Debutants Gujarat Lions became the first team to confirm a play-off berth with a thumping six-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
This defeat leaves Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, on the brink of an early exit from IPL.
Don’t worry MI, bring more coaches in the team & make your team strong for next year.#GLvMI— Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) May 21, 2016
Their win also mean that Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are also 16 points will qualify for play-offs even if they lose to Kolkata Knight Riders in their final group league game on Sunday.
Chasing a stiff target of 173, Lions hunted down the formidable Mumbai outfit in 17.5 overs with their skipper Suresh Raina (58 off 36 balls) again showing that when it comes to IPL big games, he simply has no peers.
With Brendon McCullum (48, 27 balls), Raina added 96 in 9 overs to set up the game up for the Lions.
If Raina and McCullum started the carnage, it was Dwayne Smith (37 no, 23 balls), who successfully completed the chase with a flourish hitting with four boundaries and two sixes in company of Ravindra Jadeja (21 no in 15 balls)
His innings was laced with eight fours and two sixes as it took Lions to 18 points which ensured that they would be among the top two teams in the four-team play-offs.
Back to the top of the table. Into the playoffs with a huge ROARRR.YESSS! 😇 #GameMaariChhe #GLvMI pic.twitter.com/skebzjyhL7— The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) May 21, 2016
For MI, it will all depend on the results of Sunday’s double headers as they now have to pray that KKR lose against Sunrisers Hyderabad to help them get another shot at the title.
The difference between the two teams was the whopping 48 dot balls that Gujarat Lions bowled and poor fielding that cost MI atleast 15 runs.
For Mumbai, Delhi youngster Nitish Rana played the most eventful innings of his nascent career as his scintillating 70 enabled MI post a competitive 172 for 8.