MI’s first win of the season ‘good’ for mood, says Suryakumar
MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians’ (MI) batting hero Suryakumar Yadav said that his side’s first win of this Indian Premier League (IPL) season will lift the team spirit. MI beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets on Saturday. Chasing 159 to win, Mumbai relied on an 81-run third-wicket stand between Suryakumar (51) and Tilak Varma (35) to achieve their target of 159 with four balls to spare at the DY Patil Stadium here.
Suryakumar and Varma fell in the space of three balls and Kieron Pollard was out for 10 in the final over as Royals threatened to snatch victory. But Singapore batter Tim David smashed 20 off nine balls and Daniel Sams hit the winning six. Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai, the richest and most successful side in Indian Premier League history with five titles, bounced back from a record eight losses but stay bottom of the 10-team table.
“Very happy with the way things went,” said Player-of-the Match Suryakumar. “It was an important win to have a good atmosphere. Really looking forward to the few games ahead.”
He later told reporters, the win will “spread positivity” and help everyone “learn” going forward in this season. In-form Jos Buttler smashed 67 to guide Royals to 158-6 but the total was not enough for the team who paid tribute to their first captain, the late Australian hero Shane Warne in the game. Royals, who won the inaugural IPL in 2008 under Warne, had “SW23” printed on their players’ collars and both teams stood in line for a minute’s applause at the start of the match. Buttler, who leads the tournament batting chart with 566 runs including three centuries, held up his collar after reaching his sixth 50-plus score.
Buttler hit off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen for four straight sixes but fell to the bowler on the final ball of the over. Australia fast bowler Riley Meredith returned impressive figures of 2-24 from his four overs. In reply, Suryakumar put the chase on track after birthday boy Rohit, who turned 35, fell for two and partner Ishan Kishan for 26.
Suryakumar reached his third half-century of the season off 36 balls with a six off Ravichandran Ashwin before falling to Chahal’s leg-spin in the next over, but by point that he had done enough to help Mumbai snap their losing run. In the first match of the day, superstar Virat Kohli struck form with his first half-century of this season but Royal Challengers Bangalore went down to their third straight loss.
After a string of low scores — including two golden ducks, Kohli hit 58 off 53 balls to guide Bangalore to 170 for six against Gujarat Titans at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Gujarat were in trouble at 95 for 4 in 12.5 overs when David Miller (39) and Rahul Tewatia (43) put on an unbeaten stand of 79 to power their team home with three balls and six wickets to spare. On Kohli’s performance, skipper Faf Du Plessis called it “a huge step in the right direction to get a solid 50”. “You want one of your top four to get the 70s in the future, so it’s good,” he said.