About the Match
Mumbai Indians will now face Otago in the 5th match of the tournament after a disappointing loss to Rajasthan Royals in the opening match of the league played yesterday. Otago qualified for the league after an exciting win against the Maroons and went on to beat the Sunrisers in the last game of the qualifications. Team Otago has played exceptionally well so far. Mumbai Indians did well last night but couldn’t defend their total in the end. The team will look to better their performances in all departments of the game as it has the added pressure of playing on home turf.
Sachin couldn’t work up his magic and fell early on to a beauty by Stuart Binny after scoring 15 runs. The top order collapsed quickly and with a couple of run-outs in the middle, it was left to Captain Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard to build a partnership and they did just that. Adding 52 for the fifth wicket, the pair played beautifully under tough conditions until Rohit was caught behind by Samson. Pollard continued building the total and later on with the heroics of Coulter-Nile, the team managed a total of 142 runs. In the bowling department too, things weren’t smooth. Though Coulter-Nile, Dhawan and Pollard claimed a wicket each, the others like Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha failed to restrict the flow of runs. Both the batting and bowling units need to up their game and return to form quickly if they want to win this match.
Otago Volts won all the three matches of the qualifiers and proved to the top performers from the qualifying stage with 12 points, 4 ahead of favourites Sunrisers Hyderabad. The bowlers had a tight attack and strategically played to restrict Sunrisers to 143 runs. McCullum struck early on to remove the dangerous looking Dhawan and Patel. From then on it was a flurry of wickets at regular intervals by Beard and Wagner. In the chase too, the other McCullum brother hurriedly added runs on board without worrying about the fall of wickets around him. His unbeaten 67 with a good support by Rutherford and later on by Neesham, ensured a victory by 5 wickets. The team is riding high on a wave of enthusiasm and will give their best in the league stage.
The Mumbai attack looks diminished with the absence of Lasith Malinga and Tendulkar not yet in top form. However, the youngsters are expected to rise up to the challenges. Otago has yet to face top teams and will take it one game at a time applying their well-planned strategies against the opponents. This will be a tough contest as both teams have well established players as well as agility of younger players. The team that can keep its nerves and perform under pressure will ultimately win this round and it looks like the Otago Volts will continue their winning run and Mumbai Indians will end up on the losing side once again.
Otago Volts, 2.50 @ William Hill