Corey Anderson’s heroics and Aditya Tare’s winning six take Mumbai Indians to playoffs as they beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets.
The equation was crystal clear Mumbai Indians needed to chase down 190 in just 14.3 overs to qualify for playoffs and they came out to bat with that intent.Lendl Simmons played a brisk knock of 12 runs off eight balls to get the ball rolling before Dhawal Kulkarni had him caught at Mid-on and MI lost their first wicket at 19 inside 2nd over.
Corey Anderson was drafted in the line-up for the kind of situation MI was in. He along with Michael Hussey kept pushing towards the required task. Hussey after playing 11-ball 22 runs knock was cleaned up off Kevon Cooper’s full length delivery. Kieron Pollard, the man MI wanted out there in that situation was the next batsmen to walk in. Pollard did not wasted time and on second ball he faced off Cooper he smashed that over mid-wicket for a maximum. Cooper, his compatriot bowled a slower ball to disguise Pollard (7) and he was early into the shot and ball ballooned up towards square-leg where Brad Hodge took a simple catch and thus MI lost their 3rd wicket for 61.
Rohit Sharma joined Anderson who had already indicated that by now way he is going to bog down. After eight overs MI needed 101 runs from 39 balls to qualify. Anderson had his eye on the target as he was doingwhat he is best at, he kept attacking every bowler and his weakness was hard to found.
There was no point in rotating the strike Rohit Sharma and others needed to take burden off from Anderson’s shoulders. Rohit (16) looking to attack holed out to Karun off Kulkarni, but that did not stop Anderson as it was clear cut task for him to keep smashing bowlers. He completed his maiden IPL fifty off just 25 balls, but it was not over for him yet.
Ambati Rayudu played the “best supporting character” as he too was looking to hammer RR bowling.As equation went down to 51 off 21 balls MI kept coming closer to attain the unattainable. Rayudu hit three consecutive 4s off Watson and then Anderson in same over hit one off him to fetch 18 runs from his over. Cooper was the go-to man for Watson and he was handed the ball as game entered the crucial last phase with MI needing 33 off 18 balls. He gave away 13 runs as Anderson and Rayudu both hit him for a boundary.
Leg spinner Pravin Tambewho’s first over had went for 14 runs was brought into the attack and equation for MI win (qualification) was 20 runs off 12 balls. Tambe bowled a reasonable over given the circumstances and gave away 11 runs as Anderson hit him for four twice.
It was down to three balls and nine runs then. Leather was thrown to James Faulkner to stop Anderson and Rayudu from scoring nine runs off three balls. An edge off Anderson’s bat went down to third man for a single on the first ball. Rayudu was on strike and MI needed eight runs. A full toss on the pads and Rayudu smoked that towards the square leg for a six. It looked done and dusted for RR with two needed from one ball. Faulkner bowled a length ball which Rayudu smashed down to mid-off, fielder missed the shy at stumps and the batsmen tried to run for a double but in the process Rayudu (30 off 10 balls) last his wicket and only one run counted. At that stage MI equalled to RR’s run-rate and a boundary was needed off the next ball if MI had to qualify.Aditya Tare was the next man in and Faulkner delivered yet another full toss on pads which was dispatched for yet another six over square-leg and Thus Mumbai Indians qualified for Playoffs.
Anderson the hero was left unbeaten at other end on 95 as Tare the star hit a six. Anderson smashed nine 4s and six 6s in his match-winning knock off just 44 balls.
Kevon Cooper (2-42) and Dhawal Kulkarni (2-38) were the only bowlers to pick wickets.
With this win Mumbai Indians finish fourth on points table and will now meet Chennai Super Kings in the eliminator.
Man of the Match: Corey Anderson
Brief Scores:MI 195-5(C. Anderson 95*, D. Kulkarni 2-38) beat RR 189-4(S. Samson74, J. Bumrah 1-30) by five wickets.