Kings XI make Indians work hard for victory
Shikhar Dhawan scored an important half century to help the Mumbai Indians secure a tense 4 wicket victory over the Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling game which went down to the last over at the Brabourne Stadium.
The winning runs came from a wide with 3 balls to spare after the Kings XI put up a spirited performance after they suffered another frustrating game with the bat to set the Indians a target of only 164 to chase for victory.
The Indians got of to an assured start with Sachin Tendulkar and Dhawan slowly building the foundations of another potentially big partnership until Tendulkar suffered a rare failure.
After scoring a half century in three consecutive games Tendulkar lost his wicket cheaply as he only managed to score 110 runs before he was caught by Irfan Pathan at long off to give Piyush Chawla the important breakthrough.
Dhawan and Kieron Pollard responded well to the loss of Tendulkar building a partnership of 40 before the Indians suffered a stutter losing two quick wickets in the space of 11 balls.
Pollard was the first to be dismissed thanks to a fine catch by Ravi Bopara out on the boundary before Dhawan threw away his wicket after passing his half century to leave the Indians 91-3.
After losing his opening partner early in the innings Dhawan played an excellent innings before miss judging a slow ball from Bopara which he hit high into the air allowing Shaun Marsh to take an easy catch at long off.
With the lost of two key wickets the tension started to mount inside the Brabourne Stadium as the Kings XI looked to take control of the game after the Indians had looked like they would cruise to victory.
The home side lost Ambati Rayudu (9) cheaply but with Saurabh Tiwary and Dwayne Bravo at the crease a victory for the Indians still seemed the most likely outcome.
With the run rate creeping up Bravo smashed Bopara for a huge six over long on to relive some of the tension which was building but Bopara bounced back with the very next delivery floating in a slower ball which Bravo tried to block but chipped it into the air for Bopara to take an easy catch.
The Indians now needed another 31 runs from just 18 balls to achieve their sixth victory in this tournament but Tiwary never panicked as he played an important innings of 31 to see the Indians to the finishing line.
Having been put into bat the Kings XI suffered another terrible start losing opener Ravi Bopara (1) in the second over when he played and missed a straight delivery from Zaheer Khan and was trapped LBW.
The early loss of Boparaís wickets meant Marsh and Mavinder Bisla had to rebuild the Kings XIís innings
Marsh, who was in the line up because skipper Kumar Sangakkara was serving a one game suspension played some exceptional cricket shot hitting the ball straight down the ground as the partnership with Bisla grew.
The pairís contribution had reached 35 when Bisla picked out Khan at mid off to give Lasith Malinga a wicket in his first over which left the Kings XI 40-2.
After a poor start the Kings XI had responded really well thanks to Marsh and contributions from Bisla (11) and Mahela Jayawardene (20), but, as the case as been on a number of occasions this year the visitors threw away a potential match winning position.
In the space of 5 balls the Kings XI slumped from 89-2 to 92-4 after Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh (2) were both dismissed to as their middle order stumbled once again.
Marsh past his half century with a boundary through cover point before he was bowled by Malinga in the 15th over after the Sri Lankan had struck with the previous ball to remove Irfan Pathan (18) leaving the Kings XI 124-6.
Malinga struck again in his next over to claim his fourth wicket of the night after bowling Karan Goel (1) to further restrict the Kings XI after they had lost Brett Lee (3) in the previous over.
The wickets continued to fall as Khan bowled Vikramjeet Malik (6) but a quickfire 22 from Piyush Chawla helped the Kings XI limp to 163 all out after Chawla was run out from the last ball of the innings.