Parthiv Patel, reprieved as many as three times, rode his luck to score a blistering 81 and with Ambati Rayudu (65) helped Mumbai Indians get back to winning ways against the struggling Kings XI Punjab on Monday.
For Kings XI, who now have just one win from six matches, the struggle only became worse. In their previous losses, Punjab’s batting has been the weak aspect but their fielding and bowling also came apart as the defending champions scored at will.
After KXIP openers Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra perished cheaply, Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell gave them a glimmer of hope with a fighting third-wicket partnership of 89 off 61 balls, keeping the side in the hunt chasing 190.
But MI pacers Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah not only soaked up the pressure but kept their wits about to seal Mumbai’s third win in seven matches.
With 69 needed off 30 balls, the focus was very much on Glenn Maxwell, who reached his first fifty after 34 innings, and Marsh to help KXIP across the line. However, Southee had Marsh caught at deep square leg for 45 and Bumrah had Maxwell playing on to the stumps to peg Punjab back.
Pacer Sandeep Sharma again provided the initial breakthrough for Kings XI, having in-form rival skipper Rohit Sharma caught for naught.
But what happened after that was an insipid display by the Kings XI fielders as chance after chance slipped through their hands. Both Parthiv Pael and Ambati Rayudu were given lives and both punished Kings XI with a swashbuckling 137-run second-wicket partnership off 86 balls.
Patel’s first ‘life’ came when Mitchell Johnson, struggling for wickets, overstepped on the third ball off the sixth over. He was later to survive a stumping and also another dropped chance.
At 31, and having played for almost a decade-and-a-half, Patel is experienced enough to make these chances count. Anything and everything that came in his arc was dispatched to the boundary with disdain. He started by carting Johnson for two fours in the second over. By the time Johnson had Patel caught for 81 off 58 balls, the left-hander had hit 10 boundaries and two sixes and the total had swelled to 180 for 4 in 18.4 overs.
At the other end, Rayudu also was given a life as Axar Patel spilled a simple chance off Pradeep Sahu. Later, Jos Buttler’s cameo of 34 off 13 balls ensured that the scoreboard was kept ticking.
Sandeep Sharma was again at his best, giving away just 20 runs and snaring one wicket in four overs. However, it was Mohit Sharma who did the maximum damage and also prevented MI from going past 200. His last over went for just four runs as he finished with 3 for 38 amid the carnage.