Mumbai Indians beat Kings XI Punjab by six wickets

Kings XI Punjab start as favourites against struggling Mumbai Indians

Punjab, who had played two games at the venue last season - one of them against Mumbai where they had failed to defend 198 - clearly knew that anything below 200 was not going to be enough on the surface.

And Mumbai needed only six more balls to wipe out that target - a leg bye for four finishing the job with an over to spare. Afghanistan's rookie mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman, with an economy rate of 6.51 and seven wickets, has been nurtured well by skipper Ashwin, who has marshalled his resources well. Suryakumar targeted Rajpoot again by hitting a six and a four in consecutive balls to reach his fifty in 34 balls. But just when things seemed good in the middle, in-form SuryaKumar was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis in the 12th over when scoreboard was reading 80.

While MI must be buoyed by the form of top-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav, the defending champions would be anxious of captain Rohit Sharma's tournament so far. The other problem that has plagued Mumbai has been the performance of their two all-rounders - Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.With Pollard not fit enough to bowl, his contribution of 76 runs in 6 innings has been an issue. He has scored 283 runs in eight games. But the onslaught came from Krunal Pandya as he hit Stoinis for two fours off consecutive balls and ended the over with a enormous six over deep mid-wicket.

Mayank Markande struck right after the powerplay in his first over to send back KL Rahul, after he shared a 50-run stand with Gayle for the opening wicket.

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Chris Gayle scored his third half-century in the IPL after getting his team off to a steady start.

Rahul too was in sublime touch and looked set for a big score. As a result, as soon as Rahul and Gayle got out the momentum shifted towards Mumbai with Yuvraj Singh (14) trying to settle in. This time the luck was also not on Yuvraj's side as he got run out in the 13th over after a mix-up with Karun Nair (23 off 12).

Pacers Jaspreet Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan further jolted the hosts after dismissing Nair (23 off 12 balls) and Patel (13 off 12 balls) in the 16th and 17th overs, respectively. That has put vast pressure on Jasprit Bumrah (9 wickets at an economy rate of 7) and Hardik (11 eickets at 8.74). Bumrah especially was brilliant conceding just 19 runs in four overs.

If not for Marcus Stoinis, KXIP would have ended up way short of the expected mark.

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