IPL 2018: Hardik Pandya showers praises on KL Rahul

IPL 2018 Live Score MI vs KXIP at Wankhede IPL Playoffs spot up for grabs

Batting first MI posted a competitive total of 186 on board losing 8 wickets.

MI got off to a flying start, reaching 57-1 after five overs but they lost three wickets in quick succession, including two off successive balls, against the pace bowling of Andrew Tye (4-16) before Pollard (50 off 23 balls) and Krunal Pandya (32 off 23 balls) resurrected the stuttering innings.

That was the situation after the Mumbai Indians-Kings XI Punjab match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

Chasing 187 to win, KL Rahul once again did the bulk of scoring as he scored 60-ball 94 and blasted 10 fours and three sixes in his. In a match which boasted of some incredible batting performances, Bumrah took home the accolades. While this tradition goes back to the football games but it is for the first time that any such thing has been witnessed in cricket. After a great start, with 5 wins from their first 6 games, they are now sixth in the table with a poor net run rate of -0.490. Then Pollard scored a half-century in 23 balls.

Lokesh Rahul's sixth half century almost ended Mumbai's run before fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (3-15) turned the match on its head in his return spell and restricted Punjab to 5-183. 5 teams are contesting for the remaining 2 spots of the Play Offs and neither of the two teams would be in a mood to take it lightly at this moment.

Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan then kept his nerve in the last over and despite conceding 13 runs, the left-arm seamer ensured Mumbai climbed to fourth in the table with 12 points.

He dismissed Ishan Kishan with another knuckle-ball before having Suryakumar Yadav caught behind with his very next delivery. That approach, however, resulted in four wickets in five overs and a significant loss of momentum. A boost up the order wasn't as successful for Marcus Stoinis who fell to a rampant Bumrah short ball.

While trying to match the increasing run rate, in-form Rahul was also dismissed by Bumrah in the 19th over. In comparison, Chris Gayle's 368 runs is nearly 300 runs behind Rahul's tally, with right-hander accumulating 652 runs from 13 attempts and snatching the Orange Cap from Delhi's Risabh Pant.

Punjab needed 17 runs in the last over and McCleneghan bowled the last over, which was a thriller and Mumbai clinched the victory from Punjab by three runs. The role of leggie Mayank Markande (14 wickets) will also be crucial along with that of Krunal Pandya, KXIP too have slumped in the latter half of the T20 League and need to improve in all departments.

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