IPL 2023: Madhwal over the moon after stunning five-wicket haul in Mumbai's win

With a stunning five-wicket spell (3.3-0-5-5) Madhwal knocked the stuffing out of Lucknow Super Giants

By Team KT

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Akash Madhwal of Mumbai Indians celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Nicholas Pooran. — IPL
Akash Madhwal of Mumbai Indians celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Nicholas Pooran. — IPL

Published: Wed 24 May 2023, 11:33 PM

A engineering graduate and a late bloomer in the sport who was playing tennis ball cricket until 2019, nobody expected Akash Madhwal to grab the spotlight in the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League.

But the 29-year-old pace bowler did just that on Wednesday night in Chennai.

With a stunning five-wicket spell (3.3-0-5-5) Madhwal knocked the stuffing out of Lucknow Super Giants.

Chasing 183, the Giants was bowled out for 101 in just 16.3 overs against the Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator.

The emphatic 81-run win helped Mumbai Indians set up a clash in the Qualifier 2 against defending champion Gujarat Titans on Friday.

The winner of that clash will play Chennai Super Kings in Sunday's final.

The road to the final would not have been so smooth for Mumbai if Madhwal had not bowled the spell of his life.

Having spent the entire IPL season without getting to play a single game last year, Madhwal saw a window of opportunity when the Mumbai pace attack was hit by multiple injury setbacks.

After a wicketless first game against the Punjab Kings on May 3, Madhwal has now taken 13 wickets in his last six games for the Mumbai Indians.

On Wednesday, he delivered his second straight outstanding performance in Mumbai's second straight make-or-break game in the tournament.

The unassuming player also took four wickets for 37 in the last league match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad to help Mumbai reach the playoffs.

Madhwal said his engineering skills have helped him in his cricket.

"I did my engineering, and played tennis-ball cricket since it was my passion. Engineers have a tendency to learn early," he said.

"I just practice, and that is what we execute. I'm proud of myself, but I'll try to be better. (Jasprit) Bumrah bhai has his own place, and I'm just trying to play role."

Madhwal destroyed the Lucknow middle-order with his brilliant spell, but he enjoyed dismissing Nicholas Pooran, one of the most dangerous batsmen in T20 cricket, for a duck.

"Nicholas Pooran was the best wicket," he said.

Skipper Rohit Sharma also heaped high praise on the pacer bowler.

"Akash Madhwal was part of the season last year. He didn't get to play. We knew what he had, and we needed somebody to bowl at the back end. Having seen him, I was confident he could get the job done for us," Rohit said.

Earlier, Cameron Green (41) and Suryakumar Yadav (33) put on 66 to help guide five-time champion Mumbai to 182-8 after it elected to bat first in the knockout contest in Chennai.

Lucknow's innings imploded as it collapsed from 69-2 to be bowled out in 16.3 overs, losing three key wickets to run outs.

Green, who hit his maiden T20 century in Mumbai's previous win, looked in control during his 23-ball knock until his departure.

Naveen-ul-Haq, who took four wickets for Lucknow, sent back Suryakumar and Green, bowled by a slower off-cutter from the Afghanistan pace bowler, in the space of three deliveries to push Mumbai onto the back foot.

Tilak Varma hit back with a quickfire 26 and a 43-run stand with Tim David, who was out caught for 13 after unsuccessfully reviewing a full toss for being over waist-height.

Naveen finished with 4-38 and Yash Thakur took three wickets but despite their efforts Mumbai's impact sub Nehal Wadhera boosted the total with his 12-ball 23.

Lucknow lost its openers early including impact player Kyle Mayers for 18 before Australia's Marcus Stoinis attempted to pull the chase together in his 27-ball 40.

But Madhwal struck with successive balls, including getting the dangerous Nicholas Pooran caught behind for a golden duck.

Stoinis, who crossed 400 runs this season to be his team's standout performer, was run out after a mid-pitch collision with non-striker Deepak Hooda with both batsmen watching the ball.

The innings fell further apart with two more run outs sending back Krishnappa Gowtham and Hooda.

Lucknow, who made its IPL debut last season with Gujarat as the league grew to 10 teams, fell at the same hurdle in the previous edition.

The neutral venue for both teams had many empty seats, in contrast to the nearly full stadium on Tuesday when home hero MS Dhoni's Chennai made the final with a win over Gujarat. (with inputs from AFP)

Brief scores

Mumbai Indians 182/8 (Cameron Green 41, Suryakumar Yadav 33, Naveen ul Haq 4/38)

Lucknow Super Giants 101 all out in 16.3 overs (Marcus Stoinis 40; Akash Madhwal 5/5, Chris Jordan 1/7)

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