Switch-hit was made popular by Kevin Pietersen, but it was Robin Peterson who used it to telling effect against Piyush Chawla and the Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Purists' derision towards the innovation and the presence of the world's most technical correct batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, in their ranks be damned, the Mumbai Indians grabbed two much-needed points thanks to the South African southpaw's adherence to the unconventional.
Rohit Sharma had practically signalled the end with an almighty roar aimed heavenwards when he succumbed after hitting a whirlwind 29-ball 50. The equation was 34 off 17 when the Mumbai batsman left; it became 32 off 12 after Parvinder Awana's double delight of an over that also removed MI skipper Harbhajan Singh.Then came Chawla's over, and Peterson's blitzkrieg. Switch-hit for four. Repeat. A maximum from the normal stance. An attempted switch-hit again, but only for a single. By the time Ambati Rayudu finished off the leggie with back-to-back maximums, the wind had been knocked out of Kings XI Punjab's sails.
MI were given an ideal start by Sachin Tendulkar (34) and James Franklin (22), who added 52 runs in the first seven overs. The duo, it seemed, had planned to stay till the end but Azhar Mahmood struck two quick blows to put MI on the back-foot. Awana then removed Rohit and Harbhajan to put MI under pressure. Earlier, David Hussey and David Miller showed urgency to not only post a staggering run rate of 11.63 in the last five overs, but also gave the hosts a fighting chance to win.