This is what Punjab was expected to do in IPL 2019. A reliable spin bowling attack to restrict the opponents and a strong top-order to maul the target. Finally everything clicked for Punjab as a unit and the result? The franchise defeated one of the strongest teams in IPL, Mumbai Indians.
Meanwhile, it was the same old story for Mumbai. The middle-order cracking up after a promising start by openers and the bowlers failing to cash on to the moments.
Chasing 177 on a decent batting track, Punjab got off to a flying start courtesy of Chris Gayle. The Punjab opener was cautious in the first couple of overs but then picked up pace and didn’t look back.
He cantered 40 runs off 24 balls and this allowed under-pressure KL Rahul to take his time to get set. After Gayle’s dismissal, Mayank Agarwal took his role and scored 43 runs off 21 balls.
By that time Agarwal departed, Punjab needed 60 off 39 balls and Rahul was all set to change gears.
The right-hand batsman finally found form and made it count. He remained unbeaten on 71 runs off 57 balls and steered Punjab home in the 19th over with David Miller in company.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai had a same old story getting repeated. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma gave a stunning start as the duo brought up the team’s fifty in the sixth over.
But Sharma perished soon and was quickly followed by Suryakumar Yadav. However de Kock remained strong as Yuvraj struggled to middle the ball.
de Kock hammered 60 runs off 39 balls but failure of Yuvraj and Pollard had Mumbai in a spot of bother.
Once again Hardik Pandya stepped up and delivered the final punch. He cantered 31 runs off 19 balls to take Mumbai to 176 runs in their 20 overs.
Mumbai’s innings was derailed by Murugan Ashwin who conceded just 25 runs off his four overs and picked up crucial wickets of Suryakumar Yadav ab