Finishing at the top of the table offers several clear benefits and that was one factor which clearly motivated Rohit Sharma and his side in this season of the IPL. After a superb defending act against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, the men in blue now are certain of playing the first qualifier at home. The win against Gautam Gambhir’s side would be of great significance for the men from Mumbai, as they rested all their first choice players.
Batting first, the visitors got to a decent 173 on board as comeback man and Mumbai Indians veteran Ambati Rayudu put on display a superb half century. Saurabh Tiwary, playing his first match of the season played well for his half-century at well. But ultimately, it was Hardik Pandya’s spell of 2 for 22 in 4 overs which won Mumbai the game.
Post the win, skipper Rohit Sharma was delighted after a top two finish.
“Finishing on top of the table is something we spoke about at the start of the game,” said Sharma. “That’s exactly what we did, we batted, bowled and fielded well. It was good to see and it goes on to show that we have a great bench strength. The boys have proved their bit whenever they got opportunities.”
“They were going at 10 an over but we kept picking wickets. We were not panicking and were just executing our plans. When the batsmen come hard it isn’t easy for the bowlers but hats off to them for keeping their calm. One-half of the tournament is over, we are entering a part where we have to play well,” Sharma added.
Ambati Rayudu was named the Man of the Match and he spoke about his desire to play at any cost. “It was a tough wait. The team was doing well and I was rightly sitting out after the injury. I am happy that I could get a good knock today. We were looking at 165, to be honest, because the wicket was sticky. Anything between 170 and 180 and we knew we would win the game,” said Rayudu.