Kings keep hopes alive as MI fall short in steep chase

Kings keep hopes alive as MI fall short in steep chase

The mammoth total put up by the Kings XI Punjab proved too much for the Mumbai Indians. Riding on Wriddhiman Saha’s 93(55), the Punjab side put up 230 for the loss of just 3 wickets and have kept their hopes alive to make this year’s playoffs.

Batting paradise at the Wankhede

As you know, the Wankhede Stadium is known for some close encounters and iconic games. Traditionally a sporting wicket, Sachin’s home turf has turned into a high scoring pitch in recent times. Coupled with those short boundaries fielding first is a certain choice for the captain winning the toss. Rohit Sharma got that bit right but failed to capitalize on the home advantage.

Martin Guptill(36 off 18) was off to a flyer along with Saha who opened the innings for the first time this season. Promoting Saha up the order was surely a gamble that paid off for Maxwell. They put on 68 in the the first 5.3 overs, before Glenn Maxwell tore into the likes of Harbhajan Singh. His quick-fire 47(21) powered the middle overs, while Saha kept doing his bit at the other end. Shaun Marsh too had a go at the Mumbai Indians’ bowlers with his 25 of 16 balls.

But it was India’s test keeper who stood out in the massive total of 230 runs put up by the Kings. Studded with 11 fours and 3 sixes, Saha carried his team throughout the 20 overs. The Punjab top order has surely not made Hashim Amla’s absence felt.

High-octane chase by Mumbai

As Ravi Shastri would say, Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel came out firing on all cylinders. With 99 on the board for the first wicket, Parthiv fell in the 9th over for a well made 38 off 23. Simmons(59 off 32) followed shortly after and put Mumbai back into a position to regroup. Rohit Sharma’s unpredictable run continued as he along with Nitish Rana didn’t last long and left Mumbai at 121 for 4 with 110 runs to get off 44 balls.

Kieron Pollard, who has been proving his worth after the controversy with Sanjay Manjrekar, plundered the Punjab bowlers and revived Mumbai’s chase. Along with Hardik Panda who didn’t impress with the ball, they put on 55 in 21 balls. Hardik blasted a 13 ball 30 while Pollard remained not out with his 24 ball 50 that starred 5 sixes. But Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma's death bowling didnt allow the inform Kieron Pollard to get away with the game. With 23 needed off the last 2 overs, Sandeep gave away just 7 runs and Mohit defended 16 off the last inspite of being hit for 6.

Kings XI who needed the win more than Mumbai have given themselves a solid chance to make the playoffs. Mumbai face KKR in an away fixture at the Eden Gardens for their final encounter of the league stage on the 13th of May. A slip in that game might mean MI don’t make the top 2, provided Pune win their remaining games.

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