SHARJAH: James Neesham and Nathan Coulter-Nile threw exceptionally well to keep the Mumbai Indians alive as they outclassed Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
New Zealander Neesham (3/12) and Aussie Coulter-Nile (4/14) snapped seven wickets for just 26 runs in eight overs between them to strangle Rajasthan for a meager 90 for 9.
Scorecard | As it happened | Points table
The five-time champion then knocked the runs in 8.2 overs to rise to 12 points and, most importantly, improve their net run rate to -0.048. This was also the biggest win for MI in terms of balls left (70).
Ishan Kishan (50 not out) gained much needed confidence during the short chase when MI Royals again knocked out of the IPL of the competition stage itself for flattering to cheat.
The Royals didn’t have many high quality Indian players except Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Kishan, who endured a miserable form through most of the UAE leg, hit five fours and three sixes. Fittingly, he closed it with a maximum.
MI will now meet Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday, another match to win, but they would also like Kolkata Knight Riders (12 points, NRR +0.294) to lose their last match against Royals on Thursday.
In the event that KKR win and go to 14 points, MI would know on the last day how much they need to get past the Shah Rukh Khan team’s net run rate.
On the day, Neesham and Coulter-Nile hit the ideal length on a sticky strip as they choked Royals to the lowest T20 total by a team hitting first at Sharjah.
Rohit Sharma was spot on in his decision to bowl first and Neesham (3/12), who played his first match of the UAE leg, took the pace of his deliveries at a Sharjah course where the ball failed to hit the bat .
Coulter-Nile (4-0-14-4) was equally effective with his substitutions and more often than not he hit his way hard during one of his best IPL spells.
Neesham and Coulter-Nile gave up just 26 runs in eight overs cumulatively and also took a whopping seven wickets, knocking the Royals out of the game.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) was menacing as ever with crucial wickets as it was one of MI’s perfect bowling feats.
Royals were blown away in a space of four overs as they dropped from 41 for 1 in the last over of Powerplay to 50 for 5 by the time the top 10 were about to finish. From that position there was no turning back for MI.
The in-form Sanju Samson (3) tried to hit hard without reaching the pitch when Jayant Yadav took a dive at that point.
Shivam Dube, after CSK’s heroism tried to get a fuller delivery on ‘fifth stump’ and drag it back while Rahul Tewatia (12 from 20 balls) in the middle of a horrendous season tried to pull a short ball that came late and took the edge in the hands of the goalkeeper.
Neesham’s introduction to Krunal Pandya, who has been a fixture for five years now, proved to be a masterstroke as he didn’t give enough pace to maneuver and also threw wicket to wicket, without much experimentation.
Evin Lewis (24 of 19 balls) once again started off on a rambunctious basis, but the course of the Royals innings was changed when the talented Yashasvi Jaiswal (12) failed to drive the bounce of a Coulter-Nile delivery to get behind it. to come.
When Bumrah got rid of Lewis with an angular pitch, the rest of the Royals batters fell like a deck of cards.