Kings XI go down with a bang
Kings XI Punjab 183 for 8 (Mahmood 80, Marsh 63) beat Mumbai Indians 133 (Chawla 2-20, Mahmood 2-24, Gilchrist 1-0) by 50 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
On the last day of Adam Gilchrist's IPL career, another veteran, Azhar Mahmood, scored 80 off 44 balls to give Kings XI Punjab a consolation win over Mumbai Indians. Gilchrist, though, had the last word on the night. When Mumbai needed 51 off the last over, Gilchrist asked Praveen Kumar to keep wicket, and bowled offbreaks. Offbreak, to be more precise, because Harbhajan - the last man because Dhawal Kulkarni wasn't batting - lofted the first ball he bowled to long-on. Cue laughter, celebration, joy, and from Gilchrist an improvised version of Harbhajan's version of Gangnam-style. He also mimicked Kieron Pollard's celebration.
The match held absolutely no bearing on the rest of the tournament. Mumbai had already qualified in the top two, and Kings XI had already been knocked out. Mumbai now go to Delhi to play Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier, and even if they lose it they get another shot at making it to the final.
Assisting the veteran Mahmood was the Kings XI Punjab veteran, Shaun Marsh, who scores a fifty every third IPL innings. Today's 63 off 47 was his 17th in 49 efforts. Along with Mahmood he helped Kings XI recover from the early troube of 6 for 2 in the third over. Marsh took the early lead, hitting six fours in the Powerplay, reaching 28 off 20. He dominated the strike too: Mahmood was yet to get off the mark.
When Mahmood did open up, he took on the best Mumbai bowler, Lasith Malinga. A top-edged pull for six was followed by three fours, a slice past point, a drive through cover, and a glance fine of fine leg. By now 6 for 2 had become 63 for 2 in eight overs.
Mumbai weren't helped by Dhawal Kulklarni's walking off with a back trouble. They are already struggling with injury to Sachin Tendulkar. Even Dwayne Smith hasn't played the last two games. The fifth bowler, a combine of Kulkarni, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Glenn Maxwell, went for 53 runs. Maxwell paid the worst price, going for 18 in the 13th over with Mahmood hitting him for six, six and four in consecutive deliveries.
In the next over, both the batsmen got reprieves, dropped by IPL debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile and Harbhajan. Coulter-Nile came back to be smacked for consecutive fours by Mahmood. The century was on for Mahmood when he missed a Malinga full toss in the 18th over. Kings XI got a satisfactory 27 off the last 16 balls.
Mumbai's non-regular openers, Maxwell and Aditya Tare fell inside the first four overs. Ambati Rayudu, promoted because he generally doesn't get to bat much, couldn't covert his start and gloved a bouncer through to Gilchrist. A Dinesh Karthik duck later, it was down to regular Mumbai saviours, Rohit and Pollard. Piyush Chawla bowled Rohit with a quicker delivery, and Pollard fell under the pressure of rising asking rate. Mahmood signed off the night with his 200th T20 wicket when he bowled Coulter-Nile in the 19th over.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo