IPL 2018: Match 50, MI vs KXIP – Rating of the Match

Jasprit Bumrah's magnificent spell overcame KL Rahul's heroics.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians celebrate fall of Chris Gayle’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

What a match it was! This game proved why Mumbai Indians (MI) are rated so highly in these crucial stages of the tournament. They have done it before and they are doing it again. After losing a lot of matches early in the season, they are coming back into the contention strongly and somehow have managed to go past the champion KL Rahul who was just determined to take his team over the line. However, it was not to be for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) as they fell 3 runs short of the target courtesy some brilliant bowling from Jasprit Bumrah.

Pollard celebrates his come back (50 off 23)

Kieron Pollard made his comeback for the crunch game and he almost immediately repaid the faith. He came in to bat at a very desperate situation for Mumbai when they were reduced to 71/4 in the 9th over and the wheels were coming off quickly. But Pollard took his time early on as he found an able partner in Krunal Pandya as they took the attack to the opposition in the middle overs.

He was under pressure to perform with his team’s fortunes in doldrums and he didn’t disappoint. His first boundary came off Marcus Stoinis which was bowled back of a length and punched it fiercely to get himself going. However, the real onslaught from him was faced by Ankit Rajpoot and Stoinis later in the innings. It all started with the former going for 14 runs but the special treatment was given to the Australian all-rounder.

While the fourth delivery of the 15th over was an edge which flew wide of the wicketkeeper, the last ball of the over went for a gigantic as it was bowled in his hitting arc and KP got underneath launched it many a mile over long-off. The shot also brought up his half-century off 22 deliveries and he celebrated with the pump of his fists. He was in the murderous mood today but was undone by R Ashwin. Though he had done his job for his team and had finally announced himself to the tournament.

Andrew ‘Tye’d up Mumbai (4/16)

Andrew Tye had the purple cap with him coming into this game and he proved why he deserves the honour once again. He made an impact immediately after coming on to bowl by castling the dangerous looking Evin Lewis. It was the knuckle ball which pitched around off and seamed back into the left-hander to send the off-stump for a walk. The next to follow was Ishan Kishan who was also foxed with a similar delivery. The batsman didn’t pick it and hit high on the bat as he looked to heave it over the top only to lob it to the fielder standing at mid-on.

He was on fire in the crunch game for his team as Suryakumar Yadav was also sent back off the very next delivery. Surya looked to flap pull the short ball outside off but it took the inside edge and popped off a knee-roll and the easy catch was completed by KL Rahul. Tye came back in the 19th over to complete his spell and took the prized scalp of Hardik Pandya again with a slower delivery who was looking to go bonkers in the death overs. The wicket also restricted the hosts to a score under 200 runs as Tye ended his spell with figures of 4/16.

Rahul’s amazing form continues (94 off 60)

It was important for KL Rahul to play a big innings in a huge chase of 187 runs and it became imperative after the wicket of Chris Gayle. The stroke of luck also went his way as his first six came off the edge over the wicketkeeper’s head. But then he took the attack to the opposition and also made sure that he didn’t play a rash shot in the process. He took calculative risks in the powerplay and then concentrated on rotating the strike by hitting the odd boundary in the middle overs.

However, the fierce late cuts off Krunal Pandya were pleasing to the eyes of the spectators present in the Stadium. It was an absolutely brilliant knock from Rahul as the commentators kept him rating as the next big thing in the Indian cricket. He took the game deep amidst some of the brilliant bowling from Mumbai at the death. His switch hits over the head of the short fine-leg fielder were absolutely nerve-wracking as the Man in form for Punjab brought them ever so close to the victory.

Unfortunately, he was dismissed in the 19th over off Jasprit Bumrah and the game was done and dusted for the visitors. The defending champions pounced in on the poor middle-order batsmen and sealed the game to stay alive in the tournament. But one has to feel for Rahul who gave it all to take his team over the line but he didn’t get support from the other end and his valiant and superlative knock of 94 runs went in vain.

Special Mention: Jasprit Bumrah (3/15)

What a Champion Bowlers he is! The wickets of Aaron Finch, KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis at the back end of the innings which changed the complexion of the game completely. It was no surprise that he was the Man of the Match and has kept his team single-handedly alive in the tournament.

Here’s CricTracker’s Rating of the Match: