Records galore in Indore!

Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab engaged in a 397-run slog-a-thon at the Holkar Stadium, Indore. The number 5 proved lucky for Rohit Sharma and the Mumbai Indians, as this was the 5th successive toss won by our skipper, the 5th successive successful chase at this ground, and most importantly the 5th successive win for Mumbai Indians this season. With this match, Mumbai Indians also regain top spot on the Indian Premier League (IPL) table.

Kings XI Punjab began sedately with Shaun Marsh and Hashim Amla opening against Hardik Pandya, who opened the bowling for MI. Despite a boundary in each of the opening 2 overs, Kings XI could only manage 15 runs. Hardik was given an extra over and Marsh cashed in, crashing a brace of boundaries to propel the side to 26 without loss after 3 overs.

Harbhajan Singh, as is the case this season, was brought on inside the powerplay to try and dry up the runs. Despite conceding another boundary, he did his job and only 6 runs eventuated. Both Marsh and Amla were looking comfortable on a pitch that was offering precious little for the bowlers. Malinga was brought on in the 4th over, but for the fourth successive over a boundary was conceded to release whatever pressure our boys applied on the KXIP batsmen.

Mitchell McClenaghan became the 5th bowler to bowl inside the powerplay as Rohit Sharma looked to keep the opposition batsmen guessing. The move worked as Shaun Marsh chipped a tame fullish delivery to a gleeful Pollard at midwicket. Marsh was dismissed for a fluent 26, just when he was looking set to punish the bowlers further. Hashim Amla, at the other end, was making the most of a dropped catch as Kings XI Punjab sauntered onto 46/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Krunal Pandya’s left-arm orthodox provided just the right tonic to constrict Kings XI Punjab. Amla and Wriddhiman Saha at number 3 were looking to just knock the ball around after the fireworks in the powerplay. With spin from both ends, Rohit read the batsmen well and from the end of the powerplay till the end of the 10th over Punjab were only able to score just 23 runs. At that stage, MI had managed to bowl 26 balls without conceding a boundary and the constricting act by Krunal and Bhajji was working well.

The 11th over signaled a momentum shift for Kings XI Punjab, as the set Amla took Krunal on and deposited him for a six over long-on. However, Krunal got Saha in the very same over to leave Punjab 80/2 after 11 overs. Rohit brought Malinga back on for his second over, but Amla decided to take on Slinga and up the ante. An ill-directed slower ball was caressed over backward point for a silken boundary, before playing the shot of the innings of the fourth ball of the over: A checked uppish drive off a fuller ball for a one-bounce four. Krunal’s final over of the innings followed by Bumrah’s second over of his allotted four, was the calm before the storm, before the mayhem well and truly started for Kings XI Punjab. At the end of the 14th over, Kings XI Punjab were on Nelson: 111/2 with Maxwell on 12 off 9.

Maxwell unfortunately took to McClenaghan the next over and absolute smashed the Kiwi to all parts as 28 runs eventuated. The first couple of balls were smashed for 6, before an ill-directed short ball was dispatched for a boundary. Unfortunately, the next ball was a no-ball which also was dispatched for a boundary and Maxwell made it five boundaries in five falls off the free hit as McClenaghan lost his radar. Suddenly Maxwell found himself on 39 off 15 balls. Malinga’s next over fared little better as both Amla and Maxwell smashed a brace of fours and sixes to leave Kings XI 161/6 after 16 overs. Kings XI had managed 80 off the first 11 overs of their innings. They more than doubled that in the next 5 overs.

It fell on the young shoulders of Jasprit Bumrah to rein in the tide and he did so magnificently in his 3rd over. Amla and Maxwell could only manage 2 runs (of which one was a leg-bye) off his first two deliveries. Bumrah then out-foxed ‘The Big Show’ with a brilliantly disguised slower ball that cannoned into his pad before dislodging the off-bail. He rounded the over with just 2 runs off the next 3 balls. The preceding 2 overs had aggregated 50 runs for Kings XI Punjab: Bumrah’s over cost just 4 runs and he got the vital wicket of Glenn Maxwell.

The next over was symptomatic of our captain’s faith in Mitchell McClenaghan and the Kiwi’s ability to bounce back after a woeful preceding over. A leg bye was all Amla could manage off his first ball, whilst McClenaghan accounted for the dangerous Stoinis the very next ball with the Australian failing to clear Kieron Pollard in the deep. McClenaghan bowled three priceless dots, that too against the well set Hashim Amla, before Amla gracefully uppercut a wide ball for four. McClenaghan conceded just 5 runs of the 18th over, a fantastic comeback from the big Kiwi.

