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Match Report: M51 - MI vs KXIP

KXIP stay alive after denying MI in thriller

Match report MI vs KXIP.jpg

Kings XI Punjab stay alive in the race to the VIVO IPL 2017 Playoffs after they held their nerve to deny the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday night. In a high-scoring contest, which saw a total of 453 runs scored in 40 overs, the difference between the two teams was a mere seven runs. Put into bat, KXIP posted 230-3 riding on the back of WriddhimanSaha’s unbeaten 93. MI had their chances and were even favourites to win at one point in time, before the KXIP bowlers strangled them right at the death; MI finished at 223-6, falling eight runs short.

Batting first, Martin Guptill and WriddhimanSahahelped KXIP to their season-best powerplay score; the opening pair added 71 runs in the first six overs with both batsmen contributing in almost equal proportions. This was a must-win game for KXIP, and that they meant business was clear when Glenn Maxwell walked out to bat at number three.The KXIP skipper wasted little time in stepping on the throttle; he collected two sixes off Karn Sharma in the eighth over, before hitting Harbhajan Singh into the stand thrice in the ninth over.

The Australian was dismissed at the end of the eleventh over when he made room to put the ball away through the off-side, but was castled by JaspritBumrah; Maxwell made 47 from 21 balls and hit two fours and five sixes, and dominated the 63-run association with Saha.

Saha then upped the ante, and Shaun Marsh hit a couple of sixes in a cameo, as KXIP reached 183 when the latter was dismissed. Sahabatted on to the end and finished unbeaten on 93 – his first half-century of the season; he had hit 11 boundaries and three sixes in his 55-ball knock. Axar Patel (19 from 13 balls) lent the innings some impetus at the back end when he struck a last-ball six.

KXIP had scored 102 runs in the nine-overs middle period and added a further 57 runs in the last five overs. The visitors’ innings was built around four significant partnerships; it was the first time this season that a team’s innings had 3 partnerships of 50 or more.

The chase began on a promising note, with the opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel adding 99 – MI’s best opening stand of the season. That pair was separated in the ninth over when the latter attempted to force the pace trying to make up for a period of calm but ended up miscuing a catch to mid-off; Parthiv made 38 from 23 balls.

Simmons’ innings of 59 was culled by a sensational catch by Guptill at long-on; the New Zealander timed his jump to perfection and was suspended in flight when he plucked the ball out of thin air. Rohit Sharma then hit a full toss down the throat of long-on two overs later, and Nitish Rana’s slog found Guptill at midwicket.

MI had lost footing with the loss of three quick wickets, but Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya put the chase back on track with a flurry of sixes; both batsmen matched each other stroke for stroke, and added 55 runs in 3.3 overs. Pandya made 30 from 13 balls (4 sixes), while Pollard contributed 23 runs to the partnership. When Pandya was dismissed at the start of the seventeenth, it still appeared MI would accomplish the chase – with a well-set Pollard batting at the other end.

MI needed 23 runs from the final two overs, but the KXIP bowlers bowled two excellent overs at the death; Sandeep Sharma conceded only 7 runs in the nineteenth over, and Mohit Sharma conceded only eight runs in the final over. Pollard had raced to 37 from 15 balls (aided with one boundary and four sixes) at the end of the eighteenth over. But courtesy the disciplined bowling, even he could only score 13 runs from 9 balls in the final two overs; the big Trinidadian finished unbeaten on 50 from 24 balls, and with his last scoring stroke also brought up 1000 IPL runs at the Wankhede Stadium.

For KXIP, Mohit Sharma (2/57) came in for stick, but he picked up two wickets and bowled a superb last over, as did Sandeep Sharma, who conceded 42 runs in his four overs, but bowled an excellent penultimate over. The spin trio of Maxwell, Axar Patel and Rahul Tewatia dried up the runs in the middle period of play and were chiefly in bringing their team back in the contest; between them, the spin troika picked up three wickets in seven overs, while only conceding 53 runs.

Brief Scores

Kings XI Punjab: 230-3 (WriddhimanSaha 93, Glenn Maxwell 47, JaspritBumrah 1-24) beat Mumbai Indians: 223-6 (Lendl Simmons 59, Kieron Pollard 50*, Parthiv Patel 38, Mohit Sharma 2-57) by 7 runs.

Man of the Match: Wriddhiman Saha