hammered for 27 runs in his two overs inside the Powerplay.

McCullum blasted him for two sixes to cap of a good Powerplay, where they scored 46/1. Jasprit Bumrah was also taken for runs. McCullum and Suresh Raina (28, 29b, 2x4) forged a 80-run partnership for the second wicket after the early loss of Dwayne Smith (0, 2b). McCullum played aggressively as Raina struggled to find boundaries.

Harbhajan and Krunal Pandya (0/18, in three overs) were economical, as the Lions were never able to dominate.