Kings XI Punjab beat Mumbai Indians by 7 runs

Sunday, 14 May, 2017

They did good batting initially, we took wickets in the middle.

Kings XI finally tasted success in the 10th over when Kishan was holed out at deep midwicket by Miller off T Natarajan's bowling. Did they give themselves a fail-safe?

The form of MS Dhoni will remain a concern for Pune, who will be hoping for Steven Smith to carry on big along with the likes of Rahul Tripathi.

Despite Sri Lanka starting their preparatory camp for the Champions Trophy, Lasith Malinga will stay with the Mumbai Indians team after receiving permission to play the entire season. Like, I play for Haryana, where Amit Mishra and Yuzvendra Chahal are also part of the team, I draw inspiration from them. But in his last five innings, teams have bowled just three short balls to him. It may have been an entirely different narrative if it was caught; so fine are the margins in T20.

Saha excelled in stroke-play and was involved in third fifty-plus partnerships as Punjab played with authority.

Chasing an improbable 230/3 after Kings XI Punjab posted this season's highest score, Kieron Pollard 50 not out (24b, 1x4, 5x6) and Hardik Pandya played a blinder to nearly chase it down only to fall short in the end. Axar Patel (19 from 13 balls) lent the innings some impetus at the back end when he struck a last-ball six. They must beat Rising Pune Supergiant to qualify. Even better for Rohit Sharma's team, their first qualifier game will be in their home ground of the Wankhede stadium. In an era of big bats, improved batting repertoire and pyrotechnical hitting, Mumbai weren't out of the game in the face of the mammoth total.

Ajinkya Rahane IPL 2017 Rising Pune Supergiant Kings XI Punjab
IPL2017: Kings XI Punjab defeats Mumbai Indians by 7 runs

Mohit Sharma had defended 16 runs in the last over and Saha said the idea was to bowl him yorkers. "As I said someone has to win, someone has to lose and we were the losing side", said Pollard.

Maxwell blasted 47 from just 21 balls as his side racked up 3/230 from their 20 overs, with Indian test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha top scoring with an unbeaten 93 from 55 balls. Fatigue, possibly the only hindrance to hitting nowadays, was beginning to influence the game, though.

Had the umpires ruled Pollard had deliberately stopped short - in order to get back on strike, while still gaining a run - then the rules are much stricter. "Pollard was batting well, but he was exhausted", Saha said. Maxwell's innings had five sixes apart from two boundaries. We call it (Wankhede track) a bowlers' graveyard.

"It just proves that we are humans". We keep improving; we had a dismal performance against Sunrisers but we bounced back pretty well.

"We are playing against opposition, professionals in their own right".

"(But) there is no need to panic. Today the game was at a crucial moment when you took Hardik's catch. We have qualified and that's the first step.

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