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Ashutosh Or SKY: Who Batted Best? Vote!

April 19, 2024 10:16 IST
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IMAGE: Suryakumar Yadav top scored for the Mumbai Indians as MI handed hosts Punjab Kings a nine run loss. Photograph: BCCI

Mumbai Indians beat Punjab Kings to pick up their third win of the ongoing Indian Premier League season.

While Suryakumar Yadav top scored for Mumbai to set up a winning score, some quick fire knocks from the Punjab batters almost snatched a win from the visitors in Mullanpur.

The best knocks of the contest:


Suryakumar Yadav

SKY proved his class once again, anchoring the MI innings with a well-constructed 78 off 53 balls against PBKS on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

Batting first on a sluggish wicket at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh international cricket stadium in Mullanpur, MI struggled for timing early on. But Surya, after a cautious start (34 balls for his 50), found his rhythm later in the innings, propelling his team to their highest total at the venue so far (192/7). This was the highest IPL total at this venue.

Coming in at number three after Ishan Kishan's early dismissal, Surya stitched together a crucial 81 run partnership with Rohit Sharma (36 off 35). This partnership laid the foundation for the rest of the MI batting order, providing much needed stability against a disciplined Punjab bowling attack.

Fans were treated to a special encounter as Surya went head-to-head with Kagiso Rabada. The batter and the pacer displayed their skills on a challenging pitch, with Surya's calculated strokeplay countering Rabada's fiery pace.

Once Rohit departed, Surya took control of the innings, scoring at a brisk pace (strike rate of 147.17) in the latter overs. He smashed seven boundaries and three maximums, injecting much-needed momentum into the MI batting order.

Rohit Sharma

In a landmark 250th IPL appearance, Rohit etched his name further into MI history.

He became the franchise's leading six hitter, surpassing Kieron Pollard's long-standing record with a powerful display of strokeplay.

Despite facing limited strike opportunities (25 balls), Rohit showcased his prime form, striking two fours and three sixes at a healthy strike rate of 144.

However, his innings wasn't without its challenges. He narrowly survived an LBW call through DRS and even took a blow to the helmet attempting a paddle sweep. His knock ended in the 12th over for 36 runs, becoming only the second player (after M S Dhoni) to score on his 250th IPL appearance for the same team.

Tilak Varma

While Suryakumar anchored the Mumbai innings, a special mention deserves to go to young left-hander Tilak Varma. Coming in on a sluggish wicket, Varma wasted no time in finding his rhythm. He smashed some lusty blows on the leg side, scoring a quickfire 34 off 18 deliveries.

Varma's knock was crucial in propelling Mumbai's total towards a defendable score. He remained unbeaten till the last ball, showcasing composure and power-hitting beyond his years.

While Mumbai might have fallen short of the 200 run mark, Varma's late flourish ensured they had a fighting total on the board.

Shashank Singh


With Punjab reeling at 14/4 in 2.1 overs, Shashank, coming in to bat at No. 6, brought some life back into their chase. After getting of the mark with a single, Shashank found the boundary ropes on just his third delivery. Using Gerald Coetzee's pace, Shashank slashed it past backward point to collect his first boundary of the evening.

Not taking too many risks, Shashank steadied Punjab's chase alongside Harpreet Brar. He found the occasional shot to keep the run rate in check. Picking up Akash Madhwal, Shashank once again found the boundary ropes with a lofted shot over extra cover. He hammered his first six of the evening in the seventh over as he welcomed Shreyas Gopal into the attack with a maximum.

After losing Harpreet in the same over, Shashank switched gears. Upping the ante, Shashank hammered Gopal once again as he struck two maximums on the trot. After smashing the first one into the sight screen, Shashank charged down the track to go aerial once again and clear the boundary ropes.

With Punjab losing another one -- their sixth, in the 10th over -- Shashank was joined by Ashutosh Sharma and the pair threatened to take the game away from MI.

But Mumbai brought Bumrah back into the attack and he ended Shashank's knock in the 13th over. Striking at an impressive rate of 164, Shashank's 25-ball 41 set up Punjab's fightback. On a day his colleagues fell for single digits, Shashank smashed two boundaries and three sixes to breathe life into Punjab's innings.

Ashutosh Sharma

The Mumbai bowlers had rattled the Punjab line-up, with the hosts reeling at 77/5 in 9.2 overs. When Ashutosh joined Shashank in the middle, the Punjab side began to believe once again.

The pair have scored in tandem and troubled opposing teams in the past and they threatened to pull off another caper in Mullanpur.

After getting off the mark with a quick single off Akash Madhwal, Ashutosh got down to business quickly as he hammered Madhwal for a maximum off only the second ball he faced. A loose delivery from Madhwal, and Sharma made the most of it as he sent it soaring over the fine leg ropes and into the stands.

In the next over, Sharma took the attack to Romario Shepherd, smashing him for a boundary past backward point and then pulled out the helicopter shot to send it over deep square leg.

He collected his next maximum with a smashing shot over fine leg to hammer Hardik Pandya for the six. Though Shashank fell in the 13th over, Sharma along with Harpreet Brar took Punjab to the brink of victory. The pair added 57 off 32 for the eighth wicket.

Sharma even dispatched Bumrah for a maximum, off a free hit though, and he did it with a smile, knowing he was facing the best.

With the boundaries flowing, Punjab had quickly forgotten their torrid start. With the hosts needing 52 off 30, Sharma produced a punishing over, hammering Madhwal for 24 runs. He brought up his 23-ball half-century with a thumping six over long-off, then hammered the Mumbai pacer for another on the trot as he reverse scooped the second one over third.

With Mumbai bringing Coetzee back in the 18th, Sharma failed to finish the job as he pulled the ball straight to Mohammad Nabi.

Scoring at a blistering rate of 217.85, Sharma's 28-ball 61 was peppered with two boundaries and seven maximums.

He became only the sixth player to score an IPL fifty at No. 8 or below.

MI Vs PBKS: Who Played The Best Knock? Vote!

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