Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers, IPL 2014, Dubai April 30, 2014

Five defeats in five for Mumbai Indians

The Report by Alagappan Muthu

Sunrisers Hyderabad 172 for 5 (Warner 65, Rahul 46) beat Mumbai Indians 157 for 7 (Pollard 78, Pathan 2-10, Steyn 2-20) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Mumbai need to sort their batting order

Sunrisers Hyderabad gritted their teeth nearly 10 overs without a boundary. David Warner was muzzled so profoundly that he was striking under 100 as late as the 15th over. But then he woke up. He used the slow start as a foundation and collected a half-century that proved the difference. But his patience might have been a mere footnote had Irfan Pathan not delivered a brilliant final over. He had 20 to defend and the first ball of sneaked through Kieron Pollard's defences and seeing the back of a man who hit 78 off 48 balls is usually enough to seal the game, and it was. Pathan only gave away four runs.

Mumbai Indians were flummoxed by the pace and swing of Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The asking rate rose north of 10 in the 5th over and at 31 for 3, recovery seemed a remote possibility. Only no one had bothered to clue Pollard in. After a jittery start, he remembered his penchant for brutality. Amit Mishra, a far cry from the one that turned up for India in the World T20, was razed for 27 in the 17th over. Rohit Sharma, who was confident today was the game Mumbai would pull off their much-needed turnaround, began contemplating an improbable victory. But much to the birthday boy's chagrin, his side just ran out of juice.

Sunrisers were conscious of their batsmen needing to provide better cover to their bowlers, and opted for Naman Ojha and Irfan to add depth. Ojha smashed the final two balls of the innings for fours and Irfan shouldered the burden of bowling the 16th and the 20th overs with consummate proficiency. Slower balls, yorkers and a refusal to hand width highlighted his two-over spell which ensured Steyn's fearsome bursts and Bhuvneshwar's control were not in vain.

In between though, Mishra braced against a clobbering at the hands of Pollard. The 13th over was biffed for 19 runs and signalled the first challenge from Mumbai. A daunting 87 off 42 was being chipped away. It didn't seem to matter whether Mishra gave the ball air or fired it in, Pollard revved up and mauled five of his six sixes off the legspinner, who ended with 0 for 54. At the other end, Ambati Rayudu ensured he wasn't lost in the slipstream during a 77-run stand for the fourth wicket. The equation was diluted to 31 off the final three overs, but that was when Sunrisers dug deep. Steyn, as ever, delivered when it mattered, ceding only four runs in the 18th, and Bhuvneshwar just seven in the next, to put Sunrisers ahead going into Irfan's final over.

Sunrisers' batting resources were lumped too tightly at the top and an early wicket prompted a change of tactic. KL Rahul's technical correctness was banked on to minimise the damage. Mumbai were adamant on not giving the batsmen any room and their fielders were no shy of hurtling after the ball if it was anywhere near their vicinity. They were desperate.

Rahul blunted the challenge, placing faith in his footwork against spin and nudges around the ground to keep the scoreboard ticking. He knew Warner was better equipped to lead the charge.

Harbhajan Singh did his best to plant doubts, constantly foiling Warner's attempts to blaze away in the early goings with a remarkable control of flight and line. Warner fronted 16 balls from the offspinner and could summon only nine runs. But as the death overs came, Warner found his touch. Batting both right- and left-handed, he inspired Sunrisers to crash 73 in the last six overs.

Pragyan Ojha was carted repeatedly over midwicket and the partnership with Rahul blossomed to 101 - Sunrisers' second hundred-plus stand of the season and that was the partnership that forced Mumbai into a position of having to win almost all of their matches in the India leg to progress in the tournament.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vas on May 2, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    SRH looked more balanced with Warner coming in at 4 and Irfan showing some form. Youngster Rahul looks talented. May be future indian star in the making. SRH will win more games with this combination. AMistra's form is their only worry. He might come good in Indian pitches. Otherwise Rasool should replace him.

  • Naresh on May 2, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Rohit Sharma has lost the spark that spurred him on when he captained MI to glory in the last IPL. From an Indian perspective batting has been a failure in this IPL - only Rahane is up there with the best. Bowling is much better with Aaron, Mohit, Bhuvi, Balaji, Sandeep, Chahal and Tambe - showing up for their franchises.

  • Siva on May 2, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    MI = Mentor Indians- there is simply too many of them

  • Android on May 1, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    It was a matter of time pollard start to fire but the team cant depend on him alone to fight. Everybody else need to step up

  • Dummy4 on May 1, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    @ LongLiveTestCricket....... do you have anything against Rayudu?? I think The guy did well so far compared to many other stars in the team. You can blame him for getting out at wrong times, but he did score the runs.

  • Sunny on May 1, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    What a masterclass from Steyn and Bhuvi.Despite asking rate coming down to 10 from 15 due to 17th over assault,they bowled with a lot of guile and even a fully set Pollard cudn't do much.Courtesy them Pathan had 20 runs to defend in final over and not 11/12 which would have proved extremely difficult for him.Bowled a length ball but luckily Pollard inside edged him.Watching the match, one thing was clear-beyond Pollard there was no one to take MI through to the winning line and at any stage if he would have been dismissed it would have been game over.He brought'em back with his assault on Mishra but MI were expecting him to do a lot.With multiple wicketkeepers selected in auction and in playing XI, MI bat order is a joke and Anderson just seems to be doing nothing.Retaining mediocre players like Rayudu for huge amount,RTM for Ojha while letting go of Smith,Maxwell,Karthik was bound to come back to haunt and so they seem listless bunch. Aahhh! they have KXIP to play next,so better pray.

  • Dummy on May 1, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    I think day was lucky for irfan , some people told man of the match irfan but both batsman out on full toss bhuvi bowl very well under pressure he gave on 7 run in second last over so path an get raydu wicket he bowl pollard only Yorkers bhuvi always bowl really very well against west Indians in tri series,champion trophy ,t20 world cup, in CSL match against d smith and also chris gyale when he made 175* last year.

  • Ali on May 1, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    The talent is there,

    the brains are lacking...

    Hajaban wasted the 19th over ...

    27 of 12....

    you needed 10+ in the 19th ... 7 was not good..

    in the 20th Pollard could not wait and see... he HAD to GO for it ...

    and even so, with 20 in 5,,, they should have sent in MALINGA ...

    that was their only chance of making 20 in 5 ....

    MI is behaving as though , they want Pollard to make all the runs by himself .... at this rate they should make Pollard open ....

  • Rahul on May 1, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    Anderson and Pollard have the same roles in MI side. But, Anderson really looks hopeless to say the least. Was expected a lot from him when he was picked. But Has no clue against Spinners and seems struggling on slow pitches even against pace bowlers. Just a one match wonder? Likes the ball coming onto the bat,is being terribly exposed. Pollard should bat up the order because MI have another Richard Levi here in Anderson. Has been tried at different positions,still nothing has come positive for him.

  • ESPN on May 1, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    When not getting from yr boler/batsman good performance , it is better to replace and should try from sitting on bench..............!

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