A disciplined performance with the ball followed up by a clinical showing with the bat helped Punjab Kings get back to winning ways on Friday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League. Punjab’s bowlers did brilliantly to restrict opponents Mumbai Indians to just 131 runs in the first innings, which KL Rahul and co. managed to chase down with nine wickets in the bank. 

Bowling first on the night, Punjab Kings opted for a different strategy as part-timers Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda were given the new ball. The decision worked wonders, as Hooda dismissed Quinton de Kock early on, while Punjab conceded just 12 runs in the first four overs. 

Punjab Kings’ bowlers continued their fine start to the game, as Mumbai could only manage 21 runs after six overs- the lowest powerplay score of IPL 2021. The economical start put the pressure on the Mumbai Indians batters, and that yielded a second wicket as Ravi Bishnoi struck early, getting Ishan Kishan caught behind with a googly. 

Rohit Sharma tried to help his team get a move on, as he struck two consecutive boundaries off Fabian Allen to push the score to 37/2 after eight. The Mumbai skipper then added his first six of the evening, as he dispatched a Fabian Allen full toss into the stands. 

Sharma got a second six shortly after, and new man Suryakumar Yadav also hit Arshdeep for a maximum over covers, as Mumbai got their scoring rate to nearly six an over after 13. Mumbai’s skipper then delicately dabbed one past point to get to his first fifty of IPL 2021. 

In the 17th over, Yadav tried an audacious reserve sweep against Bishnoi, but miscued it only for the ball to land in the hands of Chris Gayle, as the young leggie ended his spell with figures of 2/21. The next over brought another wicket, as Sharma was caught in the deep off Shami’s bowling, leaving the Mumbai Indians at 114/4 after 18. 

New man Hardik Pandya tried to slog right from the beginning, but missed his shot and found Hooda in the deep, as Punjab’s bowlers ensured they ended strong. The final over went for just six runs, as Mohammed Shami ended a stellar spell of 2/21 to make sure Mumbai Indians only managed 131 runs in the first innings. 

Turning Point

Ravi Bishnoi’s final over saw him dismiss Suryakumar Yadav, while giving away just six runs. The wicket ensured that none of the set batsmen could get a big score for Mumbai, giving PBKS a smaller target to chase. 

In reply, Punjab Kings started brightly as KL Rahul got two fours and Mayank Agarwal got a six off Krunal Pandya’s very first over. Rahul too got his first six of the evening in the next over, hitting Jasprit Bumrah over square leg to push the team score to 25 for no loss. 

Things got even better for the chasing side, as Agarwal picked up back to back fours off Trent Boult next up, to get the asking rate below six. The openers continued to play freely, as Punjab Kings put on 45 after the end of the powerplay with no loss in their wickets column. Rahul Chahar however managed the breakthrough in the 8th over, as Agarwal was out caught in the deep. 

The wicket slowed down the scoring rate for Punjab, as the next three overs went for just seven runs. The boundary finally came in the 12th over, as new man Chris Gayle swatted one past the fielder at short fine leg, leaving his team needing 62 off the last eight overs. That boundary gave the Universe Boss some much needed confidence, as he followed that up with two more fours off Jayant Yadav’s to get the asking rate back to seven an over. 

Captain KL Rahul further calmed the nerves by hitting a six of Pollard in the next over, pushing the team score to 93/1 after 14 overs. Gayle then got back into the act as he hit Jayant Yadav into the second tier, further reducing the asking rate. The next over also went for nine runs, as Punjab Kings pushed the score to 108/1 after 16 overs. 

Rahul got his fifty in the next over off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling, while his partner Gayle perfected bisected the gap on the leg side to get the asking rate below six. The next over further shifted the game in favour of Punjab, as Rahul and Gayle got a six apiece. Needing just four then, Rahul edged one past the keeper to give his team a nine-wicket victory with more than two overs to spare. 

Punjab Kings play their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, April 26.