IPL MONEYBALL: Now or never for Kings XI Punjab-Mumbai Indians

Hosts Mumbai Indians (MI) will fancy beating a floundering Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) when both sides face-off in a must-win match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai on Wednesday. West Indian Kieron Pollard struck a blistering fifty to rescue defending champions Mumbai Indians from a mid-innings slump to a competitive 186 for 8 in the crucial game at the Wankhade stadium here. The pace bowler's return of three for 15 in four overs was instrumental in Mumbai Indians pulling off a three-run win and keep itself in the race for a place in the playoffs. KL Rahul was in sublime form on 76 off 51, Aaron Finch was playing second fiddle on 46 off 34, there was some dew to trouble the bowlers, there were short boundaries to target for the batsmen, and Jasprit Bumrah, who had two overs left, had not been at his best this IPL. With this victory team, Mumbai Indians have kept their hopes alive for the playoffs as they are now placed on number 4 of the IPL 2018 Points Table. In the previous game, Punjab's team had bowled out on just 88 runs in front of Virat Kohli Led Royal Challengers Bangalore. Jasprit Bumrah proved his worth once more and showed everyone why he is considered a top death bowler. They need a win against CSK in the last match, RCB to lose to SRH but win against RR, and MI to lose to DD, to qualify for the play-offs.

KL Rahul must be getting exhausted. 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.

This dismissal defined the rest of the match as the visitors struggled to score runs. MI could eke out 35 runs from the last five overs, but that was to be just enough.

WICKET! Yuvraj Singh takes a good catch at mid-on to dismiss captain Rohit Sharma for six, as Ankit Rajpoot gets his first wicket. The West Indian wasn't in a great form coming into the match and had even been dropped from the XI.

Andrew Tye and R Ashwin are the two most important weapons of Punjab in absence of Mujeeb who is injured.

Swapping jersey with the players of the rival team has been a long-time tradition in football but it was the first occasion when players of rival team swapped jerseys after a cricket match.

The match is scheduled to start at 8 P.M. IST on Wednesday, May 16th. Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis trotted out to the crease, only for Lewis to be sent back for 9 runs.

Bowling the second over of the Punjab innings to the risky Chris Gayle and the in-form Lokesh Rahul, Bumrah conceded only one run before being taken out of attack.

  • Leroy Wright