IPL: Mumbai beat Punjab by 25 runs for third win 

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Mohali, April 26 (IANS) Mumbai Indians defeated Kings XI Punjab by 25 runs to bag their third victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here on Monday.

Mumbai rode on strong batting performances by Parthiv Patel (81) and Ambati Rayudu (65) to post 189/6 in 20 overs. The duo added 136 runs between them for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a big total.

In reply, Punjab were lifted by an 89-run third wicket stand between Shaun Marsh (48) and Glenn Maxwell (56). But at the end, the combined brilliance of Mumbai pace trio — Jasprit Bumrah (3/26), Mitchell McClanaghan (3/32) and Tim Southee (2/28) — ensured that Punjab fall short by 25 runs, scoring 164/7.

It was Mumbai’s second win in last five matches that takes them to the fifth spot in the points table, while Punjab succumbed to their hat-trick of losses and remained at the bottom.

In a match between two struggling sides, Punjab captain David Miller won the toss and asked Mumbai to bat. Mumbai had a shaky start as skipper Rohit Sharma lasted all of two balls before edging a Sandeep Sharma inswinger to the wicketkeeper.

That was the only piece of celebration the Punjab players and their home crowd could indulge in for a considerable period of time as Patel and Rayudu proceeded to hit the bowlers to all parts of the ground.

Opening the batting along with skipper Rohit, Parthiv batted almost till the end of the innings. The discarded India wicketkeeper showcased some superb batting form to plunder 81 runs off just 58 deliveries.

He smashed 10 boundaries and a couple of sixes to notch up his highest ever IPL score before falling to a well directed bouncer from veteran Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Parhiv’s entertaining strokeplay was well-matched by Rayudu at the other end. The 30-year-old right-hander slammed 65 runs off 37 deliveries with the help of four boundaries and an equal number of sixes.

Rayudu finally fell to some poor shot selection as an attempted sweep off Axar Patel travelled straight to Manan Vohra at deep midwicket.

Jos Buttler (24) walked in to play a fast paced innings full of innovative shots, hitting three boundaries and a massive six over long-on off Pardeep Sahu in his 12-ball stint. He was bowled by a slowish, incoming delivery from Mohit Sharma while attempting another big hit.

That triggered a flurry of late wickets as the Punjab bowlers staged a late comeback. But by the time Johnson finally managed to send Parthiv back to the pavilion, Mumbai were well on their way to a big total.

Mohit Sharma was the most successful among the Punjab bowlers. The medium-pacer was a bit expensive in a wicketless first spell, but did better in his second spell to return figures of 3/38. Sandeep Sharma (1/20), Axar patel (1/41) and Johnson (1/43) claimed a wicket each.

And in reply, Punjab didn’t start well, losing opening batsmen Vohra (7) and Murali Vijay (19) inside the first five overs. While Vijay offered a catch to Jos Buttler at point off New Zealander Southee, Vohra gave a simple catch to the same fielder at cover points off Bumrah.

The hosts needed a big partnership and Marsh and Maxwell rose up to the task. Maxwell, having scored a meager 39 runs in the previous matches, came good finally, hitting five fours and a six.

They shared an 89-run stand for the third wicket before Southee returned to dismiss left-hander Marsh, who scored 45 runs in 34 balls.

After his wicket in the final ball of the 15th over, the hosts needed 69 runs with seven wickets in hand. Bumrah almost sealed the match in Mumbai’s over in the 18th over as the right-armer removed the dangerous Maxwell and Nikhil Nayak (1).

With 49 required of two overs, it was always going to be a difficult task and it proved so. Another Kiwi pacer, McClanaghan ended Punjab’s hopes by scalping the wicket of Axar Patel (1) and Mitchell Johnson (0) in the penultimate over that yielded only 10 runs. Captain Miller scored a brisk 17-ball 30 but it was not enough.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians: 189/6 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 81, Ambati Rayudu 65; Mohit Sharma 3/38). Kings XI Punjab: 164/4 (Glenn Maxwell 56, Shaun Marsh 48; Jasprit Bumrah 3/26, Mitchell McClanaghan 3/32, Tim Southee 2/28).

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