MUMBAI: Pacer Daniel Sams displayed ice-cool temperament as he conceded just three runs in the last over to help Mumbai Indians pull off a stunning five-run victory over table-toppers Gujarat Titans in an IPL game on Saturday.
MI were seemingly down and out with the Titans’ opening pair of Wriddhiman Saha (55 off 40 balls) and Shubman Gill (52 off 36 balls) sharing a 106-run partnership in 12.1 overs while chasing 178.
However, the Titans kept losing wickets, including two crucial run-outs as they required nine runs in the last over to win the match.
They could score just three, while losing one wicket to slump to their second successive defeat in the season.
For MI, who were already out of contention for a play-off berth, it was only their second win of the season as they remained at the bottom.
Opting to bowl, Gujarat restricted MI to 177 for six, despite quickfire innings from opening pair of Rohit Sharma (43 off 28 balls) and Ishan Kishan (45 off 29 balls) and Tim David (44 not out off 21 balls).
Rashid Khan was the most successful bowler for the Titans with his two wickets for 24, while Pradeep Sangwan and Lockie Ferguson got one each.
Alzarri Joseph also took a wicket but he bled 41 runs in his four overs.
Chasing 178, Saha looked in full flow as he cracked two fours and a six off Jasprit Bumrah’s first over, before smashing Riley Meredith for two boundaries.
Shubman Gill slog-swept Murugan Ashwin for a six, before picking up another four as the fifty-run stand came up in quick time, taking the Titans to 54 for one in six overs.
The Chandigarh batter exploded in the eighth over with three boundaries off Daniel Sams, who had bowled a briliant opening over.
Kumar Kartikeya was next in line as he yielded 15 runs with Saha smashing his first ball for a four and Gill producing a clean hit over long off before slog-sweeping the bowler for another four.
Soon, 100 was up in 11 overs with Saha also completing his fifty.
Gill too joined him as his single off Pollard took him to a 33-ball half-century.
Both Saha and Gill smashed six boundaries and two maximums each.
A bizzare hit wicket ended Sai Sudharsan’s (14) innings, while Hardik Pandya (24) fall short after going for an unnecessary single.
Needing 20 off last two overs, Miller deposited Bumrah over deep mid-wicket but the Titans couldn’t score nine of the last over lose the match.
Earlier, invited to bat, Rohit seemed to be in good touch after a series of low scores as he took the early initiative, dominating the proceedings with his strokeplay as Kishan played the second fiddle.
The MI skipper was particularly harsh on Joseph as he smashed the bowler for four boundaries and a six, while Kishan joined the party in the fifth over, slamming Rashid Khan for a couple of fours to bring up their 50-run partnership.
Rohit then hit Lockie Ferguson for a four as MI posted 63 for no loss, their best in the powerplay this season.
Rashid produced the breakthrough in the eighth over, removing the dangerous Rohit, who was trapped in front while looking to play a reverse shot.
Kishan then took over, dancing down the pitch to send Rahul Tewatia over mid-wicket.
Suryakumar Yadav produced his trademark whip for a maximum but perished in his next attempt off Pradeep Sangwan.
Back into the attack, Joseph then struck with a slower delivery which Kishan ended up sending to Rashid at mid-wicket as MI slipped to 111 for 3 in 12 overs.
Kieron Pollard lived dangerously with Sangwan and Ferguson bowling two quiet overs and was eventually cleaned up by Rashid, who set up the West Indian with two googlies.
MI thus seemed to have frittered away the solid start but Tilak Verma (21) and Tim David then tried to put together a partnership with the latter launching Mohammed Shami for two fours at mid-off and long leg respectively.
Varma was run-out with Hardik Pandya producing a direct throw, while Daniel Sams too perished with a second-ball duck.
However, David smacked Shami for two maximums in the last over to take the team past the 170-run mark.
Mumbai Indians players celebrate after winning the IPL match against Gujarat Titans at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. (Photo | PTI)