Mumbai Indians’ struggle in death overs continue

Mumbai Indians’ (MI) struggle in the death overs continued into their fifth match of this season as they succumbed to a nine-wicket loss to Punjab Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday night.

The Rohit Sharma-led side could score just 34 runs and lost four wickets in the last five overs as it mustered just 131/6 in 20 overs. The last four overs produced just 26 runs. This was despite the fact that they had their entire middle-order batting available for an onslaught.

Neither Hardik Pandya, nor Krunal Pandya could get going as they fell cheaply. Kieron Pollard, though unbeaten, could manage just one six off the 12 balls he faced.

The ordinary performance by the lower middle order follows similar such unimpressive showings in the last five overs of previous matches.

Mumbai could make just 36 for three wickets in the last five overs against Delhi Capitals. MI lost that match by six wickets.

Their best showing in the last five overs came against SunRisers Hyderabad — 49 for two — which was mainly due to some good batting from Kieron Pollard towards the end. MI managed to defend 150 in that game and win by 13 runs.

MI had lost seven wickets for 38 runs in the last five overs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) though they hung on to win the game by 10 runs as KKR batsmen threw their wickets away.

In the first match though against RCB, the six wickets for 31 runs in the last quarter of their innings proved to be costly as they lost the game by two wickets.

No wonder, skipper Rohit Sharma was upset with the latest batting failure in Friday’s match against Punjab Kings.

“It is just the application which is missing in our batting. If you get 150-160 on this wicket then you are always in the game. That is something we failed to do in the last two games,” said Sharma after Friday’s match.

“Something is missing in our batting line-up, we are not able to bat 20 overs in the fashion we want to,” added Sharma.

MI have lost 22 wickets in the last five overs of the five matches they have played this season which comes to over four wickets a match in the final quarter of the innings.