Mumbai beat Punjab by six wickets to register their third win in nine IPL 2018 games and keep their slim play-off hopes alive in Indore on Friday.
Needing 175 to win, Mumbai adopted a brilliant strategy and started their chase cautiously with an eye on not losing too many wickets. After the Powerplay overs, MI’s batsmen picked up and helped their team record a great win. Punjab suffered their third defeat in eight matches.
The entire batting unit came to the party for Mumbai – with the exception of Evin Lewis (10) – and did the job in this must-win contest. Suryakumar Yadav top-scored with 57 off 42 balls. Ishan Kishan (25 off 19 balls), Hardik Pandya (23 off 13 balls), Rohit Sharma (24* off 15 balls), Krunal Pandya (31* off 12 balls) all played their part to perfection as MI chased down the target with six balls to go.
A couple of overs back, Rohit had become the first Indian cricketer to score 300 sixes in all T20s after hitting Mujeeb Ur Rahman for his first maximum in the 17th over. Later in the over, Rohit hit another. With those sixes, he joined Chris Gayle (842), Kieron Pollard (525), Brendon McCullum (445), Dwayne Smith (367), Shane Watson (357) and David Warner (319) in the 300 sixes or more club.
Earlier in the day after Mumbai elected to bowl in Punjab’s adopted home for the rest of the season, Chris Gayle became the eighth batsman to score 300 or more in IPL 2018.
Ahead of the contest, Gayle was on 252 runs in 4 matches, and continuing his great run for Punjab he scored a 40-ball 50 to reach the 300-run mark.
With his third fifty in his fifth match to go with a century, the big West Indian joined the likes of Ambati Rayudu (391), Rishabh Pant (375), Virat Kohli (349), MS Dhoni (329), Kane Williamson (322), Shane Watson (317) and Shreyas Iyer (307).
The Punjab innings lost a bit of momentum after Gayle’s departure but Marcus Stoinis struck a 15-ball 29* towards the end – that saw him hit two sixes and two fours in the last over bowled by Hardik – to help his team reach a competitive 174/6.
Sadly in a reversal of fortune later in the match, Krunal and Rohit combined to take 20 runs off the 18th over bowled by Stoinis in Mumbai’s chase to take the game completely away from the hosts.