In yet another close finish in the season 12 of the IPL , this time of the last ball, Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by 3 wickets in a thrilling encounter at Wankhede.
Stand- in Mumbai Indian skipper Kieron Pollard in place of the injured Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first. The move appeared to have backfired as Kings openers Chris Gayle and K L Rahul got the team off to flying start. Gayle was blistering while scoring a 36 ball 63 with seven sixes and three fours. The pair put on 93 in 10 overs and going one to put 116 for the first wicket in 77 balls . It rattled Mumbai and huge crowd at Wankhede.
But the Kings lost a momentum in the middle and that in the end hurt them at the end. In hurry for 200 plus total they lost wickets quickly David Miller ( 7), Sam Curran ( 8 ), Karun Nair ( 5) .
Rahul was batting brilliantly and brought up the fourth century in this year’s IPL and his first . A superb unbeaten 100 off 64 balls with six sixes and six fours. Rahul demolished Hardik Pandya by hitting three sixes and a four in the 19th over , which yielded 25 runs. As the Kings reached 197 / 4 in their 201 overs.
Mumbai Indians had hard day on the field , Jason Behrendorff 1/ 35 ( 4 overs) , Jasprit Bumrah 1/ 38 ( 4 overs), Hardik Pandya had a miserable night and was demolished with figures 2/ 57 ( 4 overs)
In reply Mumbai , Quinton de Kock was for 23 . De Kock’s new opening partner Siddhesh Lad scored 15, Suryakumar Yadav 21. Mumbai looked all but lost.
But Kieron Pollard changed the complexion of the game with blistering knock of 83 off mere 31 balls. It was a power innings with 10 mighty sixes and three fours and was out only in the final over with 4 needed from five balls.
Mumbai needed 32 of the last two overs. Pollard smashed two sixes and a four of Sam Curran’s over the 19th to bring the equation down.
Alzarri Joseph (15 not out), who added a crucial 54 runs in 23 balls with Pollard for the seventh wicket, and Rahul Chahar (1) managed to hold their nerves in the end to help Mumbai clinch a last ball thriller. Mumbai reached 198/ 7 in 20 overs.
For the Kings, the poor death overs bowling cost them dearly . Pollard’s blitz tore them apart . The figures say it all . The duo of Ankit Rajpoot 1/ 52 ( 4 overs) and Sam Curran 1/ 54 ( 4 overs) were very expensive and it hurt them in the end. Hardus Viljoen 0/ 34 ( 4 overs) , Ravichandran Ashwin 1/ 37 ( 4 overs) . The only solace for the Kings was the brilliant show with the ball by Mohammed Shami 3 / 21 ( 4 overs) .
While Mumbai pulled off a close contest thanks to Pollard, Kings will be left to rue the loss as they had the match in their grasp and should have won but they let it slip away courtesy poor death bowling.