Images from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings, in Chennai, on Friday.
Skipper KL Rahul produced a match-winning fifty to steer Punjab Kings to a thumping nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians, at the M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, on Friday.
Chasing a modest 132 for victory on a tricky Chepauk track, openers Rahul (60 off 52) and Mayank Agarwal (25 off 20) gave Punjab Kings a brisk start, putting up 45 in the Powerplay overs, before Rahul Chahar ended the flourishing partnership, dismissing Agarwal in the eighth over.
However, Chris Gayle came in and fired on all cylinders in a 79-run partnership with Rahul to take Punjab home with 14 deliveries to spare.
It was a wonderful turnaround for Punjab after the nine-wicket defeat to SunRisers Hyderabad in their previous match.
They moved up to No. 5 on the eight-team table with 4 points from 5 matches.
Mumbai Indians are a rung above with the same number of points from as many matches.
Earlier, skipper Rohit Sharma scored his first half-century of the season to enable Mumbai Indians recover from the loss of two early wickets and post 131 for 6.
The skipper went on the offensive after a slow start to score 63 off 52 balls, and in the company of Suryakumar Yadav, who scored 33 off 27, revived the defending champions from a precarious 26 for 2 in the seventh over.
The pair added 79 runs for the third wicket before Kieron Pollard chipped in with an unbeaten 16 off 12 balls towards the end to give Mumbai some runs on the board to defend.
Pacer Mohammed Shami and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, playing his first game this season, had best figures of 2 for 21, while Deepak Hooda was Punjab’s most economical bowler with 1 for 15 in 3 overs.
Rahul and Agarwal got the Punjab Kings underway, playing watchfully against Trent Boult in the first over, which fetched a solitary run.
However, Rahul went on the offensive in the next, hitting Krunal Pandya for two fours before Agarwal got a six as 15 runs came off the second over.
The opening pair continued to dominate the bowlers, garnering 45 runs from the first six overs. Rahul scored 24 off 21 and Agarwal 20 off 16 of those runs to put Punjab high in the saddle.
However, right-arm leg break bowler Rahul Chahar returned to bowl his second over, after conceding three runs in the first, and ended the partnership with his first delivery.
He tossed the ball up and Agarwal tried to send it over long-on, where Suryakumar Yadav ran in from long-on and took the offering.
Agarwal was out for 25 off 20 balls, which included 4 fours and a six. Four runs came from the over and Punjab Kings were 56-1 after 8 overs.
They were 62 for 1 after 10 overs, with Rahul on 33 and Chris Gayle 3 batting. The pair brought up the 100 of the innings and their 50-runpartnership in the 16th over as they got close to Mumbai’s total.
Boult came in for the 18th over and Gayle hit him straight way for 6. After a single, it was Rahul who took on the bowler and hit another six. A four off the fourth balls sealed a magnificent victory.
Punjab Kings won by nine wickets. Rahul was unbeaten on 60 0ff 52, while Gayle played his part scoring 43 off 35.
Earlier, Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul won the toss and elected to field.
Mumbai Indians went in with an unchanged eleven while Punjab made one change, Ravi Bishnoi coming in for Murugan Ashwin.
Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma opened for Mumbai Indians as Moises Henriques got the bowling underway for Punjab Kings and conceded just four from the over.
Punjab introduced spin in the next over with Deepak Hooda. The right-arm off break bowler struck with his last delivery of the over, having de Kock caught by Henriques.
The gamble paid off as de Kock danced down the pitch to score big, but could only send it high to mid-on, where Henriques made no mistake. de Kock scored just 3 off 5 balls and Mumbai Indians were 7-1 in the second over.
Runs were had to come by for the defending champions as only 17 came off the first five overs, both Rohit and Ishan Kishan unable to settle down.
Mohammed Shami was introduced in the sixth over and conceded just 4 as Mumbai Indians finished the powerplay with only 21-1, the lowest this year.
Another change in bowling saw Ravi Bishnoi come into the attack in the seventh over and he gave Punjab another wicket.
The right-arm leg break bowler sent down a googly, which Kishan outside-edged to wicketkeeper K L Rahul and was out after struggling at the wicket for 6 off 17 balls.
Mumbai were 26 for 2 after seven overs.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav went about steadying the innings and took Mumbai to 49 for 2 at the half-way mark.
Rohit had scored 36 of those runs off 32 balls, including a six off Fabian Allen in the tenth over, and Yadav 4 off 6.
Rohit then pulled Hooda over mid-wicket for his second six as ten runs came off the 12th over and Rohit got to 46 off 38 balls. He brought up his 40th IPL 50 off 40 balls with a four off Bishnoi in the 14th over, from which Mumbai got 12 runs to get to 88 for 2.
Yadav too got into his stride and took on the bowlers. But just when he was set for a big knock, he was dismissed by Bishnoi.
Looking to reverse sweep a top spinner from bowler over backward point, he got a top edge, which was well-taken by Chris Gayle.
Yadav was out for 33 off 27 balls, which included 3 fours and a six, as Mumbai were reduced to 105-3 in the 17th over.
Rohit departed soon after, hitting a low full toss from Shami which was taken by Allen at deep square leg. He was out after a good hand of 63 off 52 balls, including 5 fours and 2 sixes, which helped Mumbai recover from the loss of two early wickets.
Hardik Pandya came and returned quickly after being caught by Hooda off Arshdeep Singh for 1 in the 19th over, which fetched 11 runs, Kieron Pollard hitting Arshdeep Singh for a six off the first delivery.
Mumbai Indians were 125 for 5, and hoping Pollard and new batsman Krunal Pandya would add substantially to the total.
But Krunal fell to the penultimate delivery of the innings, out for 3 off 3 balls, as Mumbai Indians ended up with 131 for 6 wickets.
Pollard was unbeaten on 16 off 12, including a six.
Punjab did well to restrict Mumbai in the death overs, taking four wickets and conceding just 34 runs in the last five.