Before retiring from the Indian T20 domestic league, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist managed to tick one more box in his stats. With Mumbai Indians needing 51 off the last over, Gilly decided to bowl and give the responsibility of keeping to Praveen Kumar. And, the veteran just needed one ball to warp up the match — Harbhajan Singh’s slog found Gurkeerat Mann at long on. This could well be Gilly's one and only wicket in his career, and the Aussie celebrated it with a mix of bhangra and gangnam style.
Mumbai came out worst in this inconsequential clash. Not only did the team suffer a 50-run loss, a side strain to Dhawal Kulkarni meant the medium-pacer would be doubtful for the all-important play-off match on May 21. The chase never took off, as Praveen snared Glenn Maxwell in the first over. Thereafter, MI batsmen could never find any fluency, and it was more of a stutter as batsmen failed to build on the starts.
If Mumbai thought this game would be a walk in the park, they were in for a surprise. Firstly, their fielding standards slipped and secondly, Shaun Marsh and Azhar Mahmood came out all guns blazing to propel KXIP to a highly competitive score of 183. This after MI’s Australian import and debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile and Himachal Pradesh's Rishi Dhawan provided early breakthroughs.
Dhawan bowled his heart out and could have easily ended his home match with three wickets but for two dropped catches in the space of five balls.
Mahmood was dropped by Coulter-Nile at backward fine leg off the first ball of the 14th over and five balls later, Harbhajan failed to take a straightforward catch of Marsh. Kings, at this point, were 108 for 2 and Mahmood (80) and Marsh (63) ensured that MI paid for the mistakes.
Just before Dhawan's over, Mahmood, who had been the more aggressive of the two, took on Lasith Malinga, carting the bowler for a six and three four. As many as 20 runs came off Malinga’s 13th over as KXIP gained momentum. The next six over cost MI 65 runs as the KXIP duo added 148 runs for the third wicket.