The Mumbai Indians finally got themselves off the bottom of the VIVO IPL 2018 standings. All it took was a victory over the Kings XI Punjab by 6 wickets at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Mumbai won the toss and elected to bowl, restricting KXIP to 174-6 in the process. MI were able to chase down the score in just 19 overs, courtesy a half-century from Suryakumar Yadav. Well-timed cameos from captain Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya also helped get the job done.
When KXIP were put in to bat, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul notched up their 5th 50-plus partnership of the season. However, things began to fall apart after Rahul went down in the seventh over.
KXIP’s decision-making didn’t help their cause either. Other factors included an out-of-form Yuvraj Singh and sending Axar Patel to bat at number five.
On the bright side, Gayle scored his fourth 50-plus score in five innings this season. The big Jamaican ended KXIP’s innings’ as their top-scorer. Although he started off gingerly, he picked up the pace. From 2 from 9, he rocketed to 48 off the next 31 balls.
Meanwhile, Karun Nair scored 23 from 12 balls, and a quickfire final over from Marcus Stoinis (29* from 15 balls) took KXIP to 174-6.
When MI came out to bat, they were cautious at the start. But then, Suryakumar Yadav came to the party and poor Ankit Rajpoot bore the brunt of the attack. Yadav smashed 31 runs from 18 balls off Rajpoot.
The danger man, Yadav was dismissed for 57 in the twelfth over off Marcus Stoinis. But Hardik Pandya (23), Rohit Sharma (24 not out) and Krunal Pandya (31 not out) took up the cudgels.
Ishan Kishan slammed 25 from 19 balls and was chalked up a 42-run second-wicket stand with Yadav.
MI were 120-4 after 15.3 overs when Hardik was dismissed but it made little difference to their momentum. Rohit and Krunal turned up the wick and scored boundary after boundary. The 55 runs that were remaining, disappeared in 3.3 overs.
On the bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah was once again MI’s stand out bowler. The pacer ended his innings with figures of 4-0-19-1. Barring a first ball half-volley that disappeared into the stands, courtesy KL Rahul, Bumrah cramped the batsmen for room.
For KXIP, Ravichandran Ashwin was the hero of the day. A mix of off-breaks and leg-breaks ensured a sense of consistency. Ashwin opened the bowling and ended the night with economical figures of 0-23.