Mumbai Indians record 4th successive win in IPL

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Mumbai Indians beat Gujarat Lions by six wickets to record their fourth successive victory in the Indian Premier League, and Rising Pune Supergiant got off the bottom of the table with a 27-run win against struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

Despite losing five wickets for just three runs during their innings, Supergiant managed to score 161-8 after Royal Challengers’ skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to field.

Royal Challengers fell short at 134-9, failing to get the momentum going their way once both their stars AB de Villiers (29) and Kohli (28) had departed by the 11th over.

Kohli was twice dropped in Shardul Thakur’s (3-35) first over but eventually holed out at deep cover. De Villiers was smartly stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off leg-spinner Imran Tahir as Ben Stokes also chipped in with 3-18.

Earlier, all the top four Supergiant batsmen got starts with Rahul Tripathi (31) and Ajinkya Rahane (30) providing an opening stand of 63. Dhoni (28) and captain Steve Smith (27) then added 58 runs before Supergiant lost a flurry of wickets.

Shane Watson, replacing Chris Gayle in the playing XI, ignited the collapse when he clean bowled Dhoni in the 16th over. Left-arm medium fast Sreenath Aravind then dismissed Smith and Dan Christian in the next over before New Zealand’s Adam Milne got rid of Stokes and Thakur off successive deliveries, as Supergiant collapsed from 127-2 to 130-7.

It was left to Manoj Tiwary to hit a brisk 27 off 11 deliveries that included three fours and a six off Watson in the 19th over. That lifted Supergiant to a total that could be defended.

Royal Challengers are last with only one win after five matches while Supergiant has two victories from as many games.

Earlier, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai lived up to its reputation of heavily favoring teams opting to field first after winning the toss.

Lions’ Brendon McCullum, who hit 64 off 44 balls, believed his team’s total of 176-4 was 15 runs above par against Mumbai. But the home team rode to a six-wicket victory and reached 177-4 with three balls to spare.

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma intelligently used his spinners Harbhajan Singh (1-22) and Krunal Pandya (0-18) on a slow wicket before Dinesh Karthik blazed a quick-fire 48 off 26 balls to give Lions a reasonable total.

Mumbai stuttered early in their run-chase when Praveen Kumar had Parthiv Patel caught for a duck in the first over by Jason Roy at point.

But Roy missed a sitter which should have got rid of Nitish Rana for 9 in the next over.

Rana went on to become the leading scorer in the tournament, hitting 53 off 36 balls and cashed in on the dropped catch by putting on 85 runs with Jos Buttler (26).

Despite losing both Rana and Buttler in the space of seven runs, Sharma (40 not out) and Kieron Pollard (39) took over with a 68-run stand off 42 balls.

Like Royal Challengers, Gujarat Lions also have just one win but have played one match less.

On Monday, Delhi Daredevils take on Kolkata Knight Riders while defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad host Kings XI Punjab.

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