Abu Dhabi: A clinical show by bowlers along with an unbeaten 40 from Hardik Pandya helped Mumbai Indians seal a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Tuesday. This is Mumbai’s first win in the UAE leg of the tournament and places the defending champions at fifth place in the points table, thereby keeping their playoffs hopes alive.
Chasing 136, Mumbai were given a double jolt in the fourth over when Ravi Bishnoi took out Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav on successive deliveries. While Sharma miscued a slog-sweep to mid-on, Yadav failed to read the googly and was bowled through the gate.
Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary resurrected the chase with a stand of 45 runs for the third wicket. But Mohammed Shami broke the partnership in the tenth over as de Kock inside-edged a pull to his stumps.
Tiwary waged a lone battle for Mumbai, smashing boundaries and keeping his side in the hunt. But Tiwary perished at 45, chasing a wide yorker from Nathan Ellis and edging behind to KL Rahul, who dived forward to complete a low catch.
Hardik Pandya, dropped at seven by Harpreet Brar, smashed Mohammed Shami for a four and six over mid-wicket on consecutive deliveries in the 17th over. Kieron Pollard hit Arshdeep Singh for back-to-back boundaries in the 18th over. Pollard crunched Singh for a four through extra cover followed by a big six over long-off.
Pandya then cut Shami over third man in the 19th over followed by a slap past a diving long-on fielder. Pandya finished off the chase with a flat-bat shot bursting through the hands of long-on, handing Mumbai two crucial points with an over to spare.
Earlier, Punjab lost their first wicket at 36 when Mandeep Singh was adjudged lbw in the final over of power-play off Krunal Pandya. The 2014 runners-up lost Chris Gayle and KL Rahul in the seventh over off Kieron Pollard, who completed his 300 wickets in T20. Nicholas Pooran was trapped by Jasprit Bumrah’s low dipping full toss. He took the review but failed to change the result, burning his team’s review in process, leaving Punjab reeling at 48/4 in 7.3 overs.
Aiden Markram and Deepak Hooda led the fightback effort for Punjab, adding 61 runs for the fifth wicket. Markram was the more strokeful of the two, crunching delightful boundaries through off-side. He took a liking to Trent Boult in the 15th over, driving and punching through cover on consecutive deliveries before Hooda sliced him over backward point. Boult gave Hooda a reprieve on 25, shelling a tough caught and bowled chance on the final ball of the over.
Rahul Chahar ended the partnership in the 16th over when Markram tried to sweep and rattled his off-stump. After Markram’s dismissal, Mumbai kept Punjab on a tight leash in a display of immaculate death bowling.
The strategy worked as Hooda tried to break the shackles and holed out to long-off off Bumrah in the 19th over. Bumrah and Nathan Coulter-Nile ensured that Punjab were restricted to a below-par total with no boundaries in the last four overs.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings (Aiden Markram 42, Deepak Hooda 28, Kieron Pollard 2/8, Jasprit Bumrah 2/24) lost to Mumbai Indians 137/4 in 19 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 45, Hardik Pandya 40 not out, Ravi Bishnoi 2/25, Nathan Ellis 1/12).