With a three-run win over Kings XI Punjab, the Mumbai Indians kept themselves in the reckoning for a place in the VIVO IPL 2018 Playoffs. While Kieron Pollard lifted the defending champions to a solid 186 for eight; Jasprit Bumrah’s second spell yielding three wickets, including that of KL Rahul (94 off 60), helped MI to a nerve-wracking win.

Asked to bat first at the Wankhede Stadium, MI lost opener Evin Lewis with 37 runs on the board. Suryakumar Yadav, who had smacked Ankit Rajpoot for two sixes and two boundaries to collect 21 runs in the third over, was then joined by Ishan Kishan in the middle. While the youngster was tested by Andrew Tye, he dismissed Mohit Sharma over square-leg and point for a couple of sixes in an effort to keep the momentum going. However, Tye applied the brakes in the MI innings by accounting for both batsmen off successive deliveries to leave the side on 59 for three. And with Rohit Sharma returning to the pavilion for six, MI was floundering on 71 for four. Pollard then joined Krunal Pandya in reshaping the innings. The pair had taken the team to 136 when Krunal departed handing a catch to short fine-leg. Pollard, however, struck two boundaries and six off Marcus Stoinis in the fourteenth over. But, in the following over the Trinidadian departed hitting R Ashwin towards long-off.  With Tye bowling tidy overs in the death, and dismissing Hardik Pandya, KXIP were able to reign in MI.

After a couple of quiet overs, Rahul and Chris Gayle launched into the KXIP attack. They clobbered Hardik for 19 runs to the set the tone of the innings. Although Mitchell McClenaghan got the better of the Jamaican to leave the team on 34 for one, Rahul and Aaron Finch took the match to the hosts. Promoted up the order, Finch joined the opener in plundering runs off the MI attack. The duo had taken KXIP to 145 when Bumrah, back in the attack, claimed the No 3 batsman and followed up with the wicket of Stoinis to leave the side on 149 for three in the 17th over.  But with Rahul hammering the bowlers all over the park, the match was hanging in balance until Bumrah accounted for him in his next over to tip the balance in MI’s favor. With 20 runs required Yuvraj Singh then joined Axar Patel in the middle with nine balls remaining. The bowlers kept a lid on the flow of runs and McClenaghan defended 17 runs in the last over to bowl his team to a thrilling win.

Standout batting performance

Pollard scored a timely half-century to set-up the game for his side. The hard-hitting batsman displayed timing and patience as he partnered with Krunal to boost the MI total. After launching Patel over mid-wicket for six he dismissed Rajpoot over long-on for six in the next and followed up with a couple of boundaries to accelerate the scoring. In the following over, he attacked Stoinis with gusto and brought up his fifty with a six over long-off.

Although his side ended up on the losing side, Rahul’s performance stood-out at the Wankhede Stadium. The KXIP opener has been in great form throughout the tournament and once again entertained with his class as he kept his team in the fray. He collected runs with ease off the spinners and pacers alike until a slower one from Bumrah ended his rein for 94 off 60 balls.

Notable supporting act – batting 

Krunal Pandya’s 23-ball 32 was a crucial contribution that helped MI to a competitive total. The left-hander complemented Pollard in stemming the fall of wickets and rebuilding the innings. That partnership helped to keep the momentum in MI’s favor.

Boosted up the order, Finch played a superb inning to partner Rahul in keeping the chase on course. The batsman made most of the opportunity as he slammed 46 before Bumrah got the better of him

Standout bowling performance 

Andrew Tye firmed his grip on the Purple Cap with his performance in the game. The bowler claimed 4/16 as he dealt timely blows to the MI innings. He claimed three wickets upfront and then returned to bowl a neat over in the death.

Bumrah was the hero for the Mumbai Indians with his bowling in the death overs. Varying his pace and lengths the pacer claimed three crucial wickets. He brought his team back into the game with the double blow – claiming Finch and then Stoinis with a quicker delivery. The turning point of the game came with the wicket of Rahul in the penultimate over.

Brief scores 

Mumbai Indians – 186/8 in 20 overs (K Pollard 50, K Pandya 32, A Tye 4/16) beat

Kings XI Punjab – 183/5 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 94, A Finch 46, J Bumrah 3/15) by 3 runs

Man of the Match – Jasprit Bumrah for his 3/15


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