Mumbai: When they finished they batting in the first innings, Kings XI Punjab must have thought that 230 for 3 is a very good score at the Wankhede pitch. But little did they know that even that score was not a safe score against Mumbai Indians who came agonisingly close of chasing it down and send Kings XI out of the IPL 2017 play-off race. In the end, Kings XI managed to win by seven runs and keep their hopes alive.
In a run fest which saw 453 runs scored by both teams, Mumbai fell short by eight runs and managed 223 for the loss of six wickets from 20 overs. In the final two overs, Mumbai needed 23 runs but some precise and full-length bowling from Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma won the game for Kings XI.
Sandeep gave only seven runs from the 19th over which left Mohit to defend 15 off the final over with Kieron Pollard on strike and batting on 42 off 18 balls. could take only eight runs off the six balls he faced in the over to finish with unbeaten 50 off 24 balls. Mohit kept his line wide outside-off and length full to make sure Mumbai do not reach the target.
Before this, Mumbai were off to fantastic start, thanks to openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel. Simmons was the destroyer-in-chief for Mumbai as he scored 44 of the 68 runs scored in the powerplay by Mumbai. Parthiv had scored 21 runs in the same period.
The left-handed batsmen tried to attack as well after the powerplay and was successful briefly before falling to Mohit in the ninth over. Mumbai had scored 99 runs by then.
Something special was needed to end Simmons innings and Martin Guptill produced a stunning, one-handed catch at long-on to dismiss Simmons. After 10 overs, Mumbai needed 123 runs from 60 balls.
Kings XI spinners Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel picked two wickets, Rohit Sharma and Nitish Rana, in two overs to dampen the spirits in the Mumbai camp before Pollard and Hardik Pandya smashed the ball around and brought down the equation to 83 needed off 30 balls.
It was the 16th over, bowled by Matt Henry,which made Mumbai the favourites, as they took 27 runs off with Pollard and Pandya hitting two sixes each. But, Sandeep ended Pandya’s innings as Saha took a sensational catch behind the stumps. Karn Sharma then scored 19 runs from six balls but Mohit bowled him. Mumbai hopes depended on Pollard who could not take then over the line.
The Kings XI score of 230 for 3 was mainly due Wriddhiman Saha and cameos from captain Glenn Maxwell and Martin Guptill. Saha, who was promoted as an opener, smashed 11 fours and three sixes in his 55-ball knock.
The start provided by Guptill and Saha was exceptional as they took their team 68 before Guptill fell for 36 on the third ball of the sixth over. Maxwell then joined Saha and smashed 47 runs off 21 balls to further lift the scoring rate.
Kings XI Punjab - 230 for 3 (Saha 93*, Maxwell 47, Guptill 36)
Mumbai Indians - 223 for 6 (Simmons 59, Pollard 50*, Patel 38, Pandya 30)
Result - Kings XI Punjab won by 7 runs