Home English Mumbai Indians stays in the hunt with a nail-biting win.
Andrew Tye pegged the Mumbai Indians back with his exceptional bowling variations. K.L. Rahul played yet another gem at the top. Aaron Finch finally made a contribution of note with the willow. Still, it was not enough to either help Kings XI Punjab end Mumbai Indians’ campaign or improve its chances of making it to the Vivo IPL playoffs.
In a match that stretched well beyond midnight, owing to a 12-minute interruption due to floodlight failure coupled with a miserable over-rate by the teams, Mumbai successfully defended a total of 186 for eight.
The stars of the night for the home team were Kieron Pollard, who marked his return return to the side with a sterling fifty, and the ever-reliable Jasprit Bumrah.
Not only did Bumrah bowl a miserly spell, but more importantly, got the prize scalp of Rahul in the penultimate over to leave Yuvraj Singh and Axar Patel a stiff task of scoring 17 runs off the final over.
Doing the job
Mitchell McClenaghan kept his nerve to concede only 13 and ensure Mumbai Indians’ last game on Sunday in Delhi will not be a mere formality.
The three-run loss, on the other hand, will make it extremely difficult for Kings XI to enter the last four since its net run rate is the worst among the eight teams.
It meets Chennai Super Kings in Pune on Sunday.
When Pollard joined Krunal Pandya in the middle, Mumbai was tottering at 71 for four in the ninth over. The burly Caribbean began with a cover-drive off Marcus Stoinis before opening his shoulders against Axar’s left-arm spin.
Krunal, too, upped the ante and the duo’s quickfire partnership set Mumbai up for a 200-plus total.
However, Tye and R. Ashwin brought Kings back into the game.
When the former was reintroduced in the 17th over, skipper Ashwin had already broken the dangerous stand in the previous over, accounting for Pollard.
The Australian then continued to bamboozle the Mumbai lower-order with his variety, giving away just 11 runs in his last two overs.
In fact, Ashwin and Tye combined to concede only 23 runs from the 16th to 19th overs and made sure Mumbai didn’t run away with the game.
Tye was at his best right through the day. Introduced into the attack in the fourth over of the evening, after Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis had got off to a flier again, the pacer sneaked through Lewis’ defence off the first ball he bowled.
In his next over, the last of the PowerPlay, Tye struck off successive balls to reduce Mumbai to 60 for three.
He first induced a false shot from left-hander Ishan Kishan before dismissing Suryakumar with a short ball.
Despite the best efforts from Tye and Rahul, it was Rohit’s men who ruled the night.