Mumbai: It was a commendable team effort by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to pull out a nail-biting 7-run victory in a cliffhanger Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.
Plenty of marvelous performances with the bat were put on by batsmen from both teams, but it surely was the victory of the bowlers as Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma overturned the entire momentum in the final two overs of the match conceding just 7 and 8 runs, respectively.
Kieron Pollard was on a rampage mode when the two bowlers struck to the basics of bowling during the death overs to clinch a breathtaking win as well as keep the playoffs hopes alive.
Pollard, however, completed his half-century off the final delivery of the match Mumbai required 9 runs to win. He scored 50 runs off 24 deliveries with the help of 1 four and 5 tremendous sixes. Sending in Harbhajan Singh over Mitchell McClenaghan after the departure of Karn Sharma (19 off 6, 3 fours, 1 six), who was hitting the ball amazingly, turned out to be a bad call as he could only add 2 runs off the 4 deliveries he faced.
Mumbai Indians, however, deserve all the credit for approaching the humongous 231-run target and falling short by only 7 runs of the biggest target ever chased in Indian Premier League history.
Openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel gave the perfect start to MI looking at the target they had to achieve. They added 99 runs for the first wicket, before Patel departed at the individual score of 38 runs. He took 23 balls and decorated his inning with 7 boundaries. Simmons also soon went back after adding 59 runs off only 32 balls, hitting 5 fours and 4 sixes.
Nitish Rana (12 off 12) and captain Rohit Sharma (5 off 7) disappointed as they could not keep the momentum going in favour of the home team. With 121/4, Pollard and Hardik Pandya started to take on the KXIP bowlers and added 55 runs in only 21 balls for the fifth wicket. Pandya departed after scoring a belligerent 30-run inning off only 13 balls. He laced his power-packed knock with 4 fabulous sixes.
The only bad decision MI took in the batting order looked to be not sending Mitchell McClenaghan who has great potential of hitting the ball hard.
KXIP bowlers conceded lots of runs today in the runs galore at the Wankhede Stadium, but eventually they managed to emerge victorious. Sandeep Sharma gave away 42 runs in his four overs for one wicket, while Mohit conceded 57 runs off his four and managed two scalps.
Matt Henry and Ishant Sharma went for 40 and 29 runs respectively in two and three overs for no wickets. Axar Patel took one wicket in his three overs and spent 28 runs. Glenn Maxwell, however, was an exception as he took 1 wicket and only conceded 8 runs in 2 overs, while Rahul Tewatia went for 17 runs in 2 overs and took one wicket.
Earlier, batting first, Kings XI Punjab put on a mammoth 230/3 in allotted 20 overs. The hero of the inning was Wriddhiman Saha who, however, missed a deserving ton by just seven runs but smacked every bowler in his 55-ball 93-run inning. His breezy knock was laced with 11 fours and 3 sixes. He was also named man of the match for his blitzing performance.
After being put in to bat, Punjab was off to a fiery start. MI bowlers leaked plenty of runs in the powerplay. The first to depart was Martin Guptill who made proper use of the powerplay overs before ending his inning at 38. He hit five fours and one six in his 18-ball knock.
Glenn Maxwell had decided to hit every ball out of the park. His quick-fire knock ended at a score of 47 runs. He hit two fours and five sixes in his 21-ball knock.
Shaun Marsh hit two sixes in his 16-ball 25-run knock which was laced with 2 sixes. Axar Patel remained unbeaten at the individual score of 19 runs off 13 deliveries.
For MI, McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah and Karn Sharma claimed one-wicket each. Bumrah was exceptional in his spell as he gave only 24 runs. Lasith Malinga was extremely expensive as he leaked 45 runs in his four overs and remained wicket-less. Harbhajan Singh also gave away 45 runs in just 3 overs. Mitchell McClenaghan was hit for 54 runs in his four overs for 1 wicket. Hardik Pandya gave 29 in his two, while Karn Sharma was hit for 32 runs in 3 overs.
With this victory, KXIP has managed to keep the palyoffs hopes alive with one must-win match to go. It was Mumbai’s fourth defeat this season out of 13 matches.