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Sunday, 16 May 2021 11:22 GMT

IPL 2021: Rahul takes inspiration from cousin Deepak as MI beat SRH


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) On Friday night, it was a Chahar. And on Saturday night, it was Chahar again. After Deepak Chahar had starred for the Chennai Super Kings against the Punjab Kings at the Wankhede, a day earlier, his cousin Rahul took inspiration to script a narrow victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Chepauk.

The 21-year-old leg spinner snapped up three wickets (3-19), and New Zealand left-arm quick Trent Boult picked three as well (3-28), as reigning champions the Mumbai Indians pulled off a 13-run win, with two balls to spare.

Sunrisers Hyderabad were off to a blazing start in their pursuit of 151, with the openers Jonny Bairstow and skipper David Warner coming up with a stand of 67 runs from 45 balls. But Bairstow's blistering knock of 43 from 22 deliveries, which was peppered with four sixes and three boundaries, ended in unfortunate circumstances with the Englishman stepping on to his stumps to be hit wicket off Krunal Pandya.

Manish Pandey fell cheaply for two, while Warner departed after hitting a 34-ball 36 with two fours and an equal number of sixes. Although Vijay Shankar came up with a 25-ball 28, with two sixes, Sunrisers Hyderabad were all out for 137.

It was the Mumbai Indians' second win in three matches and it took the five-time champions to the top of the league table, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are yet to notch a win and are at the foot of the table.

Earlier, the Mumbai Indians finished with much less than what they would have hoped for, after captain Rohit Sharma had opted to have the first dig.

Both the openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit had given the Mumbai Indians a great start but the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack reined them in, at the right time. The Mumbai Indians eventually finished up with 150 for five in their allotment with de Kock being the top scorer with 40 from 39 deliveries, which included five boundaries.

Rohit was looking good in the middle, cracking a 25-ball 32, that had two boundaries and an equal number of sixes, before he became one of Vijay Shankar's two victims on the night. As he crossed 28, Rohit reached the milestone of 4000 runs in T20s as skipper. Rohit has 5314 runs in 203 matches and 198 innings in the IPL.

Also, the two sixes saw Rohit surpass Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni in the most sixes list. He reached the feat when he pulled a short ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar over deep mid-wicket. The Mumbaikar now has 217 sixes, the most by an Indian batsman, and is third behind Punjab Kings' Chris Gayle and Royal Challengers Bangalore's AB de Villiers. Gayle is a cut above the rest, biffing 351 sixes from 134 matches and 133 innings, while AB de Villiers has smashed 237 sixes from 171 matches and 158 innings.

Meanwhile, Kieron Pollard played a good hand of 35 from 22 deliveries, where he smacked three sixes and a boundary, to take them to that total.

The Mumbai Indians made one change, with Adam Milne making his debut, replacing South African 20-year-old left-arm quick Marco Jansen. Sunrisers Hyderabad had four changes with Wriddhiman Saha, Jason Holder, T Natarajan and Shahbaz Nadeem making way for Virat Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Khaleel Ahmed.

The Mumbai Indians were off to a peppy start with de Kock and Rohit accumulating 54 runs in the powerplay. But Rohit fell just after the powerplay, sending it down Virat Singh's throat at deep midwicket off Vijay Shankar.

Suryakumar Yadav, who had scored 31 and 56 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders respectively, was the next to go, with Vijay Shankar taking a fine return catch.

The Mumbai Indians were three down well within the 15 overs after de Kock was gobbled up by substitute J Suchith at deep midwicket, off Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The 20-year-old then removed southpaw Ishan Kishan before Hardik Pandya was caught by Virat Singh off medium pacer Khaleel Ahmed.

Pollard then came in and played a neat cameo.

'I just tried to take the pace off, Vijay Shankar, who took two for 19, told the host broadcaster, during the innings break.

'With the new ball, it was coming on nicely to the bat, we just had a plan of taking the pace off as much as we could. There was a good pace and it was also sitting up nicely when we were bowling at normal speed. The change-ups worked a lot for us, he added.

The Mumbai Indians take on the Delhi Capitals on April 20, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad meet the Punjab Kings on April 21.

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