By BV Swagath
Mumbai Indians held their nerve to survive a brutal assault from David Miller and a couple of late blows from Praveen Kumar to beat Kings XI Punjab by 4 runs in an exciting thriller at the Wankhede Stadium. Kings XI Punjab despite losing many wickets never gave it up in their run chase and almost pulled off an unlikely victory.
It was a poor start for Mumbai Indians against the Kings XI quicks. Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed early bowled off an inside edge to a Praveen Kumar inswinger. Dinesh Karthik scored 25 from 19 balls before chopping a Gony delivery onto his stumps. And finally Dwayne Smith who had a terribly slow start was dismissed for a 32-ball 33.
Mumbai Indians were going nowhere at 86 for 3 in 12.2 overs but their determined Skipper Rohit Sharma pulled off a great knock to revive their total. Rohit scored a sizzling knock of 79* from just 39 balls with 6 fours and 6 sixes. Kieron Pollard was totally overshadowed in a partnership in which the big man only scored 20* from 21 balls. Rohit made full use of the final over bowled by David Hussey by clobbering the part-time spinner for 27 runs. For Kings XI, Parvinder Awana bowled a mean spell of 4-0-16-0 but his efforts couldn’t prevent Mumbai from finishing with a solid 174 for 3.
Kings XI lost a couple of early wickets but a cameo from Skipper David Hussey (34 from 18 balls) gave some much needed energy to their run chase. However, Mumbai Indians through Harbhajan Singh (4-0-14-3) and Pragyan Ojha chipped away at the wickets to leave Kings XI in a losing position at 111 for 7 in 14 overs.
Mumbai couldn’t get rid of David Miller cheaply and the South African left-hander smashed them for a 34-ball 56 before departing in the 18th over. Miller smashed 5 sixes and was caught by Tendulkar at extra covers off Johnson. Had he stayed for an over or two, Kings XI could have easily won the game. There was still some drama after Miller as Praveen Kumar with a couple of lusty blows took Kings XI very close to the target but fell just short towards the end. Praveen scored 24 from 15 balls. The final over saw Praveen Kumar running towards the Umpire and arguing about a high full toss from Dhawal Kulkarni not being given as a noball. Kings XI Punjab finished with a fighting 170 all out to fall short by just four runs.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Mumbai Indians have won the toss and elected to bat first against Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium. Adam Gilchrist has been dropped by Kings XI Punjab who will now be led by David Hussey. Shaun Marsh takes Gilchrist’s place in the XI.
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pragyan Ojha
Kings XI Punjab: Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra, David Hussey (C), David Miller, Gurkeerat Singh (WK), Azhar Mahmood, Piyush Chawla, Manpreet Gony, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar