Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Mumbai May 11, 2017

Kings XI barely defend 230 to stay alive

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Kings XI Punjab 230 for 3 (Saha 93*, Maxwell 47) beat Mumbai Indians 223 for 6 (Simmons 59, Pollard 50*, Mohit 2-57) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Kings XI edge 453-run thriller

A 453-run slugfest - the second-highest aggregate in IPL history - was decided in the final over with Mohit Sharma defending 15 to deny a rampaging Kieron Pollard as Kings XI Punjab lived to fight another day.

The odds were stacked against Mohit, especially after he had leaked 49 off his first three overs. Mumbai Indians were within touching distance of achieving the highest successful chase in the IPL. Kings XI let the pressure get to them; Glenn Maxwell, one of their best fielders, palmed the ball over the long-off boundary to reprieve Karn Sharma on 5. They had to contend with dew as well. Sandeep Sharma then pulled things back by conceding just seven off the penultimate over. Maxwell could have chosen either Ishant Sharma or Mohit for the last over. He went with his tried-and-tested end-overs specialist, and Mohit delivered.

The first ball - full on off stump - was belted to long-on, and Pollard hared across for the second, but replays indicated that he did not slide his bat inside the crease at the non-striker's end. It was called one short, but Pollard still had the strike. Mohit then unfurled the slower knuckle ball and watched it disappear into the boundary behind midwicket. It was down to nine off four balls. Mohit nailed three pinpoint yorkers and a dipping knuckle ball, which Pollard did not pick, to seal the deal.

The opening salvo
No Hashim Amla? No problem. Manan Vohra has been successful at the top for Kings XI this season, but the management took a punt by sending Wriddhiman Saha to open with Martin Guptill. Before today, Saha had opened in only six out of 163 T20s for 126 runs. He might not have all the shots, but has the smarts. Remember his hundred in the 2014 IPL final?

Saha used the pace of Mumbai's seamers to his advantage and picked his areas to hit four fours in his first seven balls. Guptill provided a fine counterpoint to Saha's finesse by forcing the ball through the line. This meant Kings XI zoomed to fifty in 3.4 overs - the second fastest this season behind Kolkata Knight Riders, who got there in 3.3 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The ebbs and flows of a 453-run slugfest © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The middle-overs salvo
If Mumbai had thought Karn's dismissal of Guptill in the last over of the Powerplay would slow Kings XI down, they were wrong. Maxwell, promoted to No. 3, and Saha pillaged 50 off the next three overs. The highlights included Saha's dexterous paddle sweep off Mitchell McClenaghan for four and Maxwell's monstrous clubs over the leg-side boundary off Harbhajan Singh.

Diffusing the end-overs salvo
Desperate for the wicket, Rohit turned to Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah. It was Bumrah who bowled Maxwell for 47 off 21 balls with a skiddy delivery. On a night when he colleagues went for over 10 runs an over, Bumrah stood out with figures of 1 for 24 in his four overs. In all, Saha managed just 10 off 13 balls against Bumrah.

Saha, though, stepped out of his comfort zone and started carting the ball. A Malinga slower ball was launched over his head, a McClenaghan slower ball was swatted over midwicket. Shaun Marsh and Axar Patel, though, could not find the boundary as regularly. Kings XI, ultimately, scored only 40 off the last four. It was, however, enough to put up the highest total in IPL 2017.

Fighting fire with fire
Given the enormity of the task, Mumbai's openers showed intent from the first ball. Lendl Simmons, preferred again over Jos Buttler, led the charge smashing 44 of the 68 runs Mumbai hit in the first six overs. Kings XI's seamers fed his strengths by bowling too straight, and Simmons duly picked them off. He also played some fluent strokes on the off side by staying leg side of the ball. Soon after the Powerplay, he brought up his second fifty in three matches, off 27 balls.

At the other end, Parthiv Patel had found his groove with a brace of cover-driven fours off Matt Henry. Parthiv then got stuck into Mohit, spanking a hat-trick of fours. But when he attempted a fourth, Mohit bounced him out.

