Win keeps finals hopes alive for Kings XI

Predicting the outcome of the Mumbai Indians' last home match against Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday would have been a long shot, especially on the basis of the 10-9 head-to-head score-line in favour of the two-time league victor before Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell went for the toss.

Glenn Maxwell smashed his way to 47 runs in just 21 balls and laid the flawless platform for the middle order to go for broke.

The giant Trinidadian complimented rival stumper Wriddhiman Saha, who notched up 93 not out in 55 balls, and visiting team skipper Glen Maxwell (47 in 21 balls) for powering KXIP to the tall score, only the third time they have reached 230 in ten editions of IPL.

The match saw both the teams scoring 453 runs in 40 overs.

The win keeps Kings XI alive in the race for the finals, with a win in their final match against Rising Pune Supergiant enough to secure them a spot in the top four. With everything to play for, Kings XI Punjab defeated the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) in their last two games and are on the brink of a playoff berth.

Nitesh Rana (12) and Rohit Sharma (5) fell and it looked desperate for Mumbai but Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya came in and unleashed on the Kings XI to transfer the pressure.

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Batting first, Martin Guptill and WriddhimanSahahelped KXIP to their season-best powerplay score; the opening pair added 71 runs in the first six overs with both batsmen contributing in nearly equal proportions.

In the bowling department, they have three bowlers with 10 or more wickets. He hit the ball in the deep mid-wicket region and ran for two with intent and goal. Saha joined forces with Glenn Maxwell and the duo continued to pepper the boundary regularly.

Before this, the highest total this season was 214 for 3 against Gujarat Lions.

Being put in to bat first, the Kings XI got off to a great start as Saha and Martin Guptill amassed a 68-run partnership before Guptill was dismissed by Karn Sharma for 36. Kings XI pacers Sandeep Sharma (1/42) and Mohit Sharma (2/57) were on the job, bowling two tight overs to take Kings over the line. The Kiwi was helpless as the 16th over leaked 27 runs and kept the hosts in the match, with four sixes frustrating the Kings XI captain.

Mohit Sharma, despite being smashed for 33 in his first two overs, bowled a delivery that climbed on a surging Parthiv, who offered simple skier to Manan Vohra. "But after being hit for a six he followed the team plan and executed it well", explained Saha of what transpired in the final moments of the match.

  • Lawrence Cooper