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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL PHOTOS: Krunal's assault keeps Mumbai in play-offs race

IPL PHOTOS: Krunal's assault keeps Mumbai in play-offs race

Last updated on: May 05, 2018 02:54 IST

IMAGE: Krunal Pandya, left, and Rohit Sharma celebrate victory. Photograph: BCCI

Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya's late cameos saw Mumbai Indians snatch a thrilling six-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab to keep their hopes alive in the Indian Premier League, in Indore, on Friday.


Captain Rohit stroked an unbeaten 24 from just 15 balls, while Krunal smashed an entertaining 31 not out from 12 balls, as the duo shared a match-winning unbroken stand of 56 runs from 21 balls for the fifth wicket to take Mumbai to victory, with one over to spare.

 

Mumbai's thrilling chase came after the heroics of Chris Gayle, who continued his explosive run in the IPL with a 50 off 40 balls to propel Kings XI Punjab to 174 for six.

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians celebrate the wicket of Chris Gayle. Photograph: BCCI

The much-needed victory pushed Mumbai up to fifth from the bottom in the points table while Kings remained fourth after five wins from eight games.

Mumbai, who have now won three out of their nine games, are tied on six points with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals.

Suryakumar Yadav (57 off 52) too made a significant contribution in the successful chase while Hardik (23 off 13) kept Mumbai going in the middle overs before Rohit and Krunal got the job done.

Krunal Pandya

IMAGE: Krunal Pandya hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Gayle collected just one run off the first eight balls he faced before racing to his half-century from 38 balls, his fourth 50-plus score in five innings of the IPL so far.

Gayle and Lokesh Rahul (24 off 20) gave KXIP another cracking start as the destructive duo shared a 54-run stand off 40 balls.

Rahul too was in sublime touch and looked set for a big score. He got the innings a move on with couple of lofted cover drives that went all the way into the stands.

Chris Gayle

IMAGE: Chris Gayle hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

At the other end, Gayle got going by smashing Pandya for three fours in the fourth over. The 38-year-old was on song, having got a much needed week's break in an otherwise hectic tournament.

Two overs later, Gayle pulled a short ball off Mitchel McClenaghan out of the Holkar Stadium before he was caught by Yadav off Ben Cutting.

Yuvraj Singh (14) made a disappointing comeback after being dropped in the previous game. This time the luck was also not on Yuvraj's side he got run out after a mix-up with Karun Nair, who stroked 23 from 12 balls.

The home team was well-placed to post a big total after being 78 for one in 10 overs.

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians celebrate the wicket of KL Rahul. Photograph: BCCI

However, KXIP lost their way in the middle overs with Nair and Axar Patel (13) getting out after promising starts.

The Mumbai bowlers were able to keep things tight at the ends, especially Jasprit Bumrah especially, who conceded just 19 runs in four overs.

If it was not for Marcus Stoinis, KXIP would have ended up way short of the expected mark. His unbeaten 15-ball 29 ensured his team reached close to 180.

The 22-run last over from Pandya made all the difference with Stoinis smashing him for two sixes and as many fours.

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