Punjab Kings (PBKS) celebrate a wicket against Mumbai. Pic: IPLT20.COM
The Punjab Kings (PBKS) defeated the Mumbai Indians (MI) by 12 runs in yesterday’s IPL match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Batting first after losing the toss, PBKS posted an impressive 198 for 5. Mumbai blew hot and cold in the chase. The inconsistency cost them as they succumbed to their fifth consecutive loss, finishing on 186 for 9.
Chasing 199, Mumbai got off to a confident start as skipper Rohit Sharma struck three fours and a six in the first two overs. He hit an inside-out six off Kagiso Rabada in the fourth over but fell the next ball for 28 off 17. The MI skipper was surprised by a short ball and top-edged a catch towards short fine leg. Mumbai were in further trouble as Vaibhav Arora forced Ishan Kishan (3) to edge a well-pitched delivery that seamed away. MI ended the powerplay in trouble at 42 for 2.
Dewald Brevis, who struck two fours off Arshdeep Singh in the sixth over, then launched a stunning assault on PBKS leggie Rahul Chahar, who was brought on to bowl the 9th over. After smashing the second ball for four, the next four deliveries sailed over the ropes. The first six was knocked over the bowler’s head and the next three over wide long-on, with complete disdain for the bowler.
Tilak Varma also joined in and found a few boundaries as Mumbai crossed 100 at the halfway stage. Brevis was dropped at deep third man off Odean Smith’s bowling on 45. However, PBKS were lucky as he fell the very next ball for 49 off 25, pulling a short ball to deep backward square.
Mumbai’s hopes were dealt another blow as Tilak Varma (36 off 20) was run out following a horrible mix-up with Suryakumar Yadav. The latter flicked one to midwicket and was ball watching even as Varma set off. In the end, the youngster was stranded and had to take the long walk back.
Another moment of indecision led to the run-out of Kieron Pollard (10). There was a misfield at long-on and the West Indian was unsure of going for the extra run. He made a late decision, by which time it was too late. Suryakumar struck Arora for consecutive sixes in the 17th over as Mumbai stayed in the hunt, needing 33 off the last three overs. Arshdeep Singh, however, bowled a brilliant 18th over for PBKS, conceding only five.
With the pressure mounting, Suryakumar (43 off 30) fell to Rabada, slapping a full toss to long-on. Smith then helped himself to three wickets in the last over as the Mumbai tail unsuccessfully threw their bats around.
Impressive PBKS post 198 for 5 against MI
Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Mayank Agarwal scored fifties for PBKS. Pic: IPLT20.COM
PBKS came up with an impressive batting effort to put up 198 for 5 after losing the toss and being sent into bat by Mumbai. Openers Shikhar Dhawan (70 off 50) and Mayank Agarwal (52 off 32) added 97 in 9.3 overs. After a brief stutter in the middle overs, Jitesh Sharma (30* off 15) and Shahrukh Khan (15 off 6) gave the finishing touches to push Punjab towards 200.
PBKS started their innings in aggressive fashion as Agarwal struck two fours off Basil Thampi in the first over. Dhawan then got underway by launching Jaydev Unadkat for a maximum over mid-off. When leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin was introduced in the fifth over, the Punjab skipper struck him for two fours before launching a six over long-off. The batting side ended the powerplay on a strong 65 for no loss.
Agarwal brought up his fifty in style, smashing Tymal Mills over mid-off for another six. MI finally managed to breakthrough when Ashwin foxed Agarwal and forced him to sky a catch to long-off. Dhawan got a life on 44 when Ishan Kishan failed to latch on to a touch chance. The left-hander slashed at one outside off, only to get an edge, but the diving keeper could not hold on.
Dhawan went on to complete his fifty but MI struck at the other end as Jonny Bairstow (12) dragged a slower ball from Unadkat onto the stumps. Liam Livingstone (2) also perished cheaply, cleaned up by a deadly Jasprit Bumrah yorker. Dhawan’s fine innings ended when he mistimed an attempted big hit off Thampi to long-on.
At 151 for 4 after 17 overs, Mumbai had hopes of restricting Punjab to 180. However, Jitesh once again did a fine finishing job. After clubbing Unadkat for 6,4,6, he reverse-flicked the last ball for a boundary over third man. In the last over, Shahrukh thumped Thampi for two sixes before being cleaned up by a yorker.
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Agarwal and Dhawan excelled for Punjab with the bat, giving them the perfect start. The skipper was the aggressor, while the veteran southpaw took over after Agarwal’s dismissal. Jitesh Sharma played a fine cameo off 30* in 15 balls.
With the ball, Rabada stood out with 2 for 29, getting the big scalps of Rohit and Suryakumar. Smith dismissed the dangerous Brevis and returned to pick up three wickets in his last over.
Brevis played a stunning knock for MI, slamming four fours and five sixes in his blazing 49. Suryakumar yet again made an impact with a sparkling knock.
Agarwal was named the Player of the Match for his attacking half-century.