Rahul, Gayle Power Punjab to 9-Wicket Win Against Mumbai Indians

KL Rahul and Chris Gayle put on a 79-run stand after Mayank Agarwal had got them off to a brisk start.

Updated
IPL
3 min read
Chris Gayle and KL Rahul played a match-winning hand against Mumbai. 
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After restricting the powerful Mumbai Indians batting to 131, Punjab Kings top order made batting look easy as they won by 9 wickets. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle put on a 79-run stand after Mayank Agarwal had got them off to a brisk start.

Punjab, who had lost three before this on the bounce, won with 14 deliveries to spare against the defending champions Mumbai Indians to get their campaign back on track.

Rahul remained unbeaten on 60 while Gayle was not out on 43.

In difficult batting conditions, Quinton de Kock failed to hang in there and was the first of two early wickets Mumbai lost. The South African tried to go big against Deepak Hooda and was caught for 3 by Moises Henriques at mid-on.

In walked the normally explosive Ishan Kishan but he too could not find any momentum along with Rohit Sharma, who is known to be a slow starter. Under pressure and looking to cut free, Kishan edged one to KL Rahul off Ravi Bishnoi, who got his first look in this season. Mumbai at 26/2 after 7 overs, had Rohit batting with Suryakumar Yadav.

The duo too found it tough to get their timing going but kept the scoreboard moving, taking it to 56/2 after 11 overs before looking to accelerate.

Rohit and Suryakumar then cracked a six each of Hooda and Arshdeep in two 10-run overs before the captain chopped Bishnoi away through backward point to complete a well-deserved fifty in the 14th over.

Rohit Sharma during his half century against Punjab. 
Rohit Sharma during his half century against Punjab. 
Image: BCCI

The two stylish batters but on 79 runs together for the third wicket before Bishnoi came back into the attack to dismiss Suryakumar, whose attempted reserve sweep was caught at short third man by Chris Gayle for 33 in the 17th over.

With Kieron Pollard in tow, Rohit need to go through the gears and set up a strong finish for Mumbai. However, midway through the 18th over lost his wicket to India teammate Mohammed Shami.

Rohit scored 63 off 52 hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes before being caught at square leg.

Hardik and Pollard had their task cut out in the final couple of overs. Pollard started off the 19th with a monster six off Arshdeep before he dismissed Hardik for 1 – Hooda taking an easy catch at long off.

Shami finished things off with a 6-run over that also included the wicket of Krunal Pandya, restricting Mumbai to 131/6.

After the breather, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal got Punjab off to a quick start as they smashed 45 in the powerplay, with Mayank taking the aggressor’s role in the partnership.

KL Rahul watches on after hitting a boundary off Trent Boult 
KL Rahul watches on after hitting a boundary off Trent Boult 
Image: BCCI

Mayank’s attacking approach had Rohit and Mumbai concerned as he mixed power with good improvisation, making batting look easy.

But in 8th over, Rahul Chahar, in his second over, deceived the opener into attempting a big one, only for Suryakumar to take a good catch. Mayank, dismissed for 25, threw away another start.

And on cue, the Mumbai spinners, Chahar and Jayant Yadav tightened the screws with a few overs, conceding 18 runs in 5 overs to Chris Gayle and Rahul.

Jayant and Pollard then conceded 23 in two overs as Gayle and Rahul, having absorbed the pressure, found some momentum, pushing the total closer to 100 – making it uncomfortable for Rohit and co.

The experienced duo put on the second fifty-run partnership of the innings as Rohit turned to Jasprit Bumrah after the water break with Punjab needing 24 from 24.

The experienced duo put on the second fifty-run partnership of the innings as Rohit turned to Jasprit Bumrah after the water break with Punjab needing 24 from 24. Rahul brought up his fifty, his slowest in the IPL as Gayle started to find the gaps more frequently.

The veteran southpaw and Rahul smashed Trent Boult for a six each before the captain hit the winning runs with more than 2 overs to spare.

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