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IPL 10, Match 51, Who Said What – Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab

"One game does not change things for us. We have been bowling well, bowling on wickets like these is a challenge for us," said Rohit Sharma.

Wriddhiman Saha
Wriddhiman Saha of Kings XI Punjab. (Photo: IANS)

The Kings XI Punjab registered a very narrow and thrilling win over the Mumbai Indians to stay alive in the hunt for the playoffs in IPL 10. It was a high-scoring encounter that beckoned the sea of blue at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. A stunning display of batting from the KXIP unit saw them post the highest total of the season thus far. With the win, they have their hopes to qualify for the playoffs.

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In the match, it was the Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma who won the toss and opted to field first. Martin Guptill and Wriddhiman Saha were off to flying starts in the match as they added 68 runs in just 33 balls before Guptill perished for 36. Glenn Maxwell then plundered a quick 47 off just 21 deliveries. However, the impetus was provided by Saha, who remained unbeaten on 93 off just 55 balls with 11 fours and 3 sixes. Axar Patel and Shaun Marsh chipped in with cameos to see Kings XI Punjab post a sizeable 230/3 in their stipulated 20 overs.

In the run chase, Mumbai Indians batted fire with fire as the MI openers – Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel put on a 99-run stand for the first wicket. Simmons hit his second fifty of the season. A middle-order slump saw MI stutter in the middle overs. However, a quick 30 off just 13 balls from Hardik Pandya brought them back to the game. In the end, Kieron Pollard’s unbeaten 50 went in vain as MI fell short by 7 runs.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma noted that they are definitely disappointed with the defeat. Also, he noted that things were equally poised when Pandya and Pollard were going all guns blazing. Rohit was still optimistic about the learnings from the game.

Rohit Sharma said: It is disappointing to be on the losing side. but we put up a great fight. Great effort from boys to be able to reach that score. It was evenly poised when Polly and Hardik were batting, but once Hardik got out it was tough for one guy to hit the big shot. We got to take lot of learning from this game. It was a fresh wicket, was not used this season. There was a bit of grass that held it together. It played true throughout the 40 overs. I do not want to be too critical and too harsh (on bowlers).

He further added that the defeat will not hamper their spirits. They have been playing well in the tournament thus far and hence he is still backing his boys in the camp. Rohit thanked the Mumbai crowds for being very supportive for all the home fixtures for the Mumbai Indians this season.

Rohit added: One game does not change things for us. We have been bowling well, bowling on wickets like these is a challenge for us. They (bowlers) were trying a lot of things but the way Guptill and Maxwell were batting, it was very hard. Not to forget Saha as well. I don’t think we lag in any department. As a unit we want to move forward in all three departments The crowd has been brilliant throughout the seven games we have played here. We would like to thank them. It was our last league game here. As expected Mumbai crowd came in good numbers. I am sure we played some great cricket to entertain them.

The Kings XI Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell was a very happy man after the win. He reflected back at the game and thought they had dropped the game when Maxwell dropped Pollard on the boundary ropes. He credited Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma for their exceptional death overs bowling. He now hopes for the team too qualify for the playoffs.

Glenn Maxwell said: I thought my drop catch may have cost us the game. We dropped two, missed run-out chances but for us to hold on the way we did, the credit to Sandeep and Mohit. Those two overs in the end were absolute class. It was dewy, the ball was slippery. It was tough work, to execute when the pressure was on, with a guy like Pollard out there, was outstanding. We played fearless cricket. Hashim led the way for us, today for Saha to get the reward was superb. We’ve thrown him up and down the order, been a little harsh on him, but he’s been superb. We still have some work to do, would be nice to sneak in through the back door.

Kings XI Punjab wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha was named the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 93. Saha remarked that he is ready to bat at any position for the team. He was promoted to the opening slot for the first time this season.

Wriddhiman Saha said: The mandate was to go hard in the first six overs. We built up good momentum. When we batted initially, our target was to get 220. We thought it was a par score. I’m ready to bat wherever the team needs me.

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