IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians survive Rahul blitz to stay alive

IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians survive Rahul blitz to stay alive

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has termed the IPL game against Kings XI Punjab, which they won by three runs, as "perfect".After a brilliant batting display on Wednesday, Mumbai bowlers managed to restrict Punjab to 183/5 to bag two crucial points and stay alive in the league.

The Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab faced off in an attempt to clinch a berth in the IPL 2018 playoffs. The efforts of Rahul (94) and Tye (4-16) went in vain once again as KXIP couldn't cross the line yesterday.

Tye struck on the very first ball of his spell with a well-disguised knuckle ball that broke through the defences of Lewis before removing Yadav and wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan (20 off 12; 4×1, 6×2) off consecutive deliveries in his second over.

Victory for Kings XI will take them to 14 points, but not guarantee a playoff spot just yet.

Kings XI Punjab has great star players like Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, and Marcus Stonis, who can damage the opponent and change the game at any moment.

Andrew Tye (4-16) raised his wickets tally to 24 to be the leading wicket-taker in this season as Mumbai struggled to 71-4 in the ninth over. Chasing 187 to win, Rahul blasted 10 fours and three sixes in his 60-ball 94-run innings and shared a 111-run second wicket partnership with Aaron Finch (46) taking his team nearly to the brink of winning the match. After enduring the worst first half of an IPL season in their history, MI have bounced back in royal style to show everyone that the defending champions are still alive and kicking this year.

Andrew Tye led KXIP's comeback with the ball, picking up three quick wickets.

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In fact, every time Rohit Sharma required to pull things back for Mumbai Indians, he turned to Bumrah on Wednesday. Kings XI's openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are massive threats, especially at a small ground like the Wankhede Stadium, but break through them and there's not much left.

Apart from Pollard's 50, Krunal Pandya's 23-ball 32 was another innings that gave hope to the hosts.

Bumrah finished with 3 for 15, but the coup de grace came in his final over, the penultimate of the game.

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A mere 207 runs from 12 outings and 291 points on the IPL Moneyball Impact Index neither justify his reputation as a batsman, position as the team captain nor his ₹15 crore salary deal with the IPL Mumbai franchisee.

Rahul had a chance to grab the Orange Cap for most runs from on Monday when KXIP played Royal Challengers Bangalore, but could only add 21 to his tally.

Pitch: The Wankhede pitch has produced some good game of cricket this season, so we can expect that even this game will produce 165-170 runs. Both teams face a must-win scenario and that, in turn, could see the victor take a significant advantage in improving their qualification chances for the play-offs.

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