The IPL has moved to it’s most key stage wherein every match in context of the tournament has relevance and all the 6 teams fighting against each other are applicable for a spot in the playoffs. Saturday evening saw Gujarat Lions taking on Mumbai Indians – with the Lions already at 8 wins but yet not qualified for playoffs due to net run rate whereas Mumbai Indians are at 7 wins needing to win against Lions to qualify.

A flat deck at Kanpur welcomed the 2 teams and the first glimpse of the pitch gave the impression that around 160-170 will be just par on this wicket. The Mumbai Indians were put into bat by the Lions. Mumbai were forced to make one change of replacing injured Rayudu with Hardik Pandya. Raina stuck with the same side as the last game.

Gujarat Lions vs Mumbai Indian
Date 21 May 2016
Venue Green Park
173.4 (17.5)   172/8 (20)
Gujarat Lions won by 6 wickets

Mumbai Indians began their innings on an aggressive note with their captain in Rohit Sharma attempting to make the most of the first 6 powerplay overs. However a shot too many ended Sharma’s stay at the crease after a 17 ball 30. Guptill never looked coming into his own and he too departed soon enough for just 7. K Pandya who was again sent up the order failed to show any application and went after an unneeded bit shot, getting caught at the leg side boundary – Mumbai 45-3.

The Mumbai Indians got a partnership running between Rana and Buttler – with both of them realizing the dryness in the pitch and with short boundaries the boundaries were easy to comeby, all they needed was for some batsmen to settle in. Rana and Buttler had a 75 run partnership which took Mumbai’s score to 120-4.

Rana’s lusty blows pushed the scoring rate and guided Mumbai’s total to 172 for 8 in 20 overs. On a pitch as flat as the one in Kanpur and with small outfield, the score wasn’t enough; merely just par and Mumbai Indians needed quality bowling to defend it.

Gujarat Lions in their chase lost Finch for a duck, lbw to Vinay Kumar. The early wicket did not though affect the strategy of the lions – who continued to be aggressive and made the most of the first 6 overs. McCullum looked the most efficient that he has looked this whole season, making a 27 ball 48 before falling victim to Harbhajan Singh.

Raina on the other end though reached a fifty in 30 balls – it’s a fact that the weightage of his run scoring is immense in any side, as it was in Chennai Super Kings too. Raina not only hits the big boundaries but his ability to take quick singles and doubles takes the pressure of the batsman at the other end.

The Gujarat Lions were flying to the target, being 111 for 3 after the end of 11 overs. They did though lose the wicket of Raina for 58 but that’s the only chance that they gave Mumbai Indians to fight back into the match on which Mumbai couldn’t capitalize – with Jadeja’s 21 in 15 and Smith’s 23 ball 37 successfully bidding Lions spot in the playoffs with 9 wins, eliminating Mumbai Indians from the race to the playoffs.

GL vs MI Squads for 21 May 2016 Match 54

Gujarat Lions

Suresh Raina (C), Akshdeep Nath, Dwayne Bravo, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi , James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik (W), Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Sarabjit Ladda, A Mishra, Brendon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye

Mumbai Indians

Rohit Sharma (C), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler (W), Unmukt Chand, Marchant de Lange, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Kishore Kamath, Siddhesh Lad, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Kieron Pollard, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Jitesh Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Nathu Singh, Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee, Jagadeesha Suchith, Vinay Kumar, Akshay Wakhare, Martin Guptill, Jerome Taylor

GL vs MI Video Preview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s–7Ds0LL4s

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