Abu Dhabi: Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav struck whirlwind fifties as defending champions Mumbai Indians posted a mammoth 235 for nine against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their must-win IPL match on Friday. MI not only need to win the match, they have to beat SRH by 171 runs or more to leapfrog Kolkata Knight Riders in the race for the fourth and last play-off spot.
MI needed a miracle and the script unfolded in their favour, at least in the first innings, when they opted to bat and posted a mammoth total. From the word go, Kishan found the fence at will and scored his 84 runs off just 32 balls. Yadav’s 82-run knock came off 40 balls during which he hit 13 fours and three sixes.
MI openers — Kishan and skipper Rohit Sharma (18 off 13) meant business and showed the intent from the onset. Kishan, especially, was in belligerent mood as he went hammer and tongs and didn’t spare a single SRH bowler to bring up his fifty in just 16 balls, the fastest half century this season.
It was raining boundaries and sixes for Kishan in every over as MI raced to 78 runs in the first five overs. The menacing partnership between the openers was finally broken in the sixth over by Rashid Khan when he induced a top-edge from Rohit which was brilliantly caught by Mohammad Nabi running backwards.
But Kishan was in a relentless mood as he continued to use his long handle to great effect and put immense pressure on SRH attack. It looked like child’s play for Kishan as he clobbered Rashid over the deep midwicket to bring up the team’s 100 in 7.1 overs.
Kishan finally departed in the 10th over when he top edged an Umran Malik delivery to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps.
After Kishan’s dismissal, SRH pulled things back, courtesy some smart captaincy from Manish Pandey, who replaced Kane Williamson out with an elbow niggle. A courageous Pandey brought young left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma into the attck in the 13th over and the bowler reposed his captain’s faith by removing Kieron Pollard (12) and Jimmy Neesham in final two balls of the over to stand in chance for a hat-trick.
Yadav, who had not been at his best in the second leg so far, rose to the occasion when it matterd and took the onus of guiding MI innings after Kishan’s dismissal. He kept the scoreboard ticking with trademark cricketing shots, the most notable among them was a lofted hit over pacer Sidhharth Kaul’s head to bring up his fifty in 24 balls.
The last five overs yielded 58 runs for MI during which Yadav was at his attacking best.