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IPL 2016 – GL vs MI: Gujarat Lions Beat Mumbai Indians To Seal Playoff Berth

By on May 22, 2016

Gujarat Lions 173 for 4 (Raina 58, McCullum 48, Smith 37*, Vinay 2-17) beat Mumbai Indians 172 for 8 (Rana 70, Buttler 33, Bravo 2-22, Praveen 2-24) by six wickets…

Defending champions Mumbai Indians were all but eliminated from the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League after crashing to a six-wicket defeat against debutants Gujarat Lions , who booked their playoff berth, at Green Park in Kanpur on Saturday.

Gujarat chased down the 173-run target with 13 balls to spare riding on a brilliant half-century by captain Suresh Raina and crucial contributions by Brendon McCullum (48) and Dwayne Smith (37*).

Gujarat lost their first wicket without a run on the board for the second consecutive time as Aaron Finch was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Vinay Kumar, becoming his 100th IPL victim.

McCullum put up a 96-run stand off 54 balls with Raina to put the Gujarat run chase back on track. The former New Zealand skipper slammed a six and eight boundaries in his 27-ball 48 before he was clean bowled by Harbhajan Singh in the tenth over.

IPL 2016 - GL vs MI: Suresh Raina

Credits: ESPN CricInfo

Raina raced to his second successive fifty off only 30 balls with the help of two sixes and eight boundaries but his dismissal for 58 soon after the fall of Dinesh Karthik (3) put Gujarat in a spot of bother at 122/4 in 12.2 overs.

Having fallen for a first ball duck as an opener in the previous match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Smith struck some lusty blows right from the word go to keep Gujarat in the hunt and ensured that Gujarat became the first team to qualify for the playoffs with an unbeaten 37-run knock that came off 23 balls and was studded with two sixes and four fours.

Earlier, Nitish Rana’s maiden half-century enabled Mumbai to set a challenging 173-run target for Gujarat. Smith, Dwayne Bravo , Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar took two wickets each as Gujarat just about managed to pull things back to an extent. Mumbai had only three double figures scores in their batting performance.

Put into bat, Mumbai were dealt with an early blow losing their captain Rohit Sharma (30) caught by Shadab Jakati at deep square leg off Kulkarni in the fourth over. Last match hero Smith then struck twice in one over to dismiss Martin Guptill and Krunal Pandya to reduce Mumbai to 45/3 in 5 overs.

It was the 75-run partnership between Rana and Jos Buttler off just 53 balls that brought Mumbai back in the game and it took a superb return catch effort from Bravo to break the stand. Buttler smacked three fours in his 33-ball 31 before smashing a Bravo delivery straight back only for the West Indian to take a superb return catch by grabbing the ball out of thin air on his follow through.

Despite wickets falling at the other end, Rana kept going hammer and tongs against the Gujarat bowlers and raced to his maiden fifty off just 28 balls. Rana belted four sixes and seven fours in his 36-ball 70 before Bravo had him caught by Kulkarni at deep square leg. Rana, who was promoted to the number three spot, was severe specially against Jakati and Ravindra Jadeja smashing a few sixes.

Kieron Pollard , who was riled up by Bravo, then became Kulkarni’s second victim caught by Smith at long-off after hitting a six in his 11-ball 9 as Mumbai lost four wickets in the last four overs scoring only 27 runs against some excellent bowling by Gujarat bowlers to end their innings at 172/8.

Source: Times Of India

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