Jasprit Bumrah was the hero as Mumbai Indians kept their Indian Premier League hopes alive with a dramatic three-run win over Kings XI Punjab, for whom another brilliant KL Rahul innings proved in vain.
For Mumbai Indians, Kieron Pollard finally came good, keeping them in the game with a 23-ball 50 (5 fours, three sixes).
This content is restricted to site members. The defence came after opener KL Rahul had threatened to knock Mumbai out with a 60-ball 94, which featured three sixes and 10 fours.
On the other hand, despite being a place ahead, Punjab lag behind Mumbai in net run-rate. Having lost Chris Gayle (18 runs) in the earlier stages, Aaron Finch and Rahul put up a 111-run stand for the third wicket before Finch departed for 46 in the 17 over, courtesy a Jasprit Bumrah wicket.
Lokesh Rahul's sixth IPL half century had almost ended Mumbai's run in the tournament before fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (3-15) turned the match on its head in his return spell and restricted Punjab to 5-183.
The pressure doubled when Rohit Sharma (6) mistimed his pull off Ankit Rajpoot and was caught at mid-on. The role of leggie Mayank Markande (14 wickets) will also be crucial along with that of Krunal Pandya, KXIP too have slumped in the latter half of the T20 League and need to improve in all departments. Andrew Tye has been their standout bowler with 20 wickets and holds the purple cap.
Who would have thought that Kings XI Punjab would struggle to make it to the playoffs after such an impressive start? One change they would like to do is sending JP Duminy up the order as he is playing at number 8, which is a complete waste.
Just four games back, Rohit Sharma led MI's fate looked uncleared. Only two matches are left until the next round of play. R. Ashwin's side suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indore on Monday and a further slip-up on Wednesday will severally dent their play-off chances after a great start to the tournament.
After losing Chris Gayle (18) early on, Rahul and Aaron Finch (46) added 111 for the second wicket to put the visitors on course but Jasprit Bumrah broke the risky stand with the Australian's wicket in the 17th over.