Akash stuns LSG as Mumbai Indians enter second qualifier

Indian Premier League 2023

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Akash stuns LSG as Mumbai Indians

Akash Madhwal’s sizzling maiden five-wicket haul (5/5), a collection of impactful batting cameos coupled with an electric fielding performance helped Mumbai Indians beat Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs in the Eliminator and cruise into Qualifier 2 of the TATA IPL 2023.

Impactful attacking cameos from Cameron Green (41 off 23), Suryakumar Yadav (33 off 20), Tilak Varma (26 off 22) and Impact Player Nehal Wadhera (23 off 12) propelled Mumbai Indians to a competitive 182/8. Akash Madhwal then took the centrestage on the big stage with a lethal spell of 5/5 to rip through LSG’s batting order as the Krunal Pandya-led side succumbed under pressure to get bowled out for 101 which included three run-outs.

Chasing 183, LSG got off to a stuttering start as they lost Prerak Mankad early. They would have had Kyle Mayers back in the hut too but he got lucky in the first over as he survived a run out chance. Prerak Mankad hit one to point where Shokeen made a stunning one-handed stop and missed his direct hit at the non-striker’s end as Mayers went back after being stranded mid-way due to a mix-up. He would have been well short had the fielder hit the stumps. Akash Madhwal then struck two balls later as Mankad mistimed his slash to third man where Shokeen was in action again and he made no mistake with the catch. Mayers'(18 off 13) luck didn’t last long as he mistimed his pull to mid on off Jordan in the fourth over.

MI could have had the dangerous Marcus Stoinis back in the hut in the next over but Wadhera misjudged a catch at deep point and fell short after putting in a dive charging forward. Stoinis then went after Shokeen, hitting a couple of well=place fours and a straight lofted six to amass 18 off the over and take LSG to 54/2 at the end of the Powerplay.

Just when a partnership was developing, the experienced Piyush Chawla struck to break the 46-run stand as he had captain Krunal Pandya(8 off 11) caught at long on. The pressure was building and Ayush Badoni succumbed to it as he went for a swing across the line off Madhwal but missed it and found the off stump knocked down. Madhwal bowled a beauty next ball to have the dangerous Nicholas Pooran caught behind as MI reduced LSG to 75/5 at the halfway mark.

It was all going downhill as Stoinis was run out after a clash mid-way with Hooda while looking to go for a tight second. A brilliant tag-team effort from Green and Rohit saw Gowtham run out as Rohit scored a direct hit from covers. Gowtham tapped it to point where Green made a diving stop and relayed it to Rohit, Gowtham saw an opportunity for a single and set off but was sent back, he was late as Rohit scored a direct hit and he was found well short.

Akash Madhwal then came back and had Ravi Bishnoi caught at long on. The calamity continued as another massive mix up saw Deepak Hooda walk back to the hut in the same over as LSG crumbled to 100/9. Madhwal then fittingly finished the game off as he cleaned up Mohsin Khan with a cracking yorker to register his maiden five-wicket haul in the IPL and finish with the best figures in IPL 2023 so far with 3.5-0-5-5.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat. They made two changes to the starting XI as Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen replaced Nehal Wadhera and Kumar Kartikeya. They named Ramandeep Singh, Nehal Wadhera, Vishnu Vinod, Kumar Kartikeya, Sandeep Warrier as their substitutes.

Lucknow Super Giants also made two changes to the starting eleven as Deepak Hooda and Yash Thakur replaced Quinton de Kock and Karan Sharma. Kyle Mayers, Daniel Sams, Yudhvir Singh, Swapnil Singh and Amit Mishra made it to their substitutes list.

Mumbai Indians got off to a brisk start but lost captain Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan inside the Powerplay. Ishan Kishan started off in a positive fashion with a four through backward point off the first ball as LSG opened the bowling with captain Krunal Pandya. Kishan then hit a couple of fours off K Gowtham in the second over before Rohit Sharma went after Krunal, cracking a six over long on and then sweeping one behind square leg for a four two balls later as the duo took 16 off the over. Krunal then introduced pace for the first time in the fourth over and Naveen-ul-Haq struck in his first over, having Rohit (11 off 10) caught at extra cover.

Cameron Green started off aggressively with a couple of fours, one of which flew off the outside edge, off Naveen but MI lost Kishan(15 off 12) in the next over as he slashed at one but got an edge to the keeper. Suryakumar then got into the groove with an incredible pull over the keeper for a six. Green then took the attack to Krunal smacking three well-placed fours to take MI to 62/2 at the end of the Powerplay. After a couple of relatively quiet overs, Suryakumar and Green pressed the accelerator button again as they hammered a couple of massive sixes off Mohsin as MI reached 98/2 at the halfway mark.

With the partnership blossoming, LSG needed a wicket. Krunal brought back Naveen and the Afghanistan pacer brought LSG back in the match with two wickets in the over. He struck to remove the dangerous Suryakumar Yadav (33 off 20) as he outfoxed him with a slower one and had him caught at long off. Two balls later that slower one castled Green(41 off 23) as he missed an off cutter that nipped back in sharply.

LSG did an excellent job of pulling things back and conceded just 15 from the 13 to 15 over phase. Tilak Varma finally ended the boundary drought as he smashed one over deep square leg for a six off Naveen but the pacer bounced back well to concede just 3 more off the next four balls. Yash Thakur then got the important wicket of Tim David (13 off 13) in the next over as the MI batter hit a high full toss straight to long on.

MI then sent Nehal Wadhera in as an Impact Player at No.7, replacing Suryakumar Yadav. He cracked a six off Naveen in the 18th over but the Afghanistan pacer hit back to dismiss Tilak Varma in the same over as he finished a fantastic spell of 4-0-38-4. Mohsin then bowled a fantastic penultimate over, conceding just 6 (Off which 4 were byes) and taking the wicket of Jordan.

Impact Player Wadhera (23 off 12) then provided the crucial final flourish as he used the crease to good effect and targeted the shorter side to hit a couple of fours and a six before holing out to deep cover off the last ball as MI posted 182/8 from 20 overs.

It was a very good comeback from LSG to restrict MI to 182 after they were cruising at one point with 104/2 in the 11th over.

LSG introduced Kyle Mayers as their Impact Player, replacing Yash Thakur, at the start of the second innings.