IPL 2018: Match 50, MI vs KXIP- Who Said What

Mumbai brushed aside Punjab by three runs at the Wankhede.

KL Rahul
Kings XI Punjab’s Lokesh Rahul celebrates his half-century. (Photo by IAN

Both Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) required a victory to inch closer to qualifying for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The match panned out to be a cliffhanger and went right down to the wire. However, Mumbai, somehow, managed to hold their nerves and won the match by three runs. More importantly, they make their entry into the top four for the maiden time this season.

Mumbai goes to respectable score

Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and elected to field first, bearing in mind the dew factor which was expected to play a part. Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav blew the visitors away initially and compiled a partnership of 37 runs. However, Andrew Tye got rid of Lewis and then Ishan Kishan, who looked threatening for his brief stint in the middle. On the very next ball, Tye also pinned Rohit Sharma.

Surya looked settled for another substantial knock under his belt, but he fell Prey to Ankit Rajpoot’s short-pitched delivery. Kieron Pollard raced away to a 22-ball half-century, which kept the scoreboard moving. Krunal Pandya also found the boundaries to help Mumbai reach 186 runs. From Punjab’s perspective, Tye was the standout bowler with figures of 4-0-16-4.

Rahul’s knock goes in vain

The run chase started on an impressive note for Punjab. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul whacked a few to the boundaries to kick-start proceedings. However, Mitchell McClenaghan churned out a short-pitched delivery to Gayle that was really tight and it led to the Jamaican’s dismissal. Thereafter, Aaron Finch joined Rahul in the middle and the duo pumped life into the scoreboard.

Meanwhile, the run-rate crept significantly and Punjab were left with 60 runs off the last five overs. KL Rahul played another blinder and notched his sixth half-century while chasing in this year’s IPL. Nevertheless, Jasprit Bumrah got rid of three batsmen in Rahul, Marcus Stoinis and Aaron Finch and his final spell sealed the fate of the match.

Ravichandran Ashwin, the skipper of Kings XI Punjab, said

Pretty blank at this point of time. We were in the chase all along. Pretty professional batting effort compared to the last few games, but didn’t work out for us today. It looked like it would be a clinical romp for us, but Bumrah bowled really well at the death, and proved himself once again at the death.

I’ve been in a dugout that has been on the edge always (Chennai Super Kings), but today we had a terrible day, and it’s quite sad the way things panned out today, so we need a bit of luck to get through now and depend on other results. We were very abject about it after last game, and we wanted to take the game deep and we wanted our best batsmen to be out there.

Kudos to both KL and Aaron, but bad luck it for them it didn’t happen today. KL has done exceptionally well throughout, he’s the billion-dollar guy for us right now, and he has hardly missed a ball throughout the tournament. He’s been in and out of the Indian side as well for the last few months, so he was quite eager to prove himself with this opportunity and he has done extremely well for us today.”

Rohit Sharma, the skipper of the Mumbai Indians, said

Holding up nicely. After a win, obviously you feel good. I thought we played a perfect game. Whatever we asked from the boys, they came and delivered in the middle. Never been easy for us since the past few years actually. Knew it was going to be a good pitch. Lost the plot in the middle, could have got 10-15 runs more. Nothing to take away from the bowlers.

Always knew it was going to be tough for them to come out and defend. Hats off them to deliver the goods. Pollard has always been a match-winner for us. Leaving him out was a tough decision. We thought now was the time to bring him back. Not to take away from Duminy who hasn’t got opportunities. Come the big game, Pollard steps up for us. He was disappointed at being left out. What he did with the bat today, that’s what he does.

Bumrah has come a long way the past two years. He’s worked really hard on his bowling. Not easy to come out and bowl the way he does. Always Malinga will be missed, but since he’s gone, we’ve known Bumrah is the one to take the charge. He might not be up there in the wickets column, but what he does for us is more important.

Jasprit Bumrah, Player of the Match, said

Clarity is very important when you bowl at the death. That’s what I look for. When I’m clear, it’s easier to execute. Plans don’t change at the last moment (talking about his bowling plans), when you run in. If you’re changing at the last moment, that means you’re not clear.

On a bad day a batsman could hit you, but you have to execute your plans. He’s (KL Rahul) batting really well since the start of the season. Difficult to bowl to someone like that. But I backed myself. Knew his wicket was very important. On this wicket, slower ball was not gripping that much from a good length due to the dew. So I was trying to bowl the dipper and I was able to execute so it was a good day.

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