Kings XI Punjab struggled with its death-overs bowling yet again, as Mumbai Indians late charge resulted in an above-par total of 176 for six at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Kieron Pollard came to the party for the second time against KXIP this season, the Caribbeans cameo (34 n.o., 12b, 1x4, 4x6) and his unbroken partnership of 57 off just 21 balls with Nathan Coulter-Nile (24 n.o., 12b, 4x4) putting MI in control.
With the conditions more favourable to bowlers this time around, KXIP would be disappointed not to have restricted MI, especially after the good work early on.
Thanks to an inspired performance with the new ball, KXIP put MI under pressure at the outset. Rohit Sharmas decision to bat first seemed to have backfired as the team lost three wickets in the PowerPlay.
Steadying the ship
But, undeterred by the dismissals at the other end, Quinton de Kock (53, 43b, 3x4, 3x6) anchored the innings yet again with his fourth half-century of the season. The South African steadied the ship through a 58-run stand with Krunal Pandya (34, 30b, 4x4, 1x6).
However, three quick wickets that of the Pandya brothers and de Kock appeared to have pegged MI back. de Kock was caught at deep-square off Chris Jordan in the 17th over.
Pollard and Coulter-Nile then cut loose. The former was at his blistering best, going after Mohammed Shami, the pick of the bowlers (4-0-30-2), the experienced Jordan and rookie left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who had earned the prize scalps of Rohit and Ishan Kishan.
Young Arshdeep was carted around for 22 runs in the 18th over of the innings, including back-to-back trademark straight sixes by Pollard, apart from a boundary from Coulter-Nile. Shami suffered less, conceding only 12 in the penultimate over, but Pollard was back in the swing, hitting Jordan for 19 runs in the 20th over, including two sixes and a four.
Kings 87 for two
Kings were 87 for two in 10 overs, with Rahul (38) and Pooran (11) at the crease. Mayank (11) and Gayle (24) were dismissed
Mumbai Indians Innings: Rohit Sharma b Arshdeep Singh 9; Quinton de Kock c Mayank Agarwal b Chris Jordan 53; Suryakumar Yadav c M Ashwin b Shami 0; Ishan Kishan c M Ashwin b Arshdeep Singh 7; Krunal Pandya c Deepak Hooda b Ravi Bishnoi 34; Hardik Pandya c Pooran b Shami 8; Kieron Pollard not out 34; Nathan Coulter-Nile not out 24. Extras: (B-4, LB-2, W-1) 7
Total: (6 wkts, 20 Overs) 176
Fall of Wickets: 1-23, 2-24, 3-38, 4-96, 5-116, 6-119.
Kings XI Punjab bowling: Glenn Maxwell 4-0-24-0, Mohammed Shami 4-0-30-2, Arshdeep Singh 3-0-35-2, Chris Jordan 3-0-32-1, Murugan Ashwin 3-0-28-0, Deepak Hooda 1-0-9-0, Ravi Bishnoi 2-0-12-1.