Kings XI Punjab defeated the Mumbai Indians by eight wickets to register their second win of VIVO IPL 2019. After opting to bowl, Kings XI Punjab – playing their first home match of the season – restricted the visitors to 176-7 and then chased down the target in 18.4 overs.
The home team’s run-chase had several contributors. Chris Gayle set up the foundation for the chase with a cameo at the top, Mayank Agarwal ensured the momentum stayed with his team, and KL Rahul completed the job. David Miller, who was a silent partner in an unbroken 60-run third wicket partnership, scored the winning runs.
Earlier in the evening, Quinton de Kock scored a fluent 60 to propel Mumbai Indians to a competitive total. Captain Rohit Sharma made a quickfire 32 at the top, while Hardik Pandya played yet another cameo to provide his team the much-needed flourish at the end. The visitors looked good for a bigger total, but the loss of de Kock and Yuvraj Singh, who was looking good during his brief stay, in quick succession meant they lost a bit of momentum in the back half.
Standout batting performance
It is not often that a player who isn’t Chris Gayle, or who isn’t the top-scorerin the innings, ends up being nominated for the best batting performance. Mayank Agarwal did just that. He walked in to bat after Gayle was dismissed in the eighth over. With KL Rahul struggling at that stage, KXIP needed someone to play a knock that kept the pressure on the bowlers. Mayank did just that; he struck the ball sweetly – collecting a straight-drive boundary, a whip that split the fielders at long-on and midwicket and a pull through the same region. He also hit two sixes down the ground – both off Krunal Pandya. The standout feature of Mayank’s innings was how well he held his shape and timed the ball, rather than having to muscle the ball. Mayank made 43 from 21 balls, and he dominated the 64-run partnership with KL Rahul.
For Mumbai, Quinton de Kock, who was guilty of not converting starts into big scores in the earlier two matches, scored a fluent half-century. The left-hander didn’t get too much strike in the first six overs, but after being 19 from 14 balls at the of the powerplay phase, he accelerated, scoring 41 from the following 24 balls. He hit six boundaries and two sixes, and scored 70% of his runs through the leg-side.de Kock was dismissed in the thirteenth over when he walked across to the off-side and tried to dab a Mohammed Shami delivery through fine-leg, but didn’t get any bat and was trapped LBW.
Notable Support Act – Batting
KL Rahul is usually eye-candy when he scores runs. Not on Saturday evening though, when he had to work hard for his runs. The KXIP opening batsman only contributed twelve runs in the opening partnership of 53, and played second fiddle in the 64-run stand with Mayank Agarwal. But he applied himself well and didn’t throw his wicket away even when runs were hard to score. Eventually, the hard work paid off as he flourished at the end. Rahul had hit only one boundary until the fourteenth over, but thereafter found the boundary on six other occasions; he scored 41 off the last 21 balls he faced, remaining unbeaten on 71 from 57 balls.
The Chris Gayle of old turned up at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday evening. While the Jamaican these days generally takes a little time to get his eye in, on this occasion he started aggressively and helped himself to 40 from 24 balls; his innings contained three fours and four sixes – his first six of the evening travelled 101 metres!
Standout bowling performance
The two Ashwins – Ravichandran and Murugan – were the pick of the Kings XI Punjab bowlers. While the off-spinner returned wicketless, he finished with outstanding figures of 4-0-26-0 – this despite bowling two overs in the powerplay. The leg-spinner Murugan – brought into the XI at the expense of the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy – was introduced into the attack immediately once the fielding restrictions were eased. He struck with his second delivery when he trapped Suryakumar Yadav leg before wicket with a slider. In his final over, he landed a googly – bowled a tad slower in the air – which Yuvraj Singh miscued and hit down the throat of squareleg. Murugan Ashwin finished with figures of 4-0-25-2.
Stat of the Match:
Chris Gayle became the first batsman to hit 300 sixes in the IPL; he reached the milestone when, in the third over, he deposited a Mitchell McClenaghan delivery into the stands at long-on.
Kings XI Punjab: 177-2 (KL Rahul 71*, Chris Gayle 40, Mayank Agarwal 43) defeated
Mumbai Indians: 176-7 (Quinton de Kock 60, Rohit Sharma 32, Hardik Pandya 31, Murugan Ashwin 2-25) by 8 wickets.
Man of the Match: Mayank Agarwal