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Home / Cricket / IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians’ inconsistent batting reason for defeat - Ben Cutting

IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians’ inconsistent batting reason for defeat - Ben Cutting

Ben Cutting has said losing wickets in heaps during the middle overs was the main reason behind Mumbai Indians’ loss against Rajasthan Royals which has put them on the brink of elimination.

cricket Updated: May 14, 2018 09:00 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai Indians lost three wickets for 44 runs in the middle overs as Rajasthan Royals won the game by seven wickets to stay alive in the race for the play-offs.
Mumbai Indians lost three wickets for 44 runs in the middle overs as Rajasthan Royals won the game by seven wickets to stay alive in the race for the play-offs.(BCCI)
         

Mumbai Indians all-rounder Ben Cutting on Sunday blamed the side’s defeat against Rajasthan Royals to the inconsistency shown by their batsmen, stating that despite the stunning start that had been provided by openers Suryakumar Yadav (31-ball 38) and Evin Lewis (42-ball 60), the side was around 20 runs short as they threw a 169-run target for the visitors to chase on the night.

With an 87-run partnership to show for after being sent in to bat first, Mumbai Indians lost the plot in the middle overs after Jofra Archer (2/26) sent pack Yadav and skipper Rohit Sharma (0) in the space of just two deliveries. Cutting praised Archer’s efforts but wasn’t ready to admit that it was the only reason why they finished second-best.

The Australian was, however, heaped praise on Jos Buttler (53-ball 94) who notched up his fifth consecutive half-century on Sunday en route to aggregate 505 runs in the IPL this season. On being asked how does one plan against a player with the attacking mindset as that of the wicketkeeper-batsman, Cutting stated: “It’s tough. We were pretty close to our plans tonight. (He) missed a few balls with execution here and there but that happens in Twenty20 cricket. He’s in red hot form and he’s scored over 500 runs. But his confidence is high; he’s striking the ball well.”

He further reiterated: “I’m not going to put it down to their bowling. It’s probably back to our batting. A few times this time we’ve fallen in a heap and sort of lost quick three or four wickets in three overs for not many runs. So when you lose 2 for 20, 3 for 30, it’s tough to build up and fire again regardless of the bowling,” he added, before lamenting over their string of last-over losses in the initial stages of the tournament. “If you go back to our first 3-4 games of the season that we lost in the last over, had we won two of those four games we wouldn’t be having the same conversation. We’d be sitting comfortably on 14-16 points.”

Dhawal Kulkarni, however, praised Archer, who’s the side’s best performer with the ball and has 13 wickets under his belt despite missing out a couple of games early in the season owing to an injury. “I think he’s been bowling consistently well. No doubt about that. But today it was special. The wicket assisted him really well. The way he was getting that bounce, it was really special. I just wished that he got a hat-trick. It would have been better for us and for him,” he said.

With Royals moving up to 12 points from as many games, Mumbai Indians’s hopes of going through to the last four now depends on how the rest of the teams fare. With Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings already through and Delhi Daredevils out of the competition, the remaining two spots are open for all the five teams, none of whom can afford slip-ups anymore.