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How And Where Mumbai Lost The Plot

April 23, 2023 09:43 IST
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IMAGE: Sam Curran and Harpreet Bhatia put on 92 runs for the 5th wicket to revive Punjab's innings. Photograph: BCCI

IPL 2023 keeps getting better and better.

Most matches this season have seen scores of around 170 and some over 200.

If the standard of batting has improved, so has the bowling.

Players are heroes one day, anti-heroes on another.

And one Saturday evening, under the Mumbai night sky, next to the Arabian Sea, with the 'God of Cricket' in attendance, Mumbai Indians were done in by Punjab Kings' brilliance and resilience.

Punjab turned the game around not once, but twice.

Put in to bat by MI, Punjab lost an early wicket but Prabhsimran Singh and Atharva Taide put on a mini-fightback with a 47-run stand. Arjun Tendulkar then added his second IPL wicket after having Prabhsimran LBW with a deadly yorker.

Punjab had to rebuild again but even before they could, veteran leggie Piyush Chawla struck twice in an over -- he first had Liam Livingstone stumped by Ishan Kishan and two balls later, a well-set Taide was bowled out for 29.

With 10 overs to go and the scoreboard reading 83 for 4, Captain Sam Curran had to take charge.

He teamed up with Harpreet Bhatia as they started off watchfully before teeing off.


IMAGE: Arjun Tendulkar was smashed for 31 runs in the 16th over. Photograph: BCCI

They scored just 22 from overs 11 to 14 and they needed to pull off something special to at least put on a challenging score if not a winning one. And they did, with a breathtaking 92 run stand.

Curran clobbered Hrithik Shokeen for a six over mid-wicket to take 13 runs in the 15th over.

The complexion of the match changed when Arjun bowled a series of bad deliveries -- full and fast and in the arc of the batters -- and both Curran and Harpreet made merry as they clobbered 31 runs in the over.

This was just the beginning, Jofra Archer and Cameron Green were then taken to the cleaners by the duo and even though Bhatia was dismissed by Green for 41 off 28, Jitesh Sharma gave his captain company by smashing four big ones.

Curran led the carnage as MI bowlers were clobbered for 109 runs off the last 6 overs to take Punjab to 214 for 8.

Getting to even 150 looked like a distant dream at one stage, but Curran, Bhatia and Jitesh with his 7-ball 25 cameo put Punjab in the game and how!

IMAGE: Arshdeep celebrates bowling Impact Sub Nehal Wadhera, his second wicket in the 20th over. Photograph: BCCI

Chasing 215 for the win, MI looked good for the chase with Rohit Sharma and Cameron Green posting an 84 run stand for the second wicket before Livingstone took out the MI captain for 44.

Suryakumar Yadav and Green looked in ominous touch as they belted the PBKS bowlers at will -- SKY reminding us of the shots he has in his arsenal to tear down any attack.

Green's innings was also full of magical strokeplay with odd well-timed classic drives. He got to his 50 with a six off Rahul Chahar in the 15th over. He was dismissed next over by fellow Aussie -- pacer Nathan Ellis getting the crucial breakthrough.

With 40 needed off the last three overs and SKY and Tim David in the middle, MI were always in the game.

That is when Punjab's trump card, the calm Arshdeep Singh was brought back in the attack. Even though he was smashed for a six by David, Arshdeep kept calm and used his smarts three balls later, bowling a low full toss that Suryakumar flicked straight to mid-wicket.

David and Tilak Verma then took 15 runs off Ellis in the penultimate over before Arshdeep proved again that he is the king of the death overs.

He cleaned up Verma and Impact Sub Nehal Wadhera off back-to-back deliveries to successfully defending 16 runs in the 20th and hand Punjab to a 13 run win.

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