IPL 2016: Stoinis four-for sends Mumbai to brink of elimination

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Image Courtesy: © IPL

IPL 2016: Stoinis four-for sends Mumbai to brink of elimination

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Arun S Kaimal


Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ four-wicket haul helped Kings XI Punjab defeat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets at Vishakapatnam on Friday. After restricting the reigning champions to 124/9, Kings XI skipper Murali Vijay and Wriddhiman Saha took the team to the victory with an 116-run stand.

Brief Scores: MI 124/9 in 20 overs (Pollard 27(20), Rana 25(28); Stoinis 4/15) lost to KXIP 127/3 in 17/20 overs (Saha 56(40), Vijay 54*(52), McClenaghan 2/24) by 7 wickets

After earning a crucial victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match, Mumbai Indians welcomed bottom-dwellers Kings XI Punjab to their adopted home at Vishakhapatnam. Parthiv Patel’s poor run in the last few games saw him being replaced by Unmukt Chand as Mumbai Indians made one change to their playing XI. Glenn Maxwell returned to the playing XI for Kings XI Punjab along with Gurkeerat Mann as Farhaan Behardien and Anureet Singh made way for them. Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first after folding out for 92 in their chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last match.

A horror start for Mumbai

The reigning champions hoped for a good start after batting first, but their hopes went up in smoke as Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma ran riot by removing Unmukt Chand and Ambati Rayudu early. Mohit struck in his first over after the former U-19 captain chipped a nothing shot to Gurkeerat at mid-off. Sandeep produced a stunning inswinger the next over to castle Rayudu. With two top order batsmen back in the pavilion, Mumbai managed just 21 runs in the powerplay as the bowlers dominated the play. Rohit Sharma and Nitish Rana stitched together a 28-run stand to steady the innings, but Axar Patel ruined Mumbai’s plans in the 9th over by removing the in-form Rohit. At the half-way mark, the defending champions were struggling with just 45 runs on the board.

Stoinis four-for increases Mumbai’s misery

If the horror start was not enough, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis increased the misery for the defending champions by claiming a four-wicket haul. The medium fast bowler first removed Nitish Rana in the 11th over to claim his first wicket, before ending Jos Buttler’s time at the crease in the 14th over. Kieron Pollard counter-attacked in his own style, and scored 27 off 20 balls to take the innings forward. However, Stoinis was once again the star as he removed Pollard and Krunal Pandya in back-to-back deliveries in the 17th over to leave Mumbai reeling at 104/7. Wickets continued to tumble as Kings XI Punjab restricted Mumbai to a meager 124/9 at the end of 20 overs.

Vijay and Saha take Punjab to victory

Kings XI got off to a similar start as their rivals as Tim Southee trapped Hashim Amla in front of the stumps in the opening over. But, Punjab skipper Murali Vijay and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha made sure that Kings XI's did not go the same way as Mumbai's. When Saha took time to settle, Vijay kept the required run rate in check by sending McClenaghan to the ropes in back-to-back deliveries in the 4th over.  Punjab ended the powerplay with 32 runs on the board as Rohit Sharma turned to the spinners in search of a wicket. However, Vijay and Saha milked Harbhajan and Krunal Pandya to take the innings forward with runs regularly. With the team cruising to a victory, Vijay and Saha went after the bowlers in an attempt to finish the match in a hurry. Saha smashed Harbhajan for a six and a four in the 13th over, while Vijay dished out similar treatment to Pandya in the next over. But, McClenaghan removed Saha for 56, and Maxwell for a duck in the 16th over to delay the inevitable. The fall of two wickets in quick succession did not perturb Vijay, who took the team to victory in the next over, pulling his team out of the last place in the table. 

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