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Kings XI Punjab hold of Mumbai Indians from record chase to remain alive

Kieron Pollard could not take Mumbai Indians over the line
Kieron Pollard could not take Mumbai Indians over the line

Kings XI Punjab 230-3 (Saha 93no) beat
Mumbai Indians 223-6 (Simmons 59) by seven runs
51st match, Indian Premier League, Wankhede Stadium

Fluent fifties from Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons went in vain as Mumbai Indians succumbed to a seven run defeat while chasing the highest total in the history of Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab in game 51 at Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai continue to top the table but will need to win their final game against Kolkata Knight Riders to seal a top two spot while Punjab have their hopes alive of securing a play-off spot.

Mumbai won the toss and decided to field first. On what was an absolute carnage in the powerplay, Martin Guptill (36) and Wriddhiman Saha (93 not out) smashed 11 boundaries and a six between them to bring a 68 run opening stand off just 33 deliveries before the former holed out to deep to give Karn Sharma (1-32) a wicket.

Glenn Maxwell (47) promoted himself to number three and it did not help Mumbai's cause as the Australian smashed five sixes and a four in his first 14 deliveries and Punjab raced to 126 for one at halfway mark.

Jasprit Bumrah (1-24), who was easily the best bowler on display on Thursday provided some respite for Mumbai when he castled Maxwell in the 11th over but Saha completed a well compiled fifty with a six in the next over.

Shaun Marsh (25) fell after a 16 ball knock but Saha ensured Punjab ended their innings at a massive 230 for three.

Parthiv Patel (38) set the tone for Mumbai's chase with a hat-trick of boundaries in the second over and soon Simmons (59) joined the onslaught as he plundered three more fours and two sixes to end the powerplay at 68 for naught.

After he was put down by Mohit Sharma (2-57), Simmons hit two more sixes in the seventh over to bring a 26-ball fifty. Just when Patel was looking threatening with another consecutive three boundaries, he was caught at mid-off by Manan Vohra as Mohit made amends for the drop earlier.

Maxwell (1-8) applied further pressure on Mumbai as he conceded just eight runs in the two overs and also had Simmons caught splendidly by Guptill at long on. It was more of a fielder's wicket there as Mumbai needed 123 more runs to win in the second half of the innings.

With Rohit Sharma (5) and Nitish Rana (12) failing, Mumbai were left with a daunting task of needing 108 runs from final eight overs and they looked on track when Hardik Pandya (30) and Pollard (50 not out) were going with 55 run stand that came in less than four years.

The duo took the attack to Matt Henry (0-40) plundering him for four sixes and Mumbai needed 56 runs from the final four overs. Sandeep Sharma (1-42) provided the breakthrough when he had Pandya caught behind but Karn (19), who enjoyed a drop from Maxwell struck three boundaries and a six in his six-ball cameo as the target came down to 23 runs off the final two overs.

Sandeep's penultimate over proved a game changer as he conceded just seven runs in it but Pollard struck a six in the second delivery of the final over to bring down the required runs to seven from final four balls.

However, Mohit held his nerve and managed three consecutive dots with the final delivery going for a run to keep Punjab's hope alive in the tournament. Saha was awarded the player of the match.

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