Turning the game
In the next over, Simmons swung hard at a full-toss that was destined to sail over the long-on boundary…until Guptill took flight and pulled off an incredible one-handed catch. Rahul Tewatia then struck in his first over to remove Rohit Sharma and leave Mumbai at 119 for 3 by the 12th over. It was the sixth time this season that Rohit had perished to legspin. Mumbai only added two runs before Axar Patel had Nitish Rana holing out with a 102kph dart.

Sharma+Sharma >Pollard+Pandya
When Pollard and Hardik Pandya got together, Mumbai needed 110 off 44 balls. What followed in the next three overs was carnage: 52 runs. With 56 needed off 24 balls, Maxwell recalled Sandeep. The seamer found Hardik's outside edge with Saha flying to his right and claiming a low catch. However, Pollard, aided by Karn, kept peppering the arc between midwicket and long-on with clean strikes.

After being taken for hat-trick by boundaries in the 18th by Karn - one of which was palmed over by Maxwell - Mohit hit back to bowl him with a slower offcutter. Sandeep then executed a barrage of yorkers in the 19th before Mohit followed suit and coolly applied the finishing touches.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • lev.ev9046397 on May 12, 2017, 21:35 GMT

    Had to look up the short run rule! Seems that the umpires could have penalised him if they had thought it deliberate:

    'Although such a "short" run shortens the succeeding one, the latter, if completed, counts.' 'One run only is deducted if both batsmen are short in one and the same run.' 'If either or both batsmen deliberately run short, the umpire is justified in calling "dead ball" and disallowing any runs attempted or scored.'

  • Orang on May 12, 2017, 12:50 GMT

    Doesn't make sense, if 1 run is short, the second run has to be deemed short too. At the very least, Pollard should have been made to stay at the non-striker's end since the scoring was only a single. The laws of the game must be tweaked immediately to stop such blatant gamesmanship.

  • 22mihi4300265 on May 12, 2017, 8:58 GMT

    Bhaji should have played before karn

  • ritesh3541444 on May 12, 2017, 7:22 GMT

    CRICFAN98099378....RPS is the strongest team in the last 3-4 rounds of matches. Who are you kidding man? RPS even has a chance of qualifying in the top 2. I don't know how come you say them weak.

  • Naresh on May 12, 2017, 6:16 GMT

    People would be quick to blame Dhoni in a similar situation. Pollard has done it as well. No one look at the skills of Mohit Sharma who saved it for KXIP. It happens sometimes and by Mumbai conceded too many runs. Saha continues to grow as a batsman as well as a wicketkeeper. Dhoni and Yuvi can safely retire knowing that the young ones are there to pick up from where they left.

  •   cricfan98089378 on May 12, 2017, 5:38 GMT

    Punjab has beaten two tough opponents MI and KKR, but as soon as they see a slightly weaker opposition they tend to be a little complacent and tend to drop their guard so I think RPS will end Punjab's campaign this year.

  • Sam on May 12, 2017, 5:26 GMT

    I really don't understand why KXIP included Ishant Sharma in the XI ! He's not suited to T20s. Still no wicket in this IPL. Please no Varun Aaron as well who is also very expensive. Rather I would have played Gurkeerat Singh.

  • wolaja8816103 on May 12, 2017, 5:18 GMT

    MI should drop rana , can not field (for a youngster) so many drop catches , cannot bat in last 7 innings , waste fellow . His drop catch proved costly in the end

  • wolaja8816103 on May 12, 2017, 5:15 GMT

    got lucky 3 rd time in a row where they should have lost the match gives a feeling they will still miss the playoffs

  • Riju on May 12, 2017, 5:07 GMT

    @harshthakor you are quite eloquent and poetic in your descripton of the game. However you don't back why the game of cricket would have been better off had Mumbai won. 1st this is IPl, not the game of cricket. 2nd, since KXIP were the underdogs, it is more fitting that they won. The game was highly entertaining, no doubt with lots of 4s and 6s. And more twists and turns than the road to Nainital. But this is not the game of cricket. This is made for TV, tamasha. Fun tamasha, yes! But just that.

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