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Mumbai Indians live to fight another day

Lokesh Rahul

Kings XI Punjab (183-5 )slid to 6th defeat in their last 7 matches as they were trumped by Mumbai Indians (186-8) by 3 runs in a close encounter.

KXIP and MI ended the match with contrasting fortunes. With this win, MI have now won 5 of their last seven matches. On the other hand, KXIP who started the tournament with some glorious performances with 5 wins in 6 games, have lost 6 of their following 7 games. Punjab who once led the table, have now slipped to the 6th spot and they have to depend on other teams after winning their last fixture against SunRisers Hyderabad.

Batting first, MI did not have a great start, with Evin Lewis (9) getting out early. Skipper Rohit Sharma (6) failed to get going once again but it was the comeback man Kieron Pollard (50, SR: 217.39) who made his opportunity count to notch up an explosive half century. It was his 65-run partnership with all-rounder Krunal Pandya (32) which took MI to a good total of 186.

Andrew Tye was once again clinical for Punjab as he ended with another 4-fer. Tye now has 24 wickets in 13 matches and comfortably leads the list of highest wicket-takers.

Once Mitchell McClenaghan (4-37-2) dismissed Chris Gayle (18) on a well directed bouncer, it was all about KL Rahul (94,60b) and Aaron Finch (46, 35b) in the KXIP chase. Finch was promoted at No 3 in this game with both Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal dropped from the side.

The two stitched a 111-run partnership to take Punjab extremely close to victory.

However, Jasprit Bumrah (4-15-3, MoM) dismissed Finch and Marcus Stoinis (1) in quick succession to arrest back some momentum from KXIP.

KL Rahul, who has become the epitome of consistency in this year’s IPL, also fell to a slower delivery from Bumrah as he missed a well deserved half century.

With 17 required off the last over, KXIP fell short by 3 runs as Mumbai live on to fight another day in IPL 2018.

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