Calcutta/Indore: Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya delivered in desperate times as Mumbai Indians (MI) stayed alive in IPL XI with a hard-earned six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, on Friday.
The holders in pursuit of 175 runs from 20 overs, surpassed the target in style.
KXIP's Chris Gayle is one of the key batsman in the squad and has contributed nearly 40 per cent of the runs scored by the team's batsmen. It was KXIP's third defeat in eight games as they remained at fourth in the points table with 10 points. The duo added unconquered match-winning 56 runs for the fifth wicket. Lacing six boundaries and three sixes, the opener notched up 57 runs of 52 deliveries, his third fifty-plus knock in the eleventh edition of the cash-rich league. The Aussie had smashed 22 runs off Hardik's final over. In the end though, it didn't harm MI that much, thanks to Krunal and Rohit.
The second-wicket stand of 42 runs between Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan kept the required run-rate under control. This is the eleventh installment of the game which was the brainchild of Lalit Modi and its success speaks volumes in the number of years it has already run, and we are pretty sure that it will last for several years to come.
Nobody else went past 30 as Kings XI ended its innings with a score that it wouldn't have been too pleased with.
Earlier, a half-century by Chris Gayle followed by some fireworks by Marcus Stoinis in the final moments helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) post a challenging 174/6.More news: USA interest rate rise in June '100% certain' after Fed delays
Punjab closed its innings at 174-6 after being put in to bat.
Krunal hit 31 not out off 12 balls, including four fours and two sixes, and Sharma made 24 not out off 15 balls to help the Mumbai Indians to 176-4.
Mumbai's breakthrough came in the seventh over when Rahul, who was looking in good touch, hit a short delivery from Mayank Markande straight into the hands of JP Duminy at deep midwicket. Yuvraj Singh (14 off 14) made a disappointing comeback after being dropped in the previous game. This time the luck was also not on Yuvraj's side he got run out after a mix-up with Karun Nair (23 off 12).
However, KXIP lost their way in the middle overs with Nair and Axar Patel (13 off 12) getting out after promising starts.
Jasprit Bumrah was superb in the Powerplay, superb in the death; his figures of 4-0-19-1 his best so far this season. Bumrah especially was brilliant conceding just 19 runs in four overs, while taking the wicket of Axar.