The defending champion’s first win ends Kings XI Punjab’s unbeaten run in IPL-7
Mumbai Indians returned to winning ways on home turf, accepting the challenge from league topper Kings XI Punjab of chasing down 168 in the familiar environs of the Wankhede Stadium. It won by five wickets with five balls to spare after rattling up 170 for five in 19.1 overs for its first success in Pepsi IPL-7.
Rohit Sharma can make batting look easy but the complexity of captaincy is more taxing. MI looked up to him for the way out of the tunnel after five numbing defeats in a row.
He handled both the expectations and the responsibility, a classy 39 off 34 balls putting his disheartened team on the path to a morale-boosting victory.
Final flourishKieron Pollard picked the cue with imperious swipes of the mighty blade (28 not out, 12 balls, 2x4,2x6) while local lad Aditya Tare showed some spunk with bold blows at number seven (16 not out, six balls, 1x4, 1x6).
A versatile KXIP attack wilted and even Mitchell Johnson did not escape punishment, giving away 37 runs in four overs.
C.M. Gautam steadied the MI boat earlier after a double blow, improvising at the crease with an entertaining 33 off 29 balls. He drew confidence from Rohit’s presence at the other end before a cheeky switch hit forced his exit.
The baton passed to left-hander Anderson and when the New Zealander gets cracking, there is little bowlers can do about damage control. Young left-arm spinner Akshar Patel gave away 20 in his fourth over. MI raced past 100-mark in 12.4 overs.
Teamwork is all about someone standing up to be counted when the chips are down. Wriddhiman Saha slipped into that role with ease at No. 3, after the veteran Virender Sehwag got run out and match-winner Glenn Maxwell went early chancing his arm.
Saha sizzlesThe tenacious wicket-keeper went about his task, unfazed by distractions around him, leaving his mark on the game with an unbeaten, stroke-filled 59 (47 balls, 4x4, 3x6) to fuel KXIP’s ambitions.
MI’s first breakthrough came via Rohit in the field, running out Sehwag in the third over with a hit to the non-striker end moving from cover to point. The batsman paid the price for hesitating.
Pujara then slashed at a wide delivery to slips.
Maxwell’s wicket in the 12th over (93 for three) spurred MI hopes further. The Australian accepted the bait offered by Harbhajan, got under the ball pitched on the off-stump but his heave across the line ended in Dunk’s hands at long-on. Harbhajan pumped his fist in ecstasy and Dunk took off on a run along the ropes.
The home team had escaped a knockout blow from Maxwell, but Saha stuck around till the 20th over to swell the score beyond the 150-mark to 168 for five in 20 overs.
It was not enough as his side lost for the first time after five straight wins in the UAE leg.
Kings XI Punjab: C. Pujara c Gautam b Anderson 19 (18b, 4x4), V. Sehwag run out 1 (2b), W. Saha (not out) 59 (47b, 4x4, 3x6), G. Maxwell c Dunk b Harbhajan 45 (27b, 5x4, 2x6), G. Bailey c Anderson b Harbhajan 15 (14b, 2x4), D. Miller c Dunk b Malinga 16 (12b, 1x4, 1x6), M. Johnson (not out) 0 (1b); Extras (b-1, lb-6, nb-1, w-5): 13; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 168.
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Sehwag), 2-24 (Pujara), 3-93 (Maxwell), 4-130 (Bailey), 5-165 (Miller).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Zaheer 3.3-0-28-0, Bumrah 4-0-25-0, Anderson 2-0-17-1, Malinga 4-0-25-1, Harbhajan 4-0-34-2, Pollard 2.3-0-32-0.
Mumbai Indians: B. Dunk c Saha b Sandeep 5 (4b, 1x4), C.M. Gautam lbw b Dhawan 33 (29b, 2x4, 2x6), A. Rayudu lbw b Sandeep 8 (5b, 2x4), Rohit c Saha b Balaji 39 (34b, 4x4, 2x6), C. Anderson c Miller b Dhawan 35 (25b, 3x4, 2x6), K. Pollard (not out) 28 (12b, 2x4, 2x6), A. Tare (not out) 16 (6b, 1x4, 1x6); Extras (lb-3, w-3): 6; Total (for five wkts. in 19.1 overs): 170.
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Dunk), 2-23 (Rayudu), 3-70 (Gautam), 4-123 (Rohit), 5-126 (Anderson).
Kings XI Punjab bowling: Sandeep 3.1-0-29-2, Balaji 4-0-38-1, Johnson 4-0-37-0, Akshar 4-0-40-0, Dhawan 4-0-23-2.=
Man-of-the-match: C. Anderson.
Mumbai Indians won by five wickets with five balls to spare