Rohit, Robin, Rayudu star in much needed win
South African import Robin Peterson reignited the Punjab Cricket Association stadium with a mesmerising switch-hit and Ambati Rayudu did the honours of wrapping up the game as Mumbai Indians avenged their Sunday defeat to Kings XI Punjab with a well-fought four-wicket win.
Mumbai Indians were struggling, having lost six wickets in quick intervals chasing 169 for win. Rohit Sharma brought the team back a little into the game but with 38 required off the last 12 deliveries, a victory still seemed distant.
The penultimate over, however, changed it all. First Peterson and then Rayudu, both put together, snarled and squeezed 27 runs from the 19th over bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, leaving Kings XI Punjab in tatters. Peterson scored 15 runs off four balls in the penultimate over and Ambati Rayudu smacked two sixes. Going in the last over, Mumbai Indians then required just 5 runs which were easily polished off.
The platform for the victory, earlier, was set by Sharma, who hit an impressive 50 off just 30 balls. The batsman had provided the Mumbai-chase much needed aggression with his knock that included three sixes and as many as fours but his dismissal off Parvinder Awana tilted the game in the favour of the hosts again.
However, Rayudu and Peterson took it on themselves and stole an unlikely victory with tremendous hitting.
Mumbai Indians needed just five runs off the final over but Azhar Mahmood could not produce the over Punjab needed with Rayudu hitting the winning boundary off the second last ball.
Mumbai Indians began their chase on a cautious note, with James Franklin and Sachin Tendulkar giving them a sedate start with the first 50 runs coming off 44 balls. Franklin (22 of 22 balls) fell to former Pakistani pacer Azhar Mahmood, edging to wicketkeeper Nitin Saini.
Earlier in the evening, Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to bat first, reducing themselves to 46 for two in the eighth over before skipper David Hussey came to their rescue. Hussey found an able ally in the young David Miller who played an unbeaten cameo of 17-ball 34 not out as Punjab bounced back into the game.
Hussey hit four fours and an equal number of sixes while Miller hit three sixes and a four. The two batsmen, who came together in the 13th over, put on 89 runs for the unbeaten fourth wicket stand from 7.1 overs.
For Mumbai Indians, James Franklin, RP Singh and Clint McKay grabbed a wicket each. McKay, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel and Kieron Pollard remained the costliest of the lot.
Munaf, who had bowled well in his first two overs, found himself at the receiving end in the later part of Punjab's innings as Hussey and Miller took him to the cleaners. Miller hit two sixes in the 18th over bowled by Munaf. He repeated it by hitting two sixes of the final two deliveries of the innings bowled by the same bowler.
Kings XI Punjab have so far won three out of their eight games while Mumbai Indians have four wins from seven outings. Mumbai will now play Delhi Daredevils in Delhi on Friday.