IPL 2018: Match 50, Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab– Expectation vs Reality

KL Rahul was absolutely heartbroken after losing the match.

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

With the points table having been kicked wide open by the surreal match between the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday (May 14), each of the last few matches in the group stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 are destined to be crucial, high-octane clashes. Wednesday will find the KXIP take on the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the latter’s backyard.

Both teams are poised in a must-win scenario to have a glimmer of hope of qualifying for the playoffs. While MI is still recovering from the snub they suffered at the hands of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the last match, KXIP will have to do something miraculous to bounce back from their two-match losing streak. Before the real action commences, here’s a sneak peek at what we’re expecting from the game.

Jasprit Bumrah to unleash his destructiveness

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been a phenomenal performer for MI which has been his IPL side since 2013. However, the 2018 IPL has seen some fairly average performances from him. Bumrah has bagged 13 wickets in 12 games, with best figures of 2/28 and a slightly high economy rate of 7.13. But given his track record, one might feel that the wiry lad’s best is yet to come!

Bumrah’s ability to gain victory for his side in the direst of situations, be it for India or for the MI, is well-known. With his side stuck in a must-win limbo, he can be expected to be at his deadliest best. The Wankhede has been a favourite hunting ground for the speedster. He’ll draw heart from the brilliant first over that he bowled against Rajasthan in the last game to get D’Arcy Short out and one can expect him to be at his lethal best against KXIP.

Aaron Finch to come to the aid of his team with the bat

The unrelenting destruction that Aaron Finch is capable of with the willow is anything but a mystery! Be it for his national side Australia or in the major T20 leagues like the Big Bash League (BBL) and the IPL, Finch has produced enough blistering innings to make any bowling opposition wary of him. In this season of the IPL, Finch has played only 8 matches till now at a strike rate of 142.37, but without a significantly high score.

KXIP will be painfully aware of their humiliating batting collapse against the RCB the previous day and will look to change their fortunes by fortifying their batting efforts. who better to do that than Finch himself? The explosive Australian batsman was caught out on a personal score of 26 runs off 23 balls in the previous game and we may expect him to be slightly promoted up the order ahead of Karun Nair, so as to fire away from the word ‘go’.

Gaurdinas-of-Galaxy-Kings-XI-Punjab

Here comes the reality right after the match..

Polly comes to the party

It was a must-win game for the defending champions and the champion player stood up when it mattered for them. It was a desperate situation for them with the score of 71/4 in the 9th over when Kieron Pollard came out to bat. He took his time and then hunted the leather brutally to score a 22-ball half-century. He found an able partner in Krunal Pandya who also found his groove at the right time for his team as Mumbai ended up posting the total of 186 urns after 20 overs even as Andrew Tye ended up taking 4 wickets for just 16 runs.

Bumrah overpowers Rahul’s heroics

Jasprit Bumrah came to the party tonight with a sensational spell in the 17th and 19th over. It was all set up for Punjab to win the game as KL Rahul was absolutely magnificent with his batting. His 94 runs should’ve taken any team home on any given day. But Bumrah stood between him and the victory like a wall by taking the wickets of Rahul himself, Finch and Marcus Stoinis and turned the game on its head. His spell of 3/15 won the game for Mumbai and kept them alive in the tournament even as Punjab will need a dramatic victory now to qualify.

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