A magnificent inning from Kieron Pollard overshadowed KL Rahul’s century and the Gaylestorm that struck Mumbai Indians. Winning the toss, MI captain Pollard sent Kings XI Punjab to bat and the visitors set up 197 runs thanks to largely KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. At one point it looked like KXIP could score a biger inning, but one Gayle departed, the following batsmen couldn’t hold their own and it was up to Rahul to do the heavy lifting. MI relied on their batting depth and of course, Pollard to chase the target using up all their 20 overs.
Rahul (100*) and Chris Gayle (63) added 116 runs for the first wicket before Jason Behrendorff removed the West Indian. A lot was expected from David Miller (7) and Sam Curran (8) but they failed to work on the base provided by the openers. Karun Nair (5) too, disappointed. Mandeep Singh (7*) played a mini cameo. After Gayle’s departure, it was all up to Rahul to do they hard work and he ended with 6 sixes and 6 fours. For Mumbai, Hardik Pandya took two wickets and Jasprit Bumrah and Behrendorff picked up one each.
In the second innings, Quinton de Kock (24) and Siddhesh Lad (15) started strong but their cameos were abruptly ended by Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami respectively. After Lad’s departure Suryakumar Yadav (21) was looking good before Sam Curran picked him up. De Kock followed shortly after that. Skipper Pollard entered the ground with odds in Punjab’s favour. Ishan Kishan (7) kept his captain brief company before giving way to Hardik Pandya (19). Pollard (83) and Pandya went strong before Shami struck at the 16th over and removed the latter. Krunal Pandya (1) perished to Shami as well.
With Alzarri Joseph (15*) at his side, Pollard charged. The WIndian played a captain’s innings, smashing 10 sixes and 3 fours – taking his tally to 83 off 31 balls. MI needed 40 runs in 18 balls. Of course, Ankit Rajpoot, bowling the last over had his nerves jangling and did the cardinal sin of overstepping the line. Pollard made full use of it and the free-hit to pick up 10 runs in one ball! Pollard changed the entire match to MI’s favour and brought the requirements down to 4 runs from 4 balls before losing his wicket!
Rahul Chahar and Joseph kept their cool and took singles. In the end it was two required from one ball. A quick double in the last ball saw the home side through. MI now moves to number three in the points table with eight points. KXIP are at the fourth spot with eight points.