MI vs KXIP: Double Dhamaka on Super Sunday
The match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab will etch its name in the history of the game for being the first of its kind, taking two Super Overs to arrive at a winner. After a Super over finish in the earlier game between SRH and KKR, this match went up a notch and gave a much more thrilling contest as part of the Sunday doubleheader. And it was the boys from Punjab who ended up on the winning side after numerous twists and turns all through the night. #1 Opening burst The KXIP bowlers were on the mark after Rohit won the toss and opted to bat. They bowled tight lines and made the run-scoring difficult for the MI top-order batsmen. Arshdeep Singh grabbed the big wicket of Rohit, then bagging Ishan Kishan as well. Meanwhile, Shami dismissed the dark knight of MI, Suryakumar Yadav. The top order which has been successful so far this tournament for MI was back in the hut even before the end of the powerplay. #2 Consistency personified Quinton de Kock, the star performer in MI’s previous game, once again continued his good form and brought up his 4th half-century for this season. Though his strike rate in this game was on the lower side when compared to his other knocks, he provided the much-required stability at one end when the wickets were falling at the other end. He along with Krunal Pandya steadied the ship for Mumbai in the middle after losing early wickets. #3 The Pollard Power After the dismissal of QDK, MI was struggling to go beyond 150 then. But the ever-reliant Pollard came to the rescue of the Mumbai Indians for the nth time and delivered it with his sensible power hitting. He finished the innings unbeaten on 34 striking at the rate of 283.33. He was ably supported by Coulter-Nile at the other end who played a brilliant cameo scoring 24 runs off 12 balls. #4 The Lone Warrior KL Rahul, the orange cap holder once again held the forte for his side and started well in the powerplay. Though criticized for his strike rate by some, I think it is very unfair on him as he can’t do everything on his own and the other people in the team must step up and take responsibilities, lending the much-required support to their skipper. He scored the 5th half-century of the season but could not get his team across the line thanks to a gem of delivery from Bumrah. He has now scored more than 500 runs in the last 3 seasons which shows his consistency and his growth as a T20 batsman at the top. #5 Rising Chahar Another person with Rahul as his first name making strides in this IPL season. Going into the tournament, the one thing MI might have felt a little weaker is the spin department which was relatively lesser experienced when compared to the other teams. But Rahul Chahar has blown away all those concerns and is consistently delivering for the defending champions. Once again, he bowled beautifully today and removed the big guns, Gayle and Maxwell. #6 Boom Boom Bumrah The go-to-man for Rohit - then, now, and forever. He delivered at the start by picking up the in-form Mayank Agarwal. Then Rohit threw the ball to him when Pooran was going all guns blazing and Bumrah delivered once again by dismissing him and returned the control of the match to the Mumbai side. Coming at the death, he picked up the crucial wicket of KL Rahul who was threatening to take the match away from MI. He finished off with the bowling figures of 4-0-24-3. He bowled excellently in the first Super Over as well conceding only 5 runs but MI’s batsmen failed him as his performance was a match-winning worthy. #7 Sensational Shami After witnessing the heroics from Bumrah in the first Super Over, much was expected of Shami to deliver for KXIP. And boy did he!! He bowled all the 6 deliveries in the yorker length and made it tough for the inform batsmen Rohit and de Kock to find the gaps. He had an immaculate control over his line and length in that pressure situation. He successfully defended it for the KXIP ensuring that the match went into the second Super Over. Those overs from Bumrah and Shami showed that the future of the Indian bowling attack is in good hands. #8 Match-saver Mayank Pollard opened the batting in the second Super Over for MI and Jordan bowled a decent spell conceding 9 runs off the first 5 balls. Then Pollard hit the last ball of the over to the midwicket where Mayank Agarwal was stationed. He made an outstanding effort to catch the ball as it was going over the boundary line and threw it back into the field thereby saving four runs which turned out to be the game-changing moment for the KXIP. Then Gayle opened the batting for KXIP and smashed a six off the first ball and Mayank did the rest taking his team to a much-needed victory. With this victory, Punjab has moved from the bottom to the 6th position in the points table. Getting over the line in the last two encounters in such a closer fashion, they may think that the bad clouds are finally off them and they are very much alive in the tournament. Mumbai has a little thinking to do even as their spot in the playoffs is almost certain. The bowling unit barring Bumrah and Chahar is not consistent enough and they need to get that right before its time for the playoffs. The teams are surely turning up the heat in the middle out there in the land of desert and hopefully, our eyes will be treated with much more breath-taking action on the field going forward. Cheers!