First home game of MI for the season was undoubtedly filled with many hopes and Mumbai Indians have an excellent track record at home and with the crowd support MI stands to win a match from any situation. To top it up, this was going to be a testing ground for Jionet which is nothing but a high speed internet inside the stadium which was unheard of in India.
When I visited the stadium, the atmosphere was nothing but electric with fans queuing as always outside the stadium. Overall the match turned out to be a one-sided affair with Kings XI Punjab proving to be a very strong bowling unit. But overall following are some key instances and noteworthy instances of the match which made me say “Paisa Vasool” at the end.
1. Sehwag Special
If you have followed the limited overs cricket in the last decade then whichever team you are supporting a Sehwag quickfire knock always is a delight to watch. He seemed to have finally found his zone that day. All the hardcore Mumbai supporters changed their side till Sehwag was on the crease. Each boundary was cheered louder than before. Indeed it was a spectacular knock from Sehwag who cannot be matched by any opener after him in the Indian team.
2. Captains Innings
After a blistering start, KXIP were halted by 3 quick blows by Bhajji and Suchith. But a short partnership with Miller was more than enough for Bailey to launch into attack in the end and post a respectable score on board. Poor bowling at the death was an icing on the cake which Bailey sweetly relished. With 3 big sixes off Malinga, Suchith and Vinay, Bailey registered his highest IPL score.
3. Strong KXIP Bowling
With big names like Sehwag, Maxwell and Miller, one often tend to ignore the bowling potential of KXIP. Sandeep Sharma who was a revelation in the last season just continued where had left it in 2014. Keeping a tight line and length, he trapped Rohit on the crease in the first over itself. Anureet Singh bowling in higher 140 kph just proved to be unplayable in the powerplay. And to top it, first change was Mitchell Johnson who on some level started his revival of his career bowling fast bouncers on this very stadium 2 years ago. Then one thought spinners might ease up the run flow, Axar Patel kept the run rate under check with his flat good length deliveries. In totality, MI was clueless whom to go after and were reduced to 45/6.
4. Bhajji Miracle
Just when I told my friends that we should leave the match as it was becoming really disheartening to see MI loose so badly, came a bolt from the sky in the name of Harbhajan Singh. What we witnessed in the latter half of MI’s innings was nothing short of miracle. With 6 sixes to his name, he became the fastest to score a 50 for Mumbai Indians. When Bhajji was batting on the ground, it seemed the same bowlers who stifled the top 6 of MI had let their gates open to runs being scored of all deliveries. The sixer above cover point to Mitchell Johnson was just the start of the hurricane. With Suchith also hanging with Bhajji and hitting vital boundaries, the target was now within their reach. Unfortunately, the score was not to be chased down as each ball in the last 2 overs needed at least 4 runs.
In the end the match went down the wire and the crowd came out with some relief on their face as the discussions about how Bhajji can and other can’t, continued till the railway station. Of course, not to forget Jionet proved to be really fast with seamless connectivity throughout the match. It surely is an excellent step towards enhancing a fan’s overall experience in the stadium.
People watching the upcoming matches, we would recommend you to visit wankhede.jio.com and pre-register for Jionet.