IPL 2017: With Mumbai Indians Topping The Charts, Wankhede Geared Up For 1st Qualifier
It’s been a thoroughly entertaining edition of the Indian Premier League this year and we got the opportunity to experience it first-hand in a 453-run slugfest, thanks to the Mumbai Indian apparel and accessory partner Diesel. Our friends at the pioneering denim fashion house hosted us for the Reliance outfit’s final home game last week at the Wankhede, and even showed us around their pop-up in the stadium that featured an exclusive range of off-field merchandise.
— Man’s World (@mansworldindia) May 11, 2017
With the match beginning at 8 pm, the crowds poured in and we were fortunate enough to navigate through this sea of people on time for one of the best seats in the house. The away team, Priety Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab, were asked to bat by Rohit Sharma after winning the toss and the hosts were in for a spanking with the Mohali-team’s top-order firing on all cylinders. Martin Guptill and makeshift opener Wriddhiman Saha raised the team’s half century within the first 21 balls of the game and set the platform for a grand total.
Glenn Maxwell joined the party at one-down and his 21-ball 47 even included three towering sixes in Harbhajan Singh’s first over, much to the dismay of the home supporters, who were setting the house on fire with Ganpati Bappa Morya chants. Regardless, Saha received ample support from the lower middle-order as he powered his way to an unbeaten 55-ball 93 that was adorned by three big hits and 11 fours. Axar Patel smacked a maximum off the last ball to take the team’s total to 230 and leave the home team a huge mountain to climb.
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After the interval though, the Mumbai openers seemed game for the task as they brought up a 99-run stand for the first wicket in the ninth over. The partnership was broken once Parthiv Patel’s miscued cover drive landed comfortably in the palms of Guptill at mid-off. The other opener Lendl Simmons too departed within the next five deliveries after a quickfire 50 and so did the misfiring skipper Rohit Sharma. With Nitish Rana’s dismissal in the 13th over, the target started looking ominous with another 110 required off 50 balls.
But a free-flowing Mexican wave from the crowd apparently got the real Kieron Pollard to stand up and blast a string of sixes, with some fantastic support from Hardik Pandya at the other end. Karn Sharma’s six-ball 19 followed Pandya’s dismissal and by the time he was gone, MI required just 16 off the last six. With a monstrous blow, Pollard then pulled it down to nine off the last four. But Indian pacer Mohit Sharma held his nerve and bowled three consecutive dot balls to deny Mumbai a historic victory. The crowds sure got their money’s worth and so did we. And now that Mumbai is set to play the first qualifier at this very venue, the away team should be really wary, of both the players and the Wankhede audience!
The limited edition collection has been available in India since December 2016 at all Diesel stores and diesel.com. It’s up for sale even in major cricketing nations such as England, Australia and South Africa.
Featured Image: BCCI