Under pressure situations, two overseas players – Tim David and Daniel Sams – stepped up for Mumbai Indians as they defeated table-toppers Gujarat Titans by five runs in the Indian Premier League match in Mumbai on Friday.

In a thriller at Brabourne Stadium, Rohit Sharma and Co made it back-to-back wins in the tournament after losing eight matches to start with.

Asked to bat first, MI made 177/6 thanks to a great start and a solid finish. But what felt like a below par score at that time seemed to be well short when Gujarat Titans openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill added 100-plus for the opening stand. But once they both fell in one M Ashwin over, MI started to claw back and eventually restricted the Titans to 172 for 5 to win the match.

The win was courtesy two outstanding finishes, first David with the bat and the Sams with the ball as MI defended 9 runs off the final over.

Ishan Kishan top-scored for MI with a 29-ball 45 while captain Rohit Sharma and Tim David contributed 43 and 44 not out respectively. In Titans’ run chase, Wriddhiman Saha top-scored with a 55 off 40 balls while Shubman Gill made 52 off 36 balls.

For MI, Murugan Ashwin took two wickets for 29 runs while Kieron Pollard got one.

But the star turn came from Sams, who came in to bowl after an expensive 19th over from Jasprit Bumrah and conceded just three runs with his superb change of pace.

Gujarat, flying high at the start of the tournament, have now lost two in a row and once again some of their decision making under pressure came under the scanner. Two runouts in the last stage of the chase, that of Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia, proved to be crucial.

“We’ll take 9 runs in the last over on any given day, but the two run-outs didn’t help us. In T20 cricket you can’t keep losing back-to-back wickets, it pushes you back,” GT captain Hardik said after the match.

For Rohit, it was a matter of great satisfaction to win a thrilling game even though he believed MI didn’t play the best possible cricket.

“We were 15-20 runs short and the way we started, we got stuck in the middle,” Rohit said.

‘We knew it would be tough, but we held our nerves and that was good to see. A lot depends on how the game is going, who’s bowling well on the day. Luckily I had few resources so I could change up.”

About Sams’ last over, he said, “It’s important to back the skills you have, Sams was under the pump in a couple of games but I know the quality he has. It’s important to back those guys and we are trying to maintain the same squad how much ever possible.”

Tim David was declared player of the match.

Here’s how the points table looks after the match:

Team Pld Won Lost Net RR Pts Form
GT 11 8 3 0.120 16 LLWWW
LSG 10 7 3 0.397 14 WWWLW
RR 10 6 4 0.340 12 LLWWW
RCB 11 6 5 -0.444 12 WLLLW
DC 10 5 5 0.641 10 WLWLW
SRH 10 5 5 0.325 10 LLLWW
PBKS 10 5 5 -0.229 10 WLWLL
KKR 10 4 6 0.060 8 WLLLL
CSK 10 3 7 -0.431 6 LWLWL
MI 10 2 8 -0.725 4 WWLLL

Watch the match highlights here

Brief scores:

MI: 177/6 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 45, Rohit Sharma 43, Tim David 44 not out; Rashid Khan 2/24).

GT: 172/5 in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 55, Shubman Gill 52, Murugan Ashwin 2/29).