Battered Mumbai Indians added more woes to their IPL campaign after five-time champions slumped to a 36-run defeat against Lucknow Super Giants on April 24 at iconic Wankhede Stadium. KL Rahul's second consecutive century against Men in Blue and incredible bowling effort left Mumbai with no option but to fall short of victory for the eighth time in the tournament.
Rohit Sharma & Co. are yet to open their account in the points table and have been left way below at the bottom of the points table. After being invited to bat first, Lucknow had an unlikely start as Quinton de Kock got dismissed after adding just 10 runs on board. Unbeaten KL Rahul played memorable innings in the game as he scored 103 in mere 62 balls, but lack of support from the other end cost the side as they could only post 168/6 in 20 overs.
Meanwhile, Lucknow bowlers stood tall in front of the quality batting lineup of Mumbai and kept taking wickets at regular intervals. KL Rahul tried seven bowlers in the game, including young Ayush Badoni and all of them returned with one wicket at least, except Dushmantha Chameera, who finished his four-over at the staggering economy of 3.50 after conceding just 14 runs.
For Mumbai, Rohit Sharma (39 off 31) and Tilak Verma (38 off 27) played solitary innings as none of the batters could find any rhythm in the game.
Let's take a look at the highlights of the game.
1. Unbeaten KL Rahul's 103
That was a Deja Vu moment for KL Rahul. Lucknow skipper hit his first century of the season against Mumbai Indians in their last fixture, but he continued from where he started and highlighted the inability of Mumbai bowlers to take his wicket. Rahul stamped his authority in the game by perfectly anchoring the innings for his side, as wickets kept falling from one end. Rahul's innings had four maximums and 12 boundaries as he closed the mounting gap with Jos Buttler for leading scorer in the tournament.
2. Lucknow's mini-collapse in middle-order
While Rahul was playing with utmost ease in front of Mumbai's pace attack, other batters had the most difficult time spending time on the crease. After Manish Pandey's wicket in 11.5 overs, wickets fell at regular intervals, which cost Lucknow heavily. The score, which could have easily gone above 200, was restricted to just 168 in 20 overs. A brief cameo from Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni helped Rahul a little bit, but not as he was expecting. Marcus Stoinis (0 off 3) and Krunal Pandya (1 off 2) gifted their wickets to Daniel Sams and Kieron Pollard.
3. Mumbai Indians' poor batting performance
Five-time champions have been consistent in one rare thing: their poor performance in all the departments. Ishan Kishan scoring eight runs after playing 20 balls speak volumes of his out-of-form state, and Rohit Sharma failing to anchor his innings is another major concern. Lack-lustre batting performance from Men in Blue gifted part-time bowler Ayush Badoni his maiden T20 wicket in the form of inform of Suryakumar Yadav. Seven Mumbai batters could not reach double figures in the game.
4. Krunal Pandya's three-wicket haul
Lucknow tried seven bowlers in the game, and except Chameera, everyone picked wickets. But, Krunal Pandya emerged as a standout bowler as he clinched three wickets in the game in the form of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Daniel Sams. Pandya picked his last two wickets in the final over of the game, by which time the game was well and truly out of MI's hands.