With their campaign already over, Kings XI Punjab pulled off a well-earned 50-run victory against table-toppers Mumbai Indians in game 69 of IPL 6 here on Saturday.
Dharamsala: Coming to form during the later half of the tournament, Punjab posted a a stiff total of 184 that eventually turned out to be too much for the visitors, Mumbai Indians. Mumbai went in with the same side as in the game against Rajasthan Royals. Sachin Tendulkar once again missed the fixture to rest his injured hand, which meant Mumbai's opening combination remain unchanged. However, it did not work out according to plans as Praveen Kumar picked up Glenn Maxwell with the third ball of the innings.
Man of the Match in the previous game, Aditya Tare once again looked in good touch before he was castled by Sandeep Sharma for 22. At 27 for two, skipper Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu tried to fight back with a 35-run partnership but the asking rate proved to be too much for both of them. Rayadu top-scored for Mumbai with 26 runs which included three boundaries. Skipper Rohit Sharma was striking the ball nicely before he was done in by a beautiful googly from Piyush Chawla for 25. The rest of the batsmen struggled to get runs as Pollard (22), Rishi Dhawan (14) and Dinesh Karthik (0) could not accelerate when it was required.
With 51 needed off the last over, the Dharamsala crowd came in for a pleasant surprise when skipper Adam Gilchrist bowled the last over and to many people's delight, picked up his first IPL wicket. With a little bit of "Gillinam" style of celebration, the 42-year old legend signed off IPL in a manner that many would remember.
Earlier, after losing the toss and being put to bat, Punjab's start was jittery as they lost both their openers under three overs. Playing his first game for Mumbai, Nathan Coulter-Nile cleaned up Gilchrist whereas Rishi Dhawan scalped Mandeep Singh's wicket leaving Punjab at six for two.
The next ten overs completely changed the course of the proceedings as Azhar Mahmood was joined by the in-from Shaun Marsh in the middle. Marsh began the Punjab onslaught smashing three boundaries off Dhawal Kulkarni's first over. The two batsmen forged a massive 148-run partnership in 48 deliveries as they bludgeoned the Mumbai attack all over the park. Mahmood, in particular was severe on the bowlers hitting a total of eight boundaries and four sixes in his 44-ball 88.
Marsh scored 63 runs before he was bowled by Harbhajan Singh. However, Mahmood carried on his knock and kept on scoring at a great pace before falling to Lasith Malinga leg before wicket. It once looked as if Punjab could well go beyond the 190-run mark but three wickets in the last over restricted them to 183 for eight.