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IPL 2024: Spencer, Umesh, Mohit overshadow Bumrah as Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians by six runs (Ld)

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IPL 2024: Spencer, Umesh, Mohit overshadow Bumrah as Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians by six runs (Ld)

Ahmedabad, March 25 (IANS) In a match of comebacks, Jasprit Bumrah made a sensational return to IPL action after a year, but his brilliant effort was overshadowed by two-wicket overs each by Spencer Johnson and Umesh Yadav off the last two overs as Gujarat Titans won a nerve-wrecking thriller by six runs to start their Indian Premier League 2024 campaign on a winning note at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Sunday.

The match looked going Mumbai Indians’ way after Bumrah claimed 3-14 in a sensational display of pace bowling and David Coetzee took 2-27 to restrict Gujarat Titans to 168/6. With Rohit Sharma and Dewald Brevis hitting 43 and 46 respectively, Mumbai Indians looked cruising towards victory at the halfway stage after Hardik Pandya had won the toss and elected to field first.

Despite dew making things difficult, Gujarat Titans fought back brilliantly, and Mohit Sharma, Spencer Johnson, and Umesh Yadav bowled brilliantly in the death overs to snatch an unlikely victory leaving Mumbai Indians thinktank tearing their hair as they failed to win their first match once again.

Rohit and Brevis had taken Mumbai Indians from 30/2 to 107 when the former Mumbai Indians captain fell for 43 to Sai Kishore and when Brevis got out for 46 at 129/4, Mumbai needed 40-odd runs in 25 balls and looked on course to win their first match for the first time since 2012.

But the first-match jinx continued as Gujarat Titans came back strongly at the death and secured a brilliant win.

Playing in front of around 80,000-plus spectators cheering for the home team, Mumbai Indians lost control of the proceedings and could manage only 162/9 in their 20 overs, losing a last-over thriller.

Spencer Johnson and Umesh Yadav claimed two wickets each in the 19th and 20th overs as Mumbai Indians failed to get 27 runs off 12 balls.

With spinners Sai Kishore and Rashid Khan setting up a close finish with superb bowling, youngsters Tilak Verma and Tim David got bogged down and allowed some dot balls.

With 27 needed off the last two overs, Verma hammered Spencer Johnson for a six over long-on but was out off the next ball, flicking it straight to the deep backward square where substitute fielder Abhinav Manohar took a good catch. David Coetzee and Hardik Pandya scored a single each before Coetzee was out off the last ball of the match, caught and bowled by Spencer, leaving Mumbai Indians in the lurch.

With 19 needed from the last six balls Pandya struck a six and four off Umesh Yadav. But the experienced pacer had the last laugh as he sent back the Mumbai Indians skipper, caught near the boundary by Tewatia with a well-directed bouncer. Hardik got out for 11 off 4, leaving Mumbai Indians needing nine off 3 balls.

Piyush Chawla shot it straight to Rashid Khan at mid-wicket off another short ball by Umesh Yadav off the next delivery and Mumbai Indians eventually fell short by six runs.

Chasing a decent target of 169 with the dew expected to play a big role, Mumbai Indians lost Kishan Kishan (0) early but Rohit Sharma kept them in the hunt with a measured innings, mixing caution with some superb strokes. He and Brevis maintained the tempo as they raised 77 runs for the third wicket.

Earlier, the focus was on two players — both of whom were returning to Mumbai Indians after a long period. Hardik Pandya joined the five-time champions from Gujarat Titans, whom he led to the title in 2022, and was made the captain in place of Rohit Sharma while Bumrah missed the 2023 season because of an injury. Incidentally, both Pandya and Bumrah were born in Gujarat and are playing together for Mumbai Indians against a team from their home state.

Bumrah provided Mumbai Indians the breakthrough by bowling Wriddhiman Saha for 19 off 15 balls (4×4) after he and Shubman Gill had added 31 runs for the first wicket. Bumrah then returned for his second spell and claimed the wickets of the dangerous David Miller (12) and top-scorer Sai Sudharsan in one over as he put the brakes on the Gujarat Titans innings. Bumrah bowled superbly, mixing things up as he conceded only one boundary and bowled 14 dot balls.

Gerald Coetzee was the other Mumbai Indian bowler, of the seven that were used on the night, to get to bowl his quota of four overs, claiming 2-27 as he got crucial wickets at the end of the Gujarat innings.

Veteran spinner Piyush Chawla was also in his element as he claimed the prized scalp of Shubman Gill, getting the Gujarat Titans skipper to hurry with a quick one and Rohit Sharma took a simple catch to make it 64/2. Gill was the top scorer for Gujarat Titans in the 2023 edition and has done well for the country too in the last 12 months. Gill’s knock of 31 lasted 22 balls and was studded with three boundaries and one six.

Sai Sudharsan kept Gujarat Titans afloat with a superb 39-ball 45 as Azmatullah Omarzai (17) and David Miller played alongside him to keep Gujarat Titans’ scoring rate high.

But Bumrah changed the complexion of the match with his superb over as he sent back both David Miller, foxed by a slower one and Pandya picked a good catch running back, and then hurt Titans by sending back Sai Sudharsan with a full delivery on middle stump — Tilak Verma pouched it with a diving catch.

Coetzee claimed Omarzai and Rahul Tewatia, who blasted a couple of big sixes in his 15-ball Tewatia to restrict Gujarat Titans to 168/6.

However, in the end, the Mumbai Indians middle-order failed to capitalise on the platform provided by Rohit and Brevis as Gujarat Titans bowlers worked their magic.

Brief scores:

Gujarat Titans 168/6 in 20 overs (Sai Sudharsan 45, Shubman Gill 31; Jasprit Bumrah 3-14, David Coetzee 2-27) beat Mumbai Indians 162/9 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 43, Dewald Brevis 46, Tilak Verma 25; Spencer Johnson 2-25, Azmatullah Omarzai 2-26, Umesh Yasdav 2-31, Mohit Sharma 2-32) by six runs.

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