Parthiv, Rayudu duo save the blushes for Mumbai Indians : With nothing going in their favour, the defending champions, Mumbai Indians (MI), registered their third win in seven games, when they got the better of the laggards, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Mohali.
Put into bat by the home team, disaster struck MI when their opener-skipper, Rohit Sharma, trying to lace a cut through the point region, a short and wide in-swinger of Sandeep Sharma that came in sharply, took a thin edge and floated towards the wicket-keeper, Nikhil Nayak, who made no mistake. This happened in the very second delivery of the innings. Rohit had to walk back without opening his account.
Now it was upto the other opener, the diminutive wicket-keeper, Parthiv Patel and Ambatti Rayudu to shoulder responsibility and save the situation.
This they did with high level of professionalism, as the duo went on to add 137 runs in 14.1 overs for the second wicket.
Both of them produced an innings of great character and reached the half-ton landmark. While Rayudu, scoring faster of the two, got to his half-century in 31 deliveries with 4 fours and 2 sixes, Patel, playing a sheet-anchor role, achieved it in 41 deliveries with the help of 6 fours and a six.
Just when things were going good for MI, Axar Patel, delivered one flat outside the off-stump, which Rayudu wanted to sweep to the deep midwicket region, mistimed and ended in giving a simple catch to Manan Vohra. Incidentally the earlier two deliveries from Axar Patel were dispatched to the stands.
Rayudu scored 65 runs off 37 deliveries with 4 fours and an equal number of sixes.
Meanwhile Patel continued his onslaught of the KXIP bowlers and alongwith Jos Butler (24) added 37 runs in 3.2 overs for the third wicket.
Parthiv produced one of his best innings. But as all good things should come to an end, Patel, in the fourth delivery of the 18th over from Mitchell Johnson, received a bouncer, tried to lob the same over the point with an awkward looking cut, but ended in giving a catch to Shaun Marsh.
He registered his highest IPL score, thus far, notching up 81 runs off 58 deliveries studded with 10 fours and 2 sixes at 139.65 strike rate.
For KXIP, only Mohit Sharma could create some impact and ended with the figure of 4-0-38-3.
MI finished their innings with 189 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
Chasing 190 runs was never going to be easy under lights for KXIP.
Losing both the openers, Murali Vijay (19) and Manan Vohra (7) with just 32 runs on the board in 4.5 overs, Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, came together to put up a 89-run partnership in 10.1 overs for the third wicket.
Marsh notched up 45 runs off 34 deliveries with 3 fours and a six, while Maxwell, playing an innings of materiality, for the first time in this season, reached his half-century in 33 deliveries with the help of 5 fours and a six.
At the stage when 51 runs were needed from 18 deliveries, Maxwell’s being at the crease could have helped the cause.
However, the first delivery of the 17th over, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah sounded the death-knell for KXIP.
A slower delivery outside the off-stump which Maxwell wanted to send into the orbit, played the shot a shade too early. The ball took the thick inside edge and clipped off the leg stump. It was all over.
After scoring 56 runs off 39 deliveries studded with 5 fours and a six at a strike rate of 143.58, Maxwell walked back to the dugout.
KXIP skipper, David Miller, who had joined Maxwell at the fall of Marsh’s wicket was literally left stranded with the other batsmen failing to give him a stand. Miller remained unbeaten on 30* runs off 17 deliveries with a solitary four and a couple of sixes.
KXIP ended their quota of 20 overs with 164 runs for the loss of 7 wickets, giving MI a victory by 25 runs.
MI bowler, Jasprit Bumrah was the most successful bowler claiming the wickets of Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell and Nikhil Nayak, giving away 26 runs in his spell of 4 overs.
Parthiv Patel was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Patel said, “Very important for me, on a personal point of view as well. Wicket was dry, we decided that one of us would play till the 15-16th over. Important to carry on the momentum.”
KXIP coach, Sanjay Bangar, who represented the team at the post-match presentation in place of David Miller, said, “”I thought we bowled pretty poorly in this game. 190 on the track on the large outfield was always going to be challenging. 50-50 things haven”t gone out way. No excuses for a poor bowling effort. Maxwell got over that 10-ball barrier and showed us what he is capable of. We have to be positive, we have a break of about 5 days from now,”
A relieved MI skipper, Rohit Sharma said, “It (the win) means a lot, considering our last few games hasn”t gone the way we wanted to. We played like we are known to, this is the performance we have been expecting. The stand between Parthiv and Rayudu set the game for us. Really happy with the way we batted. We always knew someone or the other would have to put up his hand and set the game for us (bowlers). All games from here are important for us.”