Since the inception of the VIVO Indian Premier League, two teams that have never been short of entertainment value have been Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. Case in point being their last two encounters going down to the wire, with the game at the Wankhede Stadium needing the last ball to decide the outcome of the game.
More often than not, KXIP vs MI has been a high scoring affair, with many batsmen from either teams making their mark of the competition with match winning knocks in this clash. Here’s a look at Kings XI Punjab’s top three performers against Mumbai Indians.
Rahul’s maiden ton
Kings XI Punjab shelled out big money to acquire the services of KL Rahul in 2018. The move seems to have paid dividends as the opening batsman has been the top scorer for the franchise the past two seasons, playing match winning knocks on many occasions.
In 2018, he narrowly missed out on a ton at the Wankhede Stadium but a year later he got his due as he scored his maiden ton in the IPL. Alongside Chris Gayle, Rahul forged a 100 run partnership, pummeling the Mumbai bowlers all round the park. The Karnataka batsman played some of his trademark pulls and lofted drives, causing all sorts of problems for the Mumbai attack.
Rahul stayed till the end of the innings, smashing six fours and six sixes in his pulsating innings to set a daunting target of 198. His knock at Mumbai was the only century scored by a Kings XI Punjab player in the 2019 Indian Premier League season.
Kings XI Punjab recorded one of their biggest victories (in terms of runs) against Mumbai Indians in 2013 in their then home stadium in Dharamshala. The mastermind behind that resounding win was none other than bowling all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who starred with ball as well as bat.
Batting first, KXIP were in a pickle after losing both their openers within the first three overs. However, the Mumbai Indians bowlers had very little joy for the rest of the evening, as Azhar Mahmood and Shaun Marsh stitched together a 148 run partnership. After being promoted up the order, Mahmood made the most of his change as he tonked the MI bowlers, hitting eight fours and four sixes in that quickfire innings. Mahmood scored 80 off just 44 balls as KXIP put on a score of 183 on the board.
With the ball in hand, Mahmood shut down all routes for an unlikely MI chase as he dismissed two of their lower middle-order batsmen- Rishi Dhawan and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Despite the required rate being in excess of nine, Mahmood ended with figures of 2/24 in his quota of four overs, claiming a much deserved man of the match prize.
Marsh mania to the rescue
The very first IPL between these two sides back in 2008 was a last ball thriller, with Kings XI Punjab sneaking away with a one run victory. The protagonist of that win, none other than Australia’s southpaw sensation Shaun Marsh.
The 2008 Orange Cap holder was the star of the show for KXIP back then, and did not disappoint against a star studded Mumbai Indians team. Despite losing his opening partner James Hopes in the first over, Marsh stayed firm as he forged a 133 run partnership with Luke Pomersbach. The Australian International slammed seven fours and four sixes in that innings, shepherding his team while maintaining a healthy strike rate. In a match where none of the KXIP players barring Pomersbach managed double digit scores, Marsh held fort as he top scored with 81 and helped his team clinch a thrilling contest.
Apart from these three, many other Kings XI Punjab players of the past and present like Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Kumar Sangakkara, Bhargav Bhatt etc. have played pivotal roles in some memorable victories.
Which KXIP performance against Mumbai has been your favourite moment? Leave your answer in the comments below.