IPL 2017 | Punjab keep playoff dream alive with narrow win over Mumbai

IPL 2017 | Punjab keep playoff dream alive with narrow win over Mumbai

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KXIP handed table-toppers MI a narrow seven-run defeat at the Wankhede to keep their playoffs hopes alive. The visitors set a season high target of 231, courtesy Wriddhiman Saha's 93-run knock, and even after the heroics of Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard, Mumbai fell just short of the target.

Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 230/3 (Wriddhiman Saha 93*, Glenn Maxwell 47; Jasprit Bumrah 1/24, Karn Sharma 1/32) beat Mumbai Indians 223/6 ( Lendl Simmons 59, Kieron Pollard 50*; Mohit Sharma 2/57, Glenn Maxwell 1/8) by 7 runs.  

Glenn Maxwell lost yet another toss and the Kings were put into bat by the Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma who cited dew as a factor behind his decision of chasing. Mumbai Indians remained unchanged while Kings XI Punjab brought in Ishant Sharma to replace Swapnil Singh

Guptill and Saha get Punjab off to a flyer

Wriddhiman Saha filled in the shoes of Hashim Amla and opened the innings with Martin Guptill today. The two Punjab batsmen came out all-guns-blazing and thrashed the Mumbai bowlers to every corner of the ground. The duo of Saha and Guptill romped the Mumbai bowling attack as they amassed 60 runs in the first five. However, Karn Sharma became a rare road-bump in Punjab’s smooth ride when he sent Guptill packing in the sixth over and Punjab finished the powerplay overs with a score of 71/1. After Guptill gave the Kings a sensational start, skipper Glenn Maxwell decided to promote himself up the order and took the Wankhede by storm as along with Saha, the Aussie brought up the 100-run mark in the 8th over. Maxwell continued mercilessly thrashing the Mumbai bowlers and got Punjab to a score of 126-1 at the halfway mark. 

Saha’s heroics dismantle Mumbai bowling

Punjab’s domination took a hit when Maxwell's scoring spree was brought to an end by the ever-reliable Jasprit Bumrah in the 11th over. However, that did not perturb Saha who got to his half-century by hitting Harbhajan Singh for a maximum and his impeccable innings resulted in Punjab reaching an incredible 172 runs off just 15 overs.The following over brought a slight setback to the Punjab innings when Shaun Marsh who had beautifully complemented Saha, after Maxwell’s dismissal, mistimed a shot straight into the hands of Patel for 25. However, fearless Saha kept on smashing the Mumbai bowlers with no regard for their experience or talent, taking 23 runs off the last two overs as managed to put up a colossal total of 230-3 in a must-win game for them. The only disappointment that the Punjab side would have had was that Saha fell seven runs short of what would have been an exceptional century.

Simmons, Parthiv give Mumbai perfect start

Mumbai had a daunting climb ahead of them and needed their batsmen to fire up front and it was Parthiv who set the pace early before Lendl Simmons, his partner at the other end, joined the party as the duo showed little mercy against the quick bowlers. The occasional probing delivery was sandwiched between large pockets of wide balls as fours and sixes were cascaded off their blades regularly that took the hosts to 68/0 in the powerplay overs. Having been dropped by Mohit Sharma at long off, Simmons brought up his 11th half-century in style with a towering effort over long-on off an Axar Patel delivery. However, Punjab were not ready to let the game slip out of their hands as Parthiv, after hitting three back-to-back boundaries off Mohit, was dismissed in the ninth over. It got better for the visitors in the next over as Guptill took a one-handed blinder at long-on to send dangerous Simmons packing, who continued his Wankhede love-affair slamming 59 runs off  32 balls. But at the halfway point, Mumbai were at a comfortable position with 108/2, needing 122 runs off last 60 balls. 

Mohit keeps his nerve to seal a thriller for Punjab

Maxwell then introduced Rahul Tewatia into the attack and the youngster hardly showed any nerves, snaring Rohit Sharma in his first over before Axar got the better of Nitish Rana in the following one. Although Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya threatened to take the game away from Punjab’s grasp by hitting Matt Henry for 27 runs in the 16th over, the colossal target took a toll on them as Sandeep dismissed Hardik before Mohit sent Karn Sharma packing an over later. The hosts needed only 16 runs off the last over and with Pollard on the crease, it seemed to be an easy chase for Mumbai but Mohit bowled a splendid final over to make sure that Punjab lived to fight another day.

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