Mumbai: KL Rahul's 94 went in vain as Mumbai Indians held onto their nerve to beat Kings XI Punjab by 4 runs to keep their playoff chance alive. After the nail- biting win the men in blue are fourth in the points table.
Having being asked to bat first Mumbai Indians openers Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav got the team off to a blazing start. KXIP pacer Ankit Rajpoot was at the receiving end when he was hit for 21 runs in the third over.
The 37-run opening stand was broken in the fourth over. Andrew Tye, who was brought in from the Pavilion end went through Evin Lewis' defense in the very first ball of the over and uprooted his off stump.
The Australian seamer then had MI in trouble in the sixth over with double strike. He first dismissed Ishan Kishan (20 runs) and then Suryakumar (27 runs) in two consecutive deliveries. MI skipper Rohit Sharma's innings was also short-lived as he was dismissed for 6 runs.
However, Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard steadied the innings for the home side. When it looked like MI was heading for a huge score, Stoinis broke the 65 run partnership by dismissing Krunal for 32 runs.
Pollard, who scored his first half-century of the season looked like taking the game away from KXIP, but his dismissal by Ashwin brought the visiting side back in the game. Mitchell Mc Clenaghan remained not-out at 11 runs as MI managed to score 186/8 in allotted 20 overs.
In reply to Mumbai's total KXIP opener's KL Rahul and Chris Gayle went after MI bowlers right from the word go as they helped the team race to 28 runs in 3 overs.
Mc Clenaghan provided the breakthrough when he dismissed Gayle for 18 runs caught by Ben Cutting at deep mid-wicket.
After Gayle's dismissal, it was Aaron Finch and KL Rahul who took the responsibility of taking their team to victory in the run chase.
Both the batsmen put on 111 run partnership and looked like taking the match away from MI. However, Bumrah's double strike brought MI back in the game. The pacer first dismissed Finch(46) and four balls later he got rid of Stoinis(1).
With Rahul still at the crease, KXIP looked like very much in the game. The game completely turned around in the 18th over, when the Karnataka batsman smashed Ben Cutting for 15 runs to bring his team closer to win. There was more drama late in the match as Bumrah ended Rahul's inning at 94 runs to give MI lifeline in the match.
In the end MI managed to held onto their nerve and register a much-needed victory....