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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL PHOTOS: Rana blasts half-century as Mumbai ease past Gujarat

IPL PHOTOS: Rana blasts half-century as Mumbai ease past Gujarat

April 16, 2017 20:16 IST

Nitish Rana

IMAGE: Nitish Rana hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Nitish Rana continued his good form with the bat as he hit his third half-century of IPL 10, while Rohit Sharma got back among the runs to lift Mumbai to a comfortable six-wicket against Gujarat Lions in Mumbai, on Sunday.

Chasing a tricky target of 177, skipper Rohit remained unbeaten on 40 off 29 balls with Mumbai Indians knocking off the target with three balls to spare.

The hosts maintained their pole position with four wins in five matches with the only defeat coming against Rising Pune Supergiant.

On the other hand, Gujarat have now lost three out of their four games and are languishing at seventh position in the eight-team table.

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Credit should also be given to Nitish Rana (53 off 36 balls), who set the platform with another matured effort.

Kieron Pollard (39 of 23 balls) also did his bit with some lusty blows to make it easier for the skipper to add finishing touches.

Needing eight runs off the last over, Rohit guided a yorker past the wicketkeeper for a four to take the pressure off. A couple of twos sealed it as the skipper looked relieved having gone through a bad patch since the start of the tournament.

Andrew Tye

IMAGE: Andrew Tye celebrates the wicket of Nitish rana. Photograph: BCCI

The turning point of the Mumbai Indians innings was the 14th over when Rohit hit Munaf for a boundary and Pollard pulled him for a six. The skipper also lofted Jadeja for an inside out six over extra cover.

It was young Rana, whose half-century and the 85-run stand with Jos Buttler that helped Pollard accelerate in the back-10 in company of Rohit.

Rana's innings had four boundaries and two sixes.

Malinga, conceded 12 runs in his first over at the Wankhede track, where the ball came on to the bat.

Skipper Suresh Raina and McCullum then conjured an 80 run stand off 64 balls, with McCullum being the more aggressive of the two.

The Kiwi, made his intentions clear as he first hit Jasprit Bumrah coming down the track and then smashed two sixes off Malinga, one over point and other over mid-wicket, in the sixth over, as the visitors made 46 before the fielding restrictions were lifted.

Munaf Patel

IMAGE: Munaf Patel celebrates the wicket of Jos Buttler. Photograph: BCCI

Malinga conceded 27 runs in his first two overs. McCullum kept on hammering the bad balls, be it Krunal Pandya or seasoned Harbhajan Singh.

Raina and McCullum, who rotated the strike well, completed their 50 run stand in 42 balls.

At the half way mark, Gujarat Lions were 75 for one. As the two were looking good, Harbhajan (1/22 in 4 overs) stuck in the 12th over removing Raina (28 off 29 balls), who was caught by MI skipper Rohit Sharma as the visitors lost their second wicket on 81. Harbhajan once again was economical in his four-over spell.

Brendon McCullum

IMAGE: Brendon McCullum hits out. Photograph: BCCI

McCullum, who regained form in the last math, was going strong before Malinga cleaned him up on 64, with the scoreboard reading 99 for three in the 14th over.

Bumrah, who was hit for three fours, gave away 19 runs in the 17th over.

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