Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) handed a seven-wicket drubbing to the in-form Mumbai Indians (MI) in match no. 43 of IPL 2016 in Visakhapatnam on Friday. The hosts never looked like they were in the game as the Lions from Punjab ran riot.
Murali Vijay and Wriddhiman Saha batted superbly to make sure that their side go over the line. KXIP chased down a paltry target of 125 runs with more than three overs to spare.
Both Vijay and Saha scored a half-century each to guide KXIP to their fourth win of the season. This emphatic victory helped KXIP to move up from the floor of the IPL 2016 points table.
The wicket was difficult to bat on. The ball was gripping the surface and the batsmen were finding it difficult to time the ball. The visitors even lost Hashim Amla early on during the run chase. After that it was a Vijay and Saha show in Visakhapatnam.
Vijay and Saha played textbook cricket shots and took no risk right throughout their outstanding partnership of 116 runs from just 88 balls. It was wonderful to see the KXIP captain bat right throughout the run chase. The way he orchestrated the run chase was commendable. Vijay remained unbeaten on 54 runs at the end.
However, Saha was cleaned up by Mitchell McClenaghan towards the end of the run chase. Glenn Maxwell's horrible run of form continued as he too was dismissed for a golden duck.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians had won the toss and Rohit Sharma decided to bat first. The Mumbai Indians skipper completely misread the pitch and the conditions and they struggled right throughout the innings.
They lost wickets early as Unmukt Chand and Ambati Rayudu both, walked back to the pavilion without even troubling the scorers.
Yet again their opening combination has failed and Mumbai Indians management and the captain, really need to work on this issue.
The skipper could add only 15 runs to his tally in this match against KXIP, when his side needed a big score from him.
Surprisingly, Rohit averages more than 100 when Mumbai Indians have won their matches in IPL 2016 (only when Rohit has fired at the top of the order). He averages only 17 when they have lost and that is not something that the Sachin Tendulkar-mentored side will want, as they just have two more games left to make it to IPL 2016 playoffs.
For KXIP, Marcus Stoinis was the pick of the bowlers. His figures read - 4-0-15-4. These are rare figures in this format of the game. Sandeep and Mohit Sharma bowled extremely well too. These three seamers did the job for Kings XI Punjab. They just did not allow Mumbai Indians to get away. Rohit Sharma & co. could only score 22 runs in the Powerplay overs.
Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya added some valuable runs in the middle overs. That helped Mumbai Indians to somehow crawl to a total of 124 for the loss of nine wickets.
Mumbai Indians now will have to win both their remaining matches to qualify for IPL 2016 playoffs.