Mumbai Indians pulled off a scarcely believable chase against the Punjab Kings in Mohali, tracking down 215 in the nineteenth over. The onslaught by Jitesh Sharma and Liam Livingstone had gotten Punjab to a massive total, but Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav outdid their counterparts, and indeed, themselves, in the chase, easing home with seven balls to spare. It was MI’s second successive 200+ chase, making them the first side to the feat in IPL.
Let’s start at the very beginning…
After Mumbai won the toss and opted to bowl first, Shikhar Dhawan and Prabhsimran Singh started off quietly, before the latter nicked behind Arshad Khan, dealing the Punjab Kings an early blow. Dhawan and the new man, Matthew Short, started to cut loose around the end of the powerplay, and were in the process of putting Punjab in pole position. However, it was then that the chicanery of Piyush Chawla got rid of Dhawan, getting him to dance down the track again to a shortened length. Punjab were 78-2 after the ten-over mark and hadn’t really capitalised on the conditions. Piyush Chawla had exhibited a masterclass: 4-0-29-2. However, they had only lost two wickets. Could this be the calm before the storm?
The beamer that flicked a switch
A ribcage full-toss from Jofra Archer at Livingstone did the unthinkable at Mohali. Jofra, known for his miserly spells and street-smart bowling, had one slip out of his hand that only hit the splice of Livingstone’s bat. However, he was avenged by Jitesh Sharma, who smashed three fours in the over that yielded 21 runs. There was no stopping the Kings after that, as they massacred the Mumbai bowling all round the park. Livingstone got his revenge, smashing Archer for three successive sixes in the penultimate over, as the pair of them hammered 119 runs in 52 balls. Archer, who had earlier bowled one of the fastest balls of the IPL (153 kmph), ended with hapless figures of 4-0-56-0.
The faltering Hitman
It’s been a while since Rohit Sharma has struck form in white-ball cricket, particularly for the Mumbai Indians. Today was no different, as he fell to Rishi Dhawan in the powerplay, handing the Punjab Kings the early advantage. After a decent stand with Ishan Kishan, Cam Green fell off the final ball of the powerplay too, putting Mumbai in a spot of bother – a required rate of over eleven and two top batsmen gone.
The SKY has no limits
And then, it happened. It was the Livingstone-Jitesh counterpart for the Mumbai Indians — Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav — who laid into the Punjab bowling and leathered the bowling, sparing no one. Even Arshdeep Singh, Punjab’s go-to man, had been dealt a hammering by the imperious Suryakumar and the back-in-form Ishan Kishan. It was pure, unadulterated violence in Mohali. By the time Suryakumar fell, Mumbai needed 45 off 30. And when Kishan finally fell, 37 off 24. Despite not staying unbeaten, they had turned an improbable chase into a quintessential cakewalk.
The inevitable finishing act
With the wickets of Suryakumar and Kishan, the hosts still had hopes of making a comeback. However, with the recent form of Tim David and Tilak Varma, it turned out that this was only a theoretical possibility. The pair crunched 38 off 16 balls to ease to a target that seemed unsurmountable at the innings break. This earned the Mumbai Indians two crucial points and made the mid-table contest even more juicy.