Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson fires Mumbai Indians into IPL-7 play-offs
Burly Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson played a sensational unbeaten innings of 95 on Sunday night to help Mumbai Indians pull off an extraordinary five-wicket victory with 32 balls to spare over the Rajasthan Royals.
With this win, the Mumbai Indians moved into the play-offs of the tournament.
The match had been billed as the playoff decider, with the fourth placed Royals two points clear of the Indians, although with a significantly superior net run rate.
Having been sent in by Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma, the visitors cruised their way to 189 for four, seemingly burying Mumbai's hopes.
Sanju Samson was the star, bludgeoning seven fours and three sixes before being dismissed for 74 from 47 deliveries. Karun Nair, with whom he shared a 57-ball partnership of 100, was equally good value for his 50 from 27, which also included seven boundaries, albeit with one fewer maximum.
By virtue of the net run rate system, Mumbai then faced an extremely stiff challenge in reply, as they needed to overhaul the target of 190 in 14.3 overs or less if they were to book their place in the playoffs.
Anderson blasted nine fours and six sixes in a 44-ball knock that powered his side to 195 for five off 14.4 overs, and booked their place in the playoffs by virtue of a permutation that emerged at the end.
Mumbai will now square off in the eliminator match against the third-placed Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, and are three games away from defending their IPL title.
For Rajasthan, the late capitulation summed up a sorry end to the campaign in which they lost their final three matches to miss out on the playoffs by the narrowest of margins.
For the Royals, West Indian Kevon Cooper claimed two wickets for 38, while Dhawal Kulkari claimed two for 44.
On Sunday, left-hand batsman Anderson finally showed why he commanded a price tag of USD 866 000. The left-hander took 14 runs from the eighth over, before dispatching Cooper over his head to bring up the 100 in the ninth over. The New Zealander brought up his fifty from just 25 deliveries.
The delirious Mumbai crowd watched as 82 runs came between overs seven and 12. The 50 partnership between Abati Rayudu (30) and the dominant Anderson was raised from just 19 balls, and at that stage Mumbai had an excellent chance of advancing, needing 27 from 13.
Anderson continued his heroics, yet it was Rayudu's six off Faulkner left Mumbai needing two runs from the 87th delivery of the innings. He then mistimed one, and was run out going for the second.
However, after some confusion, a technicality emerged that if the following delivery was struck for a boundary, Mumbai would still go through, and it was a verdict that left the Royals bemused.
Bemusement then turned to despair, as new batsman Aditya Tare (six not out) then wrote his name into Mumbai folklore, sending a terrible leg-side full toss from Faulkner into the crowd behind the square-leg boundary to spark joyous scenes of celebration.
MUMBAI INDIANS: LMP Simmons, MEK Hussey, RG Sharma (capt), KA Pollard, AT Rayudu, CJ Anderson, AP Tare (wk), Harbhajan Singh, S Gopal, PP Ojha, JJ Bumrah
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: AM Rahane, KK Nair, SR Watson (capt), SV Samson (wk), BJ Hodge, AM Nayar, JP Faulkner, KK Cooper, Ankit Sharma, PV Tambe, DS Kulkarni
(Posted on 26-05-2014)