It was a full crowd at Mohali cheering for their team, the Kings XI Punjab. They want their side to start winning now. They finished last on the points table last year and this year too they are consistently warming the last spot. The opponents, Mumbai Indians have been inconsistent winning just 2 out of their 6 matches. So both the teams were desperate to win this one. KXIP won the toss and put Mumbai in to bat.
Every team is looking to chase this season. Punjab would have hoped the same.
Punjab started well. Their opening bowler, Sandeep Sharma took Rohit Sharma out off the 2nd ball of the match. Job half done, they would have thought and why not? Rohit has been the consistent top scorer for Mumbai this season. Number 3 Ambati Rayudu joined Parthiv Patel on the crease and started what was to be a match winning partnership.
After playing out initial overs safely, both the players started to explode. Rayudu in particular was hitting the ball really well. Parthiv, was riding his luck today as he was caught off Mitchell Johnson very early in his innings to what was the first no ball from Punjab in this year’s IPL. He did not look back there after. Both Batsmen went after the bowling and increased the run rate to more than 9 runs an over.
They added 137 runs in 14 overs and the signs looked ominous for the home team as the big hitters of Mumbai were waiting in the wings.
Punjab still managed to keep things under control and did not let Mumbai break away as they finished the Mumbai Innings at 189 for 6. Parthiv top scored for MI with 81 runs from just 58 balls, setting Punjab a target of 190 to win.
KXIP would have hoped for their M series – Murli, Manan, Marsh, Maxwell and Miller to fire today and they needed to if they had to make a match of it.
The openers went cheaply and it was upto Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to take the game forward. They tried as well with a 89 run stand in 10 overs. Both played some good shots and Maxwell looked good for his 56. Shaun Marsh scored 45. But the death bowling from Mumbai by Bumrah and McClenaghan killed all hope for Punjab. They came up with Yorkers at will to castle Punjab batmen and deny any scoring opportunities. Punjab finished at 164 for 7 falling 25 short of the Mumbai score to give Mumbai their 3rd win and Punjab their 5th loss.
Punjab are not playing to their potential and Mumbai have been inconsistent. Both teams need to pick their game up to make a mark in this tournament. Mumbai will walk away from this match smiling though.