Pacer Akash Madhwal picked a sensational five-wicket haul (5/5) and helped Mumbai Indians advance to Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 with a thumping 81-win over Lucknow Super Giants in Eliminator at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, here on Wednesday.
Winning the toss on a pitch, where Lucknow skipper Krunal Pandya had quipped he would have liked to bat first too, Mumbai made 182/8, Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav chipped in with 41 and 33 respectively, while Tilak Varma hit a 22-ball 26.
But the real impetus came from impact player Nehal Wadhera, who slammed a crucial 23 off 12 balls, including hitting 14 runs in the final over, to take Mumbai to a challenging total. In reply, Lucknow were 68/2 in eight overs at one point in their chase of 183. But from there, they fell like a pack of cards to be 101 all out in 16.3 overs.
Madhwal turned the tide effectively in Mumbai's favour, finishing with an exceptional 5/5 in 3.1 overs, which is the best-ever bowling figure in IPL playoffs history as well as most economical five-fer in the tournament and, the best bowling performance by an uncapped Indian player.
Mumbai were also aided by three hara-kiri run-outs from Lucknow's batting to book their spot in Qualifier 2, where they will face defending champions Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, to determine who faces Chennai Super Kings in Sunday's title clash.
Chasing 183, Mumbai made the breakthrough in the second over as Madhwal had Prerak Mankad slicing to deep point. Two overs later, Mayers miscued pull to mid-on off Chris Jordan.
Mumbai could have got their third wicket had Nehal Wadhera not misjudged the catch of Marcus Stoinis while running in from deep cover in the fifth over. From there, Stoinis swung off Cameron Green for four, before pulling twice off Hrithik Shokeen for back-to-back boundaries through square leg and mid-wicket.
He followed it up with a straight six down the ground as 18 runs came off the last over of power-play. But he was losing support from the other end as Krunal holed out to long-on of Piyush Chawla in the ninth over.
Madhwal's return in the tenth over truly broke the game open for Mumbai -- Ayush Badoni's off-stump was sent for a cartwheel ride, followed by Nicholas Pooran nicking behind to fall for a golden duck.
A collision with Deepak Hooda while taking the second run resulted in Stoinis being run-out, followed by Krishnappa Gowtham falling in the same fashion. Madhwal had Ravi Bishnoi caught at long-on, before another horrible mix-up resulted in Hooda being run-out. Madhwal completed his five-fer with a yorker hitting the base of Mohsin Khan's off-stump to seal an emphatic win for Mumbai.
Earlier, Mumbai looked all set for a 200-plus total, racing to 98/2 at half-way mark. But Naveen-ul-Haq halted Mumbai's charge by using his slower deliveries to pick 4/38, with Yash Thakur and Mohsin Khan taking 3/34 and 1/24 respectively.
Mumbai were off to a flying start as Ishan Kishan used late-cut twice while steering once to collect three boundaries through third man region while Rohit Sharma smacked high over long-on for six and went down on one knee to sweep for four against Krunal and Gowtham.
Lucknow found success when Rohit danced out of his crease to loft, but hit straight to extra cover off Naveen, while Kishan fell after nicking behind while trying to cut off Thakur. Green was up and running immediately with a cut for four and was lucky in getting another boundary off an outside edge.
He feasted on full and short balls from Krunal to hit three beautiful boundaries, followed by timing the drive in the gap off him between mid-off and cover for another four. Suryakumar, who got off the mark with a ramp off Thakur for six in the power-play, repeated the shot off Mohsin for the same result, with Green pulling the pacer ferociously for another maximum.
Naveen brought out the knockout punch in the 11th over -- an off cutter forced Suryakumar to hole out to long-off, followed by another slower delivery castling Green through the gate. It caused a slowdown as Mumbai got only 26 runs off the next four overs, though Tilak launched Bishnoi for a huge six over deep mid-wicket.
Tilak pulled Naveen for a six, before Tim David joined the party with a square-drive four off Thakur. But Mumbai suffered another slowdown as David holed out on a full toss to long-on off Thakur, followed by Tilak getting out in the same fashion off Naveen.
Wadhera swept Thakur twice for fours and pulled a six over deep square leg to take Mumbai above 180, before slicing to deep point on the last ball of the innings, which was enough for the five-time champions to keep their dream alive for finals.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 182/8 in 20 overs (Cameron Green 41, Suryakumar Yadav 33; Naveen-ul-Haq 4/38, Yash Thakur 3/34) beat Lucknow Super Giants 101 all out in 16.3 overs (Marcus Stoinis 40; Akash Madhwal 5/5) by 81 runs.
Also read | IPL 2023: Wadhera's late blitz takes MI to 182/8 against LSG despite Naveen's four-fer
Also read | IPL 2023, Eliminator: Mumbai Indians win toss, elect to bat first against Lucknow Super Giants