IPL 2018: Match 34, KXIP vs MI - Who Said What

IPL 2018: Match 34, KXIP vs MI – Who Said What

Punjab slump in their opening game at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians celebrate fall of a wicket. (Photo by IANS)

The Mumbai Indians (MI) desperately needed a victory against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in order to keep themselves afloat in the tournament. They did that with sheer authority and brushed aside the hosts at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. Punjab notched a decent score after which the likes of Krunal Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav took them home with an over to spare.

Punjab blaze away to handy score

Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first on a pitch which looked excellent for batting. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul started the proceedings in their trademark style, which put pressure on the Mumbai pacers. Mayank Markande removed Rahul in the seventh over, but Gayle carried on and scored yet another half-century in this year’s tournament following which Ben Cutting accounted for his dismissal.

Yuvraj Singh made a comeback, replacing Manoj Tiwary and was sent in at number three. However, the move flopped and as he perished after a run-a-ball knock of 14 runs. Karun Nair and Marcus Stoinis played a couple of useful cameos adding 23 and 29 runs respectively, which helped the home team score 174 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.

Mumbai stay alive

The chase started handsomely for Mumbai as Suryakumar Yadav hit his straps from the onset and kept the scoreboard moving. On the contrary, Evin Lewis strained to score runs and was nipped out by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Ishan Kishan came in and took his time, however, just when he looked to tee off Mujeeb castled the wicketkeeper-batsman as the home team kept their hopes alive.

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya walked in ahead of Rohit Sharma and the strategy didn’t backfire as Pandya scored a quick-fire 23 runs off 13 balls and got the required rate down by a fair margin. After his dismissal, Rohit and Krunal took charge and got them home in a canter. With this win, Mumbai also lift themselves to the fifth position in the league table.

Ravichandran Ashwin, the skipper of Kings XI Punjab, said

I thought the wicket was a bit sticky, said the same during the toss. We played pretty well, but didn’t get enough runs in the end. If not for Stoinis, we wouldn’t have got 174. We fought well, if a few things had gone our way, we might have ended as winners. We bowled pretty well, but this wasn’t our night.

Not really (talking about the break taking away their momentum), it’s just a perception, the week off didn’t hurt us. This tournament isn’t all that easy, it’s not easy to knock off 16 points, if we play like this for the next 3-4 games, we should be good enough to qualify for the knockouts. Captaincy brings a lot of responsibility, so far so good. 6 games to go, it’s not about getting 3 wins, if we play the brand of cricket that we are playing, we should do good.

Rohit Sharma, the skipper of Mumbai Indians, said

 I think we are still alive. Good performance tonight. Much needed for us. We needed everyone to come and put a collective effort. We started well with the ball. To restrict their batting unit on this pitch at this ground was a great effort. And to chase it down the way we did was really nice. Wasn’t really easy early on but we knew that we had a lot of depth in our batting.

The way we went about our chase in the first 10 overs, I felt we needed momentum. So, Hardik, the way he plays, was suited to do that. Hence, I held myself back for the end and having played here before, I know what kind of shots work. Always feels good when you finish off the chase. That is something which is a pattern for us. We’ve been giving too many at the death but that’s how the game goes. I had to bring Jasprit in the 19th over with two set batsmen and if he struck, it would have made things easier for Hardik.

Plus the longer boundaries would have helped Hardik in the 20th over. That’s how it goes sometimes. I have to use Jasprit really well and the others around him are doing the job for us. It’s about being really smart with the ball. It is important not to look too far ahead, need to focus on one game at a time and to think how we can come out on top in that game. Playoffs are important but we need to win games to reach there.

Big challenge for us to continue this momentum from hereon. In the past we have won games and then gone on to lose a few games. Don’t want that to happen again. Today was a perfect night for us, we did exactly what we spoke of. Life is easy for the captain when the said plans are executed.

Suryakumar Yadav, the Player of the Match, said    

I am enjoying my new role, opening the innings for Mumbai Indians. Pushing it really hard every game, trying to give good starts so that it helps the team to set good totals. Also while chasing, we need to begin well to ease the pressure off the others in the middle order.

I am not thinking too much, trying to keep it simple. Trying to play my natural game opening the innings, not trying too many things. Feeling really good and trying to improve my game as time goes by. Would like to finish games off too.