Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

IPL: Mumbai beat Punjab to keep play-offs hope alive

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Cary Erickson | 17 May, 2018, 05:16

Mumbai: Owing to a flamboyant half-century by Kieron Pollard, Mumbai Indians (MI) managed to post 186/8 in a do or die match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire. While on the other hand, if Punjab loses and win their next game, they will finish at 14 points but seeing at their Net Run Rate, that also don't look enough.

"It is an important stage for us, we know that if we win (the next) two games, we will make it (to the play-offs)". The last five wickets fell for just 10 runs with three run-outs and Punjab were bowled out for 88. Only two matches are left until the next round of play. As a result, both the teams will face a must-win situation as the teams enter the final round of league fixtures.

Earlier, West Indian Kieron Pollard struck a blistering fifty to rescue defending champions Mumbai from a mid-innings slump to a formidable 186 for 8 in their crucial T20 game. Bumrah dismissed Finch (46) to break the 111-run stand for the second wicket with Rahul, before scalping Marcus Stoinis with the fifth ball to reduce Kings XI to 149/3 in 16.5 overs.

KXIP and MI ended the match with contrasting fortunes.

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The fragile and inconsistent middle order of Punjab is a major headache for KXIP skipper R Ashwin, as the team is over-dependent on Rahul and Gayle.

Lokesh Rahul's sixth IPL half century had almost ended Mumbai's run in the tournament before fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (3-15) turned the match on its head in his return spell and restricted Punjab to 5-183. He pulled Rajpoot, who gave away 28 runs in his first two overs, without muscle to give Yuvraj Singh a simple catch at mid-on.

With this victory, Mumbai are now sitting at fourth spot with 12 points while Punjab slipped to sixth spot. Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav took charge for the home team. Ravichandran Ashwin called right at the toss and put MI into bat first.

Mumbai had just started to smile after going unbeaten through three successive and therefore strengthening their chances of reaching the last four, but Sunday's seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals has got them all grumpy once again.

Punjab suffered their worst defeat of the season in their last outing when Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered them by 10 wickets, a game where both the batsmen and bowlers succumbed before Kohli's men. In comparison, Chris Gayle's 368 runs is nearly 300 runs behind Rahul's tally, with right-hander accumulating 652 runs from 13 attempts and snatching the Orange Cap from Delhi's Risabh Pant.