A seventh loss in a row, the first of its kind happening in the history of IPL, has left Mumbai Indians in the virtual early exit territory in the 2022 season. With the calmness of MS Dhoni helping Chennai Super Kings finish off the chase in a last-ball thriller at DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai continue to be at the bottom of the points table. On Thursday, after huffing and puffing their way to an under-par 155, Mumbai's new-look bowling attack, with inclusions of Riley Meredith, Daniel Sams and off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen, took wickets at regular intervals but Dwaine Pretorius' 14-ball 22 and Dhoni's vintage finishing touch in an unbeaten 28 off 13 balls was enough to keep Mumbai winless in IPL 2022. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene, in the post-match virtual press conference, feels that his side have been lacking the instincts to finish off matches successfully. "It is a tough loss (to take), the guys fought really well. We just need that instinct to finish games off but we are making mistakes. We knew the wicket was tough, so we had to get through the first six overs and set up a par score.
The bowlers bowled brilliantly, executed the plans," he said. Jaydev Unadkat had 16 to defend off the final over and began well by trapping Pretorius lbw but Dhoni took three boundaries off him, including a four through fine leg on the final ball to add another chapter to his finishing book. "But in the end, the experience of MS closed the game for them. We need to get over these small margins. Last few games, we had our opportunities missed. So, we just need to keep fighting, that's the message to the team. They understand that but they need to try and execute it out in the middle," stated Jayawardene. In Mumbai's bowling attack, Sams redeemed himself after being unimpressive in initial matches with 4/30 in his four overs at an economy rate of 7.5 while his fellow Australian quick Riley Meredith gave a good account of himself with 1/25 at an economy rate of 6.2. Jayawardene explained why Meredith hadn't been an early starter for Mumbai in the tournament. "Riley came to us with after a side strain, without playing much cricket or without bowling much.
So it was a gradual build up for Riley and wanted to make sure that he had a lot of bowling in before he could go out. There was a lot of skill work done and probably he could have played the last game in last week or so." But we had other guys playing and didn't want to chop and change as well and wanted to keep some consistency going. But we felt that he was fine now and that he had the overs under him as well as the confidence. I'm pretty happy with his bowling, bowled in good areas and he used his variations well today. Hopefully, we get to use him going forward," he said. The three-wicket loss to Chennai again showed the story of Mumbai's campaign in IPL 2022: doing well in patches but lacking greatly in producing the cutting edge and incisiveness to close out matches.