The 17th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw Punjab Kings (PBKS) reach the 131-run target put on by Mumbai Indians (MI) comfortably. Skipper KL Rahul along with Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle won the clash by 9 wickets in 17.4 overs.
This is a clinical win against the defending champions after Punjab had suffered a 9-wicket loss at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) a couple of days back at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Chasing a modest total, Mayank and Rahul got their side off to an excellent start and scored 45 runs in the powerplay as opposed to MI’s 21/1 (lowest this season).
Mumbai soon pulled things back and Rahul Chahar and Jayant Yadav whose combined bowling figures read 8-0-39-1. Mayank’s (25 runs off 20 balls) wicket to Chahar saw an opening for MI, but then entered Gayle.
With 31 needed off 34 deliveries, Punjab were firmly ahead, but there was a mini-comeback by Mumbai as there were six dot balls. However, the duo of Rahul and the ‘Universe Boss’ stitched an unbeaten 79-run stand and took their team over the line with 14 balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, KL Rahul’s decision to opt to field at Chepauk did raise a few questions, however, his bowlers backed his move. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s 63-run knock came after Mumbai lost opener Quinton de Kock (3) early as Deepak Hooda picked him in the second over.
Ishan Kishan came in to join Rohit in the middle. The duo stitched a brief partnership of 19-run for the second wicket. Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi ended Kishan’s (6) stint at the crease.
Suryakumar Yadav came into bat at number four. He along with Rohit built the innings for Mumbai as they accumulated 79 runs for the third wicket. The duo added runs at a quick pace and Rohit smashed hit first fifty of the season.
Again it was Bishnoi who gave the breakthrough to the side as he removed Suryakumar (33) in the 17th over. After the fall of the third wicket, Kieron Pollard joined Rohit in the middle.
In the next over, pacer Mohammed Shami sent Rohit back to the pavilion after he had scored 63 runs.
Hardik Pandya (1) failed to leave his mark on the scoreboard as he was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh in the penultimate over.
In the last five overs, Punjab just gave 34 runs and picked four wickets to restrict Mumbai Indians to 131/6. Pollard remained unbeaten on 16 runs. For Punjab, Bishnoi and Shami picked two scalps each.
(Inputs from ANI)