Abu Dhabi: Reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) rode a spirited show by their men, led by captain Rohit Sharma, as they gunned down Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 48 runs in the 13th match of the IPL at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Thursday night. This was MI’s second win in four matches and KXIP’s third defeat in four games.
With this win, MI have gone to the top of the eight-team table with four points from two wins — and have a better run rate than four other teams who all also have four points each. KXIP have won a solitary match and have two points.
After putting a challenging 191/4 wickets in 20 overs on board, thanks to skipper Rohit’s sparkling 70 (45 balls, 8x4s, 3x6s), MI rode a collective effort by their bowlers to restrict KXIP to 143/8 wickets in 20 overs to set up a comprehensive win.
Chasing the 192-run target, KXIP made a cautious start as their openers KL Rahul (17) and Mayank Agarwal (25) took the side to 37 runs in the initial four overs. Jasprit Bumrah broke the partnership as he dismantled Mayank’s wickets in the fifth over. Krunal Pandya further jolted KXIP after sending back Karun Nair for a duck with the scorecard reading 39/2.
Rahul and Nicholas Pooran then tried to avoid further assault by the MI bowlers, sharing a brief 21-run partnership for the third wicket before Rahul Chahar dislodged the former’s stumps to further strengthen MI’s grip in the contest.
Despite tumbling wickets, Pooran showed resistance with the bat and tried to anchor KXIP innings as he shared a 41-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell (11) which helped their side cross the three-digit mark.
However, the joy didn’t last long for them James Pattinson got rid of a dangerous looking Pooran in the 14th over as KXIP were reduced to 101/4. Pooran’s innings contained three fours and two sixes.
Just when KXIP added another six runs to their total, Chahar struck again, this time accounting for the wicket of Maxwell. James Neesham (7) and Sarfaraz Khan (7) were back in the hut, courtesy Bumrah and Pattinson respectively, while Trent Boult, too, joined the party as he accounted for the wicket of Ravi Bishnoi (1) in the 19th over with KXIP score being 124/8.
Krishnappa Gowtham and Mohammed Shami remained unbeaten on 21 and two runs respectively as KXIP fell short of the target by 48 runs.
For Mumbai, Bumrah, Chahar, and Pattinson bagged two wickets each while Krunal and Boult settled with one each.
Earlier, KXIP won the toss and opted to bowl. Mumbai skipper’s valiant 45-ball 70, followed by late fireworks by Kieron Pollard (47 not out) and Hardik Pandya (30), propelled Mumbai Indians to 191/4 in the allotted 20 overs.
Rohit’s classic knock was decorated with eight fours and three maximums. The four-time champions had a poor start as they lost opener Quinton de Kock, who departed without troubling the scorers and Suryakumar Yadav with just 21 runs on board.
Sheldon Cottrell drew the first blood for KXIP as he issued marching orders to de Kock in the very first over while Yadav was run out by Shami, courtesy a direct hit from short fine leg.
Ishan Kishan, who had played a blistering 99-run knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore, failed to replicate the show and fell for 28 runs. Kishan was involved in a 62-run partnership with skipper Rohit.
Despite the regular blows, Rohit kept the fight on and also notched-up his half-century. In the process, he also became the third Indian to cross the 5,000 run-mark in IPL.
While trying to accelerate the run rate, the MI skipper was out to a fine catch via a joint effort James Neesham and Glenn Maxwell at the long-off boundary. Rohit played a lofted shot over long-off boundary off a Shami delivery in the 17th over. However, Maxwell grabbed it and just when he was about to cross the boundary, he sensibly threw the ball to James Neesham, who made no mistake.
Rohit’s fall left Mumbai at 124/4 in 16.1 overs, and then Hardik and Pollard’s cameo lifted their side to a respectable total. The duo gathered 67 runs off the final 23 balls which included some massive hits into the stands.
Pollard’s knock was laced with three boundaries and four huge hits while Hardik smashed three fours and a couple of sixes.
For KXIP, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cottrell, and Shami bagged a wicket apiece.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 191/4 wkts in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 70, Kieron Pollard 47; Sheldon Cottrell 1/20) beat Kings XI Punjab 143/8 wkts in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 44, Mayank Agarwal 25; Jasprit Bumrah 2/18) by 48 runs
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