With the penultimate over to be bowled, Hashim Amla found himself to be 17-runs adrift of his first IPL (and T20) century. Amla moved onto 90, as Bumrah rounded out an excellent spell (considering the batsman-friendly pitch) of 1/30 off his quota. With Malinga bowling out the innings, focus shifted to whether Amla could reach the landmark and whether Kings Xi could bring up their 200. Unfortunately, Malinga bowled a wide first up, before being hit for consecutive sixes as Amla managed to bring up his maiden IPL and T20 century off just 58 balls. Malinga managed to concede just 5 runs off the remaining 4 balls, but Kings XI Punjab had managed an imposing 198/4 off their 20 overs.

Despite the true nature of the pitch, added to the fact that 4 of the previous matches at this stadium had been successful for the chasing team, a total of 199 in 20 overs is a daunting target. The opening partnership would need to prosper and take full advantage of the conditions.

That’s exactly what the Parthiv-Buttler combination managed, as they put on Mumbai’s first 50-plus opening stand of IPL 2017. If your surname was Sharma and you bowled pace for Kings XI, you were going to travel in the powerplay against Mumbai. None of Ishant, Mohit or Sandeep Sharma could bottle up the openers as they unleashed a fury that the tournament was yet to see thus far. The Manhattan that denoted the first 5 overs was continuously ascendant as 10 runs, were scored off the first over, followed by 11, 13, 17 and 17 runs off the next 4 overs.

The first five overs completely nullified the 50-run two over spell where Maxwell and Amla went ballistic as 12 boundaries were crashed by Buttler and Parthiv. With MI motoring along at 13.20 run an over (they were 68/0), the record for the most runs scored in the powerplay was under threat, both in this season and by any MI side. Despite Parthiv holing out to Glenn Maxwell, Kings XI Punjab could only bowl 5 dot balls in the powerplay, whilst leaking 82 runs in the process. Buttler had managed 40 runs off 17 balls, Parthiv managed 37 off 18 and the game, as they say, had turned on its head. Mumbai needed to score at just 8.35 runs an over from here on.

The madness temporarily abated when Axar Patel was brought on immediately after the powerplay, with only 5 runs off the 7th over. Rana and Buttler continued the carnage thereafter carting 14 runs off Stoinis’ second over. Buttler brought up his fifty, his first in an MI jersey, with an unexpected single off Axar Patel, off just 24 balls. Rana and Buttler went hammer and tongs again, with a brace of sixes rounding out the 9th over as Mumbai raced on to 117/1. The innings run-rate at this stage? A mere 13.00 runs an over.

The 10th over mirrored the 7th with only 6 runs being scored off Swapnil Singh’s first over. Buttler managed to smash the first ball of the 11th and 12th overs for towering sixes off Ishant and Swapnil, before Buttler brought up his highest T20 score with (yet) another six off Sandeep Sharma. At that stage, the required run rate was 4.64 to the over, this in a chase of 199. Unfortunately, the show ended for Buttler and MI when he holed out to Maxwell off Mohit Sharma at the beginning of the 14th over, but not before he smashed 77 off 37 balls with 12 boundaries (seven fours and five sixes).

Nitish Rana provided the coup-de-grace, lacing a fabulous fifty (his third of the season) as he wrested back the Orange Cap from David Warner. No doubt the Australian southpaw would admire the clean striking of the youngster. Hardik Pandya joined the party as he carted 14 runs of the last 3 balls of Ishant Sharma. His four overs returned the unenviable figures of 0/58, the joint-worst figures by a bowler this season. Rana ended the match emphatically with a majestic pull off Mohit Sharma to win by 8 wickets and crucially by 27 balls.

With two more games in the next four days, against Delhi and Rising Pune Supergiant at the Wankhede, Mumbai are in a strong position to qualify for the playoffs of IPL 2017. Our boys will take heart from their ability to bounce back after conceding a big first innings score and will take some stopping, come Saturday! Bring on the Daredevils!

Stats: -

⦁    Highest successful run chase by MI in the IPL (199/2)
⦁    Highest score by MI at the end of the powerplay in the powerplay (82/1)
⦁    6 dots bowled by KXIP in the powerplay: Second-lowest count in the history of the IPL.
⦁    Since Harbhajan Singh has played for MI, MI have yet to lose a match this season
⦁    Rana’s innings of 62 is the first time a batsman has hit 7 sixes, without hitting a single four, in the IPL.



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