The Kings XI Punjab captain signs off in style with a wicket off his first — and last — delivery in the IPL

It was the kind of result that did make Kings XI Punjab happy but did not hurt Mumbai Indians. What more, even the emphatic 50-run victory stood pushed to the background of an emotional farewell reserved for the much-loved KXIP skipper Adam Gilchrist.

KXIP, out of reckoning for a place in the playoffs after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s victory over Rajasthan Royals on Friday night, gave a spirited all-round performance as a farewell gift to Gilchrist.

Unpredictable climax

In an unpredictable climax, Gilchrist tossed away his gloves and got the wicket of Harbhajan Singh off the first delivery of the final over.

The dismissal halted MI’s chase at 133 for nine since an injured Dhawal Kulkarni was not expected to bat.

This triggered off emotional celebrations. Impromptu, the Aussie broke into a ‘Gangnam Style’ dance before being mobbed by his teammates.

Gilchrist then led the team’s lap of honour for a standing ovation from the crowd.

MI, due to play Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier One, looked far less desperate to win.

Choosing to test its bench-strength, MI opted to chase on a batting pitch.

But dropped catches, modest bowling effort and some indifferent batting should only help MI wake up before the big clash on Tuesday in New Delhi.

In contrast, Gilchrist’s men were keen to make the most of their last match of the league.

The 41-year-old Aussie may have contributed just five to the team’s tally of 183 for eight but the right-left combination of Man-of-the-Match Azhar Mahmood and Shaun Marsh put on a 148-run stand for the third wicket in 14.2 overs.

Thereafter, all the home bowlers took wickets to set up the team’s eighth victory in 16 outings.

In fact, for the third successive season and fourth in all, KXIP finished the league with an even win-loss record.

By matching its last year’s tally of 16 points, KXIP retained its sixth place in the league.

Cuts loose

Mahmood’s patience paid off. Opening his account off the fifth delivery he faced, Mahmood cut loose soon.

He welcomed Lasith Malinga with a six and three boundaries as the eighth over produced 20 runs.

He also hit two sixes and a four of Glenn Maxwell’s only over that leaked 18 runs.

Strangely, Mahmood and Marsh were dropped in one over from Rishi Dhawan.

After debutant Aussie Nathan Coulter-Nile slipped the catch with Mahmood on 50, Harbhajan Singh grassed one when Marsh was on 54.

Mahmood went to on to improve upon his previous highest score of 61.

Marsh, too, was played his part to perfection. Playing his 50th match, Marsh struck 11 boundaries in his 17th half century in the competition.

If Mahmood powered the ball across the ropes, Marsh was all touch and class.

Later, during the run-chase, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma got starts but could not capitalise.

In a strange occurrence, Kieron Pollard was ‘out’ thrice in succession off Sandeep Sharma.

He was ‘caught’ off a no-ball. Off the resultant ‘free-hit’ ball, Pollard again offered Piyush Chawla a ‘catch’ and collected two more runs. Off the next ball, Pollard departed when David Miller accepted the offering at long on.

Overall, Mumbai was never quite in the hunt as the mounting asking-rate reinforced KXIP’s grip on the match.

The scores:

Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist b Coulter-Nile 5 (7b, 1x4), Mandeep Singh c Kieron Pollard b Rishi Dhawan 1 (5b), Azhar Mahmood lbw b Lasith Malinga 80 (44b, 8x4, 4x6), Shaun Marsh b Harbhajan Singh 63 (47b, 11x4), David Miller c Coulter-Nile b Kieron Pollard 6, Manan Vohra (not out) 20 (8b, 3x4, 1x6), Gurkeerat Singh lbw b Lasith Malinga 0 (1b), Piyush Chawla (run out) 1 (2b), Praveen Kumar b Lasith Malinga 0 (1b), Extras (lb-3, w-4) 7, Total (for eight wickets in 20 overs) 183.

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Mandeep), 2-6 (Gilchrist), 3-154 (Marsh), 4-156 (Mahmood), 5-174 (Miller), 6-174 (Gurkeerat), 7-183 (Chawla), 8-183 (Praveen).

Mumbai Indians bowling: Nathan Coulter-Nile 4-0-29-1, Rishi Dhawan 4-1-26-1, Dhawal Kulkarni 0.4-0-12-0, Rohit Sharma 0.2-0-1-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-33-1, Lasith Malinga 4-0-39-3, Keiron Pollard 2-0-22-1, Glenn Maxwell 1-0-18-1.

Mumbai Indians: Glenn Maxwell c Manan Vohra b Praveen Kumar 0 (3b), Aditya Tare c Manan Vohra b Praveen Kumar 22 (12b, 2x4, 2x6), Ambaty Rayudu c Adam Gilchrist b Parvinder Awana 26 (22b, 3x4), Rohit Sharma b Piyush Chawla 25 (25b, 2x4, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik c and b Piyush Chawla 0 (3b), Kieron Pollard c Miller b Sandeep Sharma 22 (21b, 1x4, 1x6), Rishi Dhawan lbw b Azhar Mahmood 14 (15b, 2x4), Harbhajan Singh c Gurkeerat Singh b Adam Gilchrist 5, Nathan Coulter-Nile b Azhar Mahmood 9 (6b, 1x6), Lasith Malinga (not out) 1 (1b), Dhawal Kulkarni (absent hurt), Extras (lb-1, nb-1, w-2) 9, Total (in 19.1 overs) 133 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Maxwell), 2-27 (Tare), 3-62 (Rayudu), 4-69 (Karthik), 5-78 (Rohit), 6-117 (Pollard), 7-119 (Dhawan), 8-131 (Coulter-Nile), 9-133 (Harbhajan).

Kings XI Punjab bowling: Praveen Kumar 3-0-15-1, Azhar Mahmood 4-0-24-1, Sandeep Sharma 4-0-39-2, Parvinder Awana 4-0-29-1, Piyush Chawla 4-0-20-2, Adam Gilchrist 0.1-0-0-1.

Man of the Match: Azhar Mahmood (KXIP)


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