MI vs LSG, IPL 2024: Lucknow seal 18-run win to condemn Mumbai to last spot

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) finished their TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign on a high with an 18-run victory over the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium.

MI won the toss and chose to bowl first with a few changes in their line-up, most notable being Arjun Tendulkar coming in place of Jasprit Bumrah. LSG’s innings was one of two halves as they struggled to build momentum in the first 10 overs with the MI bowlers keeping the batters in check. What worked for MI was that they picked wickets at regular intervals, and at the half-way mark, LSG seemed to be in trouble. The onus fell on Nicholas Pooran to inject energy into the innings and for the set KL Rahul to hold fort and help rebuild towards a good total.

Devdutt Padikkal was promoted to open the batting, and in the very first over, Nuwan Thushara trapped him leg-before. While LSG tried to earn a start in the powerplay, it was Marcus Stoinis who got off to a good start. He moved along to 28 off 22 with five fours before Piyush Chawla trapped him leg-before off the last ball of the powerplay. In that phase, Chawla kept things quiet and helped MI maintain a hold. In his third over, he induced an edge off Deepak Hooda’s bat – which was caught by Nehal Wadhera at point. At the half-way mark, LSG were 69 for three, with Pooran walking in.

It is interesting to note that Pooran played out the first three balls of his innings as dot balls. This is because he got to his fifty off only 19 balls. Effectively, he raced to the milestone in only 16. The usual Pooran wagon-wheel as on display, with the horizontal bat shots in display. The ball kept disappearing square off the wicket on both sides.

The 13th over went for 22 with Pooran picking two sixes. He looked unstoppable. Arjun Tendulkar, who was cramping, came in to bowl the 15th and was sent over the leg-side for two sixes. That helped Pooran get his fifty. Tendulkar walked off the field and Naman Dhir completed the over. Pooran carted him for a six and four as well. Bowled by two bowlers, the 15th over went for 29.

Rahul moved to his fifty off 37 balls soon after. Thushara was brought back, and he lived up to his captain’s hopes by first getting rid of Pooran for a 29-ball 75. Arshad Khan, the hero of LSG’s previous game, was promoted in the batting order but skied the first ball. In the next over, Rahul was dismissed by Chawla. At 178 for six, LSG were still chasing the 200-mark.

Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni combined well to push LSG to 214 with some important boundaries towards the end.

MI’s innings got off to a good start thanks to Rohit Sharma and Dewald Brevis. The young South African opener was promoted to open the batting in place of Ishan Kishan. The opening partnership between Brevis and Rohit was dominated by the latter. Rohit showcased his best with some eye-catching shots to enthrall the Wankhede crowd. In a tall run-chase, the senior batter needed to set the tone, and he did so with a clinical approach in the early overs.

The 88-run partnership took a little over eight overs, out of which Brevis contributed 23. By then, Rohit had raced away to his fifty off only 28 balls. It was a typical Rohit innings during the Powerplay as he used the conditions to good effect and lofted the ball over the infield. Brevis’s dismissal put a break on the MI innings as that also opened the door for LSG. That brought them more wickets. Suryakumar Yadav holded out to the deep off Krunal Pandya in the 10th over. The crushing blow was delivered when Rohit was dismissed for 68 by Ravi Bishnoi in the next over as he was caught at short third-man.

The rest of the MI batters battled the rising net run-rate which kept mounting with each passing over. In the face of the mounting rate, Naman Dhir – one of the youngsters for MI – put up a good fight as he got to his half-century in the last over of the match with a six off Naveen. Dhir took 25 balls to get there but with MI needing 34 off the last over, they faced a herculean task. Due to LSG’s slowdown in the middle overs, they couldn’t make up for it at the end. The brightest spot at the end for MI was Dhir, who hit the last ball of the innings for six and finished on an unbeaten 62 off 28 balls.

LSG’s bowlers put in a team effort, with Krunal leading the way. A spell of one for 29 in four overs helped tremendously in the middle-overs. Bishnoi also contributed with two for 37 – which helped restrict MI. The spinners helped LSG in that phase and that made the difference.

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