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It was the day of underdogs at Chennai as Punjab Kings, badly in search of a morale-boosting win, finally played the perfect match to beat hot favourites Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets with 14 balls to spare.
Punjab has a much better head to head record with Mumbai Indians than teams like CSK, KKR or RCB. With this emphatic win, they are 13-14 against their adversary.
Punjab skipper KL Rahul won the toss and surprisingly decided to bowl. However, Mumbai could not take advantage of batting first and struggled right from the outset. They barely managed 25 in the powerplay and the lack of form in their middle-order was brutally exposed by Punjab.
D Kock once again looked out of touch and so was Ishan Kishan after scratching around for 17 balls, unable to adjust to the sticky pitch. The only partnership of substance came from Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav as they added 79 in 9 overs and adapted superbly to the conditions. Both players played sensibly rotating the strike and taking full toll of the rare loose balls. Even on this slowish pitch Rohit played a superb inning of 63 runs of 52 balls and looked at ease trying to bat through the innings. Surya (33) played few gorgeous shots before he was caught by Gayle of Rahul Chahar and his dismissal triggered more worries as the Pandya brothers fell cheaply both caught in the deep unable to adjust their game to the pitch requirements.
Finally, Rohit after a fine knock went for a hoick off Shami’s full toss and deposited to Fabian Allen at deep midwicket boundary. Pollard (16) remained not out but could not force the pace in slog overs as Mumbai settled for a poor 131/6 in 20 overs.
Punjab bowling was excellent right from start. Their think tank must have worked overtime to plan their attack in these conditions and it worked wonders against Mumbai. Henriques and Hooda were excellent in powerplays followed by Bishnoi (2/21), Shami (2/21) and Arshdeep 1/28.
Chasing down 132, the Punjab openers Rahul and Mayank took the right approach, playing straight, putting away the loose balls, rotating the strike and playing the bowlers to their merits. They scored an impressive 45 in the powerplay, setting up the match well. After Mayank (25) got out, there was no panic as the asking rate was under control and both Rahul and Gayle played sensibly and scoring off loose balls and backed proper cricket shots. Even with a conservative approach both batters Rahul (60 no off 52, 3 sixes) and Gayle (43no off 35, 2 sixes) played some glorious shots and hit 5 sixes in all. They won the match by 9 wickets in a canter.
The bowling apart from the two spinners looked below par with Boult and Bumrah never came close to get breakthroughs.
This is a massive morale-boosting win for Punjab after some mediocre outings and should now set them on their way to better results. For Mumbai, they have massive worries with their batting with only Rohit and Surya batting in emphatic fashion and the rest struggling to put runs on the board.
Punjab Kings won by 9 wkts
MI 131/6 (20 Ovs)
Suryakumar Yadav 33(27)
Ravi Bishnoi 2/21
PBKS 132/1 (17.4 Ovs)
Rahul(c & wk) 60(52)
Rahul Chahar 1/19
The Punjab win brought out a happy tweet from their popular owner Priety Zinta , who went quiet after their first game as Punjab were losing matches