The Punjab match on Thursday was of immense importance to the defending champions, who lost a bit in the first three matches and went a little backfoot. The important match was won by 46 runs and the Mumbai Indians rose to the top of the league table. In a bat-and-ball all-round performance, Rohit Sharma’s side looked like champions against Kings XI.
Punjab captain Lokesh Rahul sent the Mumbai Indians to bat first after winning the toss at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. When Quinton D’Cock and Suryakumar Yadav failed to bat, captain Rohit Sharma took the responsibility of laying the foundation of the team’s innings. Ishan Kisan struggled a bit but could not find him in the form of a match in Bangalore. Ishan returned with 28 runs off 32 balls, but the ‘hitman’ remained at the crease till 18 overs. After completing the second half-century of the tournament, he was dismissed for 60 off 45 balls in the 18th over and returned to the dugout.
Then there are Mumbai’s two power-hitters Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya in the desert. Mumbai Indians made 72 runs in the last three overs of the day in the stormy batting of these two all-rounders. The Pollard-Pandya duo, who were once thought to have crossed the 150-run mark in Mumbai, took the run closer to 200 by the end. In front of these two, experienced Shami spent 19 runs in the 19th over.
In Gautam’s last over, Pollard-Pandia scored 25 runs with 4 sixes. At the end of the match, the five-faced Mumbai captain praised Pollard-Pandya for his batting. “It’s a great win,” said Rohit. We didn’t make a really good start. But we have to talk about those two boys (Pollard and Hardik). They have brought out the run with confidence in themselves. It’s very positive for us to be in their form. ‘
Not just batsmen. After winning the match, the bowlers of the team also got praise from Hitman. “Punjab’s batting line-up has not been easy for bowlers,” said Rohit. We needed quick wickets and everything went according to plan. Bowlers also deserve credit. Death bowling was not effective in the last match. So we discussed and tried to repair the place. ‘
Rohit also mentioned two foreign fast bowlers Trent Bolt and James Pattinson separately. Mumbai Indians batted first in Abu Dhabi and scored 191 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. In reply, Kings XI Punjab could not score more than 143 runs in 20 overs losing 6 wickets.
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