Mumbai Indians 177 for 6 (Kishan 45, David 44*, Rohit 43, Rashid 2-24) beat Gujarat Titans 172 for 5 (Saha 55, Gill 52, Ashwin 2-29) by 5 runs
Almost out of the tournament, needing a lot of permutations and combinations in the rest of the tournament to stay alive, Mumbai Indians still gave their raucous home crowd something to cheer about, defending eight runs in the last over with six Gujarat Titans wickets in hand
Titans, who have snatched wins from the jaws of defeat on a few occasions earlier in the tournament with some incredible six-hitting, took the defeat out of a victory’s grasp thanks to quick ones and twos that resulted in run-outs.
Rohit shows form
Rohit began the match with an average of 17 and a strike rate of 123 this IPL, but looked in great touch. He took on Alzarri Joseph to begin with but went after every bowler in the first six overs, scoring 42, more than he has ever done inside an IPL powerplay. The smooth hitting was back on display. Ishan Kishan was not so smooth, benefiting from an edge or three, but he too kept scoring quickly. The 63 for 0 after six overs was easily their best powerplay in a disappointing season.
Rashid strikes back
Teams have decided to not give wickets to Rashid Khan and Sunil Narine even if it means playing them out at a sub-optimal run rate. Rashid came into this match with just nine wickets but at under seven an over. Rohit, though, was looking to attack everyone because this was a good pitch and they needed a big total. Rashid went for 13 in his first, bowled inside the powerplay. In Rashid’s second, all it took was two dots to bring out the reverse-sweep. Rashid, though, was too accurate for that and trapped him lbw.
Three Mumbai batters scored more than 40 runs at a strike rate higher than 150, but their eventual score was the lowest among 134 such T20 innings. Kieron Pollard, Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav scored 38 off 41 between them to offset 132 off 78 between Rohit, Ishan Kishan and Tim David.
Pollard, especially, was a slightly strange choice to walk in during the 13th over when he was going to play out Lockie Ferguson and Rashid. He was looking to play Rashid out, but Rashid was good enough to turn a legbreak past his forward-defensive and hit the top of off.
To their credit, Titans responded well to the powerplay by mixing the pace in the rest of the innings to restrict Mumbai. David, who took them to 177 with two sixes in the final over, was despondent at the halfway mark, saying they were well short.
At the start of the chase, Saha continued his excellent intent and took the pressure off Gill, who has been short of a gallop. He went after Bumrah, using his pace, taking 25 off nine balls in his first two overs, more than anyone has taken off Bumrah in a T20 powerplay. Around the end of the powerplay, it was Gill, who took the load off Saha, who tends to slow down once the field is spread. He took a six and a four off M Ashwin followed by a hat-trick of fours off Daniel Sams and then a six and a four off left-arm wristspinner Kumar Kartikeya.
Now Gill must have fancied Ashwin after his earlier success off him, but it was perhaps time for Saha to go after the bowling and for Gill to set up to bat through. However, Gill was the first one to attack and holed out at the start of the 13th over. Saha followed in the same over, top-edging a sweep.
Titans run themselves out
Hardik Pandya, though, continued in the flow he has managed through the season. Despite the hit-wicket dismissal of Sai Sudharsan – trying to hit the pants off a slower bouncer from Pollard and losing the bottom hand on the bat – Titans were on track, needing 22 off 15.
This is when Pandya called David Miller through for a quick single when the ball was rolling through to the keeper. A dive or a full stretch would have got Pandya in, but the replays surprised him, catching him on the line when the wicket lit up.
In the 19th over, despite an off night, Bumrah created some tension, conceding just four off four. Miller, though, seemed to have sealed the chase when he hit the fifth, a short ball, for a flat six to make it 10 required off seven balls.
At eight off five, Rahul Tewatia missed a slower ball from Sams. Off the next ball, he tried a second but couldn’t make it despite a slow and an off-target throw from deep midwicket. Rashid took a single off the fourth ball to give it to Miller with six required off two.
Sams managed to go past the bat on both occasions with full and wide slower balls.